The New York Rangers have signed veteran defenseman Patrik Nemeth to a three-year deal at a cap hit of $2.5 million a season.
Given some of the other deals that have been given out to free agent defensemen, this looks like a steal for the Rangers.
Nemeth has appeared in 366 games to date, and has played for the Dallas Stars, Colorado Avalanche, and Detroit Red Wings. Nemeth rejoined Colorado this season, appearing in 13 regular season games with the Avs, and 10 playoff games.
Via Hockey Viz, here’s a career impact chart for the Rangers’ newest defender.
Nemeth isn’t coming to the Rangers to provide offense, and that’s perfectly fine. Although the final roster is far from set, it appears his job will be primarily to mentor Nils Lundkvist, and serve as a steadying presence for him. He’s had some solid xGA% numbers, and that’s something that will be of use to the Blueshirts. He hasn’t been spectacular on the penalty kill, and hopefully that’s not a role he’s deployed in.
Here’s another analytical look at Nemeth via the folks at Evolving-Hockey, and I feel it is important to show a one year, and three year look to give some context on how he’s performed.
Overall he rates out decently for a third-pair defender, and assuredly is an upgrade over Libor Hajek. As it stands the Rangers defense will be Ryan Lindgren-Adam Fox on the top pair, K’Andre Miller-Jacob Trouba on the second pair, and Nemeth-Lundkvist on pair three.
I would imagine the Rangers will also look to sign another accomplished veteran defender to take the role previously occupied by Brendan Smith. There are other youthful options like Zac Jones, and Matthew Robertson who could be in the mix, but more likely than not they’ll start the season in Hartford if they aren’t included in some trade to address an additional area of need.
Free agency is just getting underway, and be sure to visit back for more news and updates as the Rangers go about rounding out their roster.