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Rangers Sign Mike Rupp

Mike Rupp

Mike Rupp

Amidst an early frenzy of over-spending the Rangers remained surprisingly quiet on the free agent front today as they awaited a decision from Brad Richards until moments ago when the Blueshirts signed center Mike Rupp, 31, to a three-year, $4.5 million contract.

Rupp scored nine goals and eight assists to go along with 124 penalty minutes in 81 games last year.  Two years ago Rupp enjoyed the best offensive season of his career, posting 13 goals and six assists in 81 games.

On the NHL Network TSN’s Darren Dreger reported that as many as 10 teams were in the hunt for Rupp, thus pushing the price of the 6-5, 230lb center up.

Rupp had a respectable 50.6 faceoff percentage in 2010-2011 and is unafraid to use his fists, which will certainly take some of the pressure off Brandon Prust.  Prust played with injuries for much of the season, so it’s unsurprising that New York sought to find a replacement heavyweight after the passing of Derek Boogaard.

Though Rupp is listed as a center, it remains to be seen if he plays in the middle with New York.  Derek Stepan, Artem Anisimov and Brian Boyle are firmly in place and the Rangers remain in pursuit of Brad Richards.

Rupp could slide over to the wing and still take key faceoffs, much as Brandon Dubinsky did last season.

Follow Rupp on Twitter @Rupper17.



Follow our Brad Richards free agent live blog here.

Posted by Kevin Baumer | July 1, 2011 at 03:11 pm

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