LATEST: Anisimov's deal is for two-years, $3.75 million. Again, that's right in line with projections. This is a pretty good price for a man with Anisimov's talent and versatility and like Sauer, he would have certainly received much more as an unrestricted free agent on the open market. If Anisimov turns into a 50-point player, this will be an even greater bargain.
Dubinsky, Boyle and Callahan remain un-signed, but that could change before their scheduled arbitration hearings. Here are the dates:
Dubinsky: July 21
Boyle: July 25
Callahan: July 28
UPDATE: The Rangers have also re-signed Artem Anisimov to a two-year deal. No word yet on the financial terms of Anisimov's new pact. Anisimov was the lone restricted free agent still susceptible to offer sheets, so re-signing him ensures that the Rangers will be able to keep all of their remaining free agents. Anisimov is already a very strong two-way center, but his offensive game is still developing. He is definitely a player to watch next year and could be on the verge of a breakout season.
EARLIER: Larry Brooks of the NY Post reports that the Rangers have re-signed
Mike Sauer to a two-year, $2.5 million deal.
Sauer was a late-bloomer on defense thanks to a string of injuries, but he exceeded
expectations after joining the lineup full-time just after the start of the
season. The stay-at-home defender has
very little offensive ability, but one of his three goals on the season was the
game-winner in a 5-3 comeback against the eventual Stanley Cup Champion Boston
Bruins on April 4th.
Sauer was at his best partnered with fellow rookie Ryan
McDonagh, who was recalled in January. The duo came out of nowhere to give the Rangers a bona fide No. 2
defensive pair that took loads of pressure off Dan Girardi and Marc Staal.
Sauer doesn’t take a whole lot of risks as a player, but
he’s not afraid to pinch down the boards when the moment is right. However his true strength lies in his own
zone where Sauer excels and acts as the crease-clearing defenseman the Rangers
have lacked for years.
It will be interesting to see if Sauer remains with McDonagh
to start the year or if he’s paired with a more offensive-minded defenseman
like Michael Del Zotto, should Del Zotto make the team.
The $1.25 million cap hit has to be considered a huge
bargain for a second-pairing defenseman, especially considering the going rate
for those players on the unrestricted free agent market this summer. It falls in line with the popular guess of a
salary between $1 million and $1.5 million, but Sauer may have been able to
squeeze the team for more if that was his desire. It’s possible, however, that Sauer felt no
need to do that considering the Rangers’ patience with him through the last few
years when it seemed unlikely that he’d ever make it to the NHL.
The team still has plenty of salary cap space to re-sign
restricted free agents Artem Anisimov, Brian Boyle, Ryan Callahan and Brandon
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