Rangers sign David Desharnais, 1-year, $1 million deal

It’s official, the New York Rangers have agreed to terms with former Montreal Canadien and Edmonton Oiler David Desharnais.

On paper this is a very good deal for the Rangers, especially if the undersized center will be plugged into the fourth line to replace Oscar Lindberg. As one might expect because of his frame, he leaves a lot to be desired in terms of physicality. Despite his size, Desharnais has shown in the past that he’s solid on the faceoff dot.

Getting Desharnais for one-year at reportedly $1 million is a perfectly reasonable price tag for a fourth line center who can move up in the lineup if there’s an injury. But the native of Laurier-Station, Quebec will best serve the Rangers in a sheltered role.

Desharnais will be 31-years-old in September. He’s three seasons removed from showing 50-point form after splitting the 2016-17 season between the Canadiens and Oilers. Marc Bergevin dealt him in late February in exchange for defenseman Brandon Davidson.

With Desharnais signed Jeff Gorton has taken an important step in replacing Lindberg in the team’s bottom-six forward group. On paper the Rangers now have a fourth line of Matt Puempel and Jesper Fast, centered by Desharnais. Whether or not that will be the line we see after training camp and the preseason remains to be seen.