Rangers Updates: Marian Gaborik speaks, Rangers sign Chappell

Marian Gaborik spoke to the media on his first full day as a New York Ranger, Andrew Gross at Ranger Rants has the full story.

Some of the highlights:

Gaborik said the Rangers pursued him heavily the moment the free agent market opened. He added the Wild made no attempts once noon struck yesterday to retain him. Gaborik said he spoke to several players and ex-players about playing in New York, including current Rangers Chris Drury and Aaron Voros (his former teammate in Minnesota) and ex-Ranger and fellow Czech Martin Rucinsky.

Gaborik on his health: "I feel great. I played the last 11 games of the year. I took time off after and tried to get to 100 percent. Now, I'm in full training, getting ready for the season. I'm very excited. I don't see any problems down the road. I'm just getting ready for the season."

Gaborik wore Number 10 with the Wild, and since Esa Tikkanen may be the only member of the 1994 team that probably won't get his number retired, I expect he will wear 10 with the Rangers.

From Steve Zipay at Newsday:

Christopher (which he prefers) Higgins said the media in New York won't be anywhere near as pervasive as in Montreal, when cameramen follow the players around at night and home and all over the city. Although an a MSG crew did corral him in his Huntington home on Wednesday...

Also, as Dave from Blue Seat Blogs mentioned yesterday, the Rangers agreed to terms with free agent forward Chris Chapell. The press release is after the jump.

New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with free agent forward Chris Chappell.

Chappell, 21, skated in 68 games with the Saginaw Spirit of the Ontario Hockey League (OHL) last season, registering 38 goals and 38 assists for 76 points, along with 88 penalty minutes. He established career-highs in games played (68), goals (38), assists (38), points (76), and penalty minutes (88).  Chappell led Saginaw in goals and points, and tied for second on the team in assists.  

He also led the team and tied for third in the OHL with 18 power play goals, while his 38 goals tied for eighth in the league.  Chappell was selected to represent the Western Conference in the OHL All-Star Classic, and collected one assist in the contest.  He posted two, seven-game scoring streaks – from November 7 vs. Ottawa to November 22 at Barrie (three goals and 10 assists) and February 25 vs. Plymouth to March 12 vs. Owen Sound (four goals and four assists) – and recorded 21 multi-point efforts, including his first career hat trick and four-point performance on February 16 at Oshawa (three goals and one assist).  

In addition, the Pickering, Ontario native recorded two goals and six assists for eight points in eight playoff contests with Saginaw.  He tied for the team lead in postseason assists (six) and ranked fourth in postseason points (eight).

The 6-4, 209-pounder has skated in 248 career OHL games with Saginaw, recording 70 goals and 84 assists for 154 points, along with 243 penalty minutes.  In 2007-08, Chappell ranked fifth on the Spirit in goals (14) and points (34), and tied for sixth on the team in assists (20).  He made his OHL debut against Plymouth on September 21, 2005, and registered his first point with an assist on October 15, 2005, against Owen Sound.  Chappell has also tallied four goals and eight assists for 12 points in 22 career postseason contests with Saginaw.

Looks like Chappell will start the season in Hartford