They have taken one step towards that, as they have reportedly traded defenseman Patrick Nemeth — who carries two more years on a contract that pays him an average of $2.5 million annually — to the Arizona Coyotes. To sweeten the deal for the ‘Yotes, the Rangers are also sending them a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL Draft, and a future conditional pick. The Rangers are receiving 22-year-old defenseman Ty Emberson in return; he figures to be an AHL depth piece after having posted 4-7-11 in 58 games for the AHL’s Tucson Roadrunners last season.
OFFICIAL: #NYR have acquired defenseman Ty Emberson from Arizona in exchange for defenseman Patrik Nemeth, a second-round pick in the 2025 NHL Entry Draft and one future conditional pick.— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 13, 2022
#NYR acquire Ty Emberson from Arizona in exchange for Patrik Nemeth, a 2025 second-round pick and conditional future pick.— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) July 13, 2022
Arizona has the option to acquire Rangers’ own 2024 third round pick or its own 2026 second round pick.
I should also note here that none other than former Blueshirt Banter colleague Shayna Goldman first broke the news of Nemeth being traded to Arizona. Good scoop, Shayna!
Sounds like the Rangers have figured out a way out of Nemeth's contract by flipping him to Arizona.— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) July 13, 2022
When the Rangers signed Nemeth last offseason, it seemed as though he would fit in well as a serviceable, shot-suppressing defender for the third pair, even if the term was perhaps a year too long. The idea was that he would help stabilize that pairing with a rookie defender on the other side (Nils Lundkvist early on, and Braden Schneider later).
However, things never really worked out for Nemeth in New York. He came down with COVID-19 and dealt with some personal issues (which might have been related to that, but are unknown) that not only kept him out of the lineup for some stretches, but also seemed to prevent him from finding his game with the Blueshirts. The result was not pretty.
Now, with the Rangers in a cap crunch, off-loading his contract became a priority. The Rangers choosing not to buy out Nemeth during Tuesday’s window was a bit surprising, but perhaps it was because they had the workings of this deal in place. In any event, hopefully the club will give Zac Jones (or Nils Lundkvist, despite him being a righty) every opportunity to finally lock down that third-pairing role. For Nemeth, hopefully he can rediscover consistency in his game to get his career back on track — even if it’s with the hapless Coyotes for now.