The New York Rangers had a busy November. After an uneventful free agency that led to a lot of fans scratching their heads, the Rangers answered the biggest questions concerning some of our RFAs. Tony D, Strome, and Lemieux have all inked two year deals in New York. In a year leading up to $13 million in buy outs, nobody could guess what Gorton had brewing. Now we know, so let’s take a look at what we got.
Anthony Deangelo: 2 years $4.8 per (15g, 38a)
The Tony Deangelo bridge has become as popular as the George Washington in NYC. Once again the Rangers came to an agreement I like this deal for both parties. We all know Tony’s ability to rack up points as a RD. But given the depth of the Rangers prospect pool for Dmen, I think this contract is perfect. First, the Rangers will need a couple years to find out what they have in their defense prospects. Second, the money isn’t killer which makes the contract moveable. Tony could be that x-factor for a contender. Also, for Tony’s sake, 2 years is enough time for him to once again bet on himself. At 25 years young, Tony shouldn’t be signing anything long term. Let that happen at 27-28.
Ryan Strome: 2 years $4.5 per (18g, 41a)
Maybe the biggest question mark on the Rangers once they got knocked out of the bubble. The Rangers didn’t bring in a 2C when free agency hit. The chemistry last year with Panarin was enough for the Rangers to take a chance to see what they have. I was very high on Strome last season. Now do I think he can replicate the magic he had with the Bread Man? Only time will tell. So for term, I love the 2 years. The Rangers aren’t married to him and at $4.5 you won’t find many 2Cs in the league that would be willing to sign for 2 years. Great contract and once again, a deal that can be moved for a team looking to add center depth or might be banged up in such a huge position.
Brendan Lemieux: 2 years $1.55 per (6g, 12a)
Lemmy brings a lot of intangibles to the table. He’s tough, gritty, and you can sort of plug him anywhere if you need a jolt. I think the Rangers overpaid a bit here for their 3-4 line winger, but it was necessary and smart, here’s why. When he’s not in the line up (the bubble) you saw how badly he was missed. The grit goes a long way and when your team is made of up some higher profile ELCs you’re going to be glad you have someone with heart and soul. He will do whatever it takes to be in this line up and I think the Rangers fans and management all realize it. That makes him valueable and worth overpaying for. Again, 2 years is nothing for his contract and the money makes him moveable for a possible package deal in case the Rangers try and bring in more established 2C.
It is important to note that the Tony and Lemmy contracts end with RFA, meaning Rangers will once again have negotiating rights after these contracts are complete. Overall, I love what they did here. As my friend Andy puts it, the Rangers punted downfield to buy time and money to see what our prospects bring to the table in the coming years. There is a lot to be excited about with the Rangers. These contracts are evidence that the organization is confident in our youth core and I am too. Next year can’t come soon enough!!! LGR!