All Quiet On The Rangers Front

In Blueshirt Bulletin Main Blog, News by Jess Rubenstein

Fredrik Claesson (Ottawa Citizen)

Day one of the NHL’s free agency came and really it was nice and quiet on the Ranger’s front. No big ticket free agents signed to a long-term contract granted this is a very weak free agent class. Yes, this was only the first day of July but let’s give Jeff Gorton his due for staying quiet.

Yes, the Rangers did make a couple of moves, the first was a move that might pay bigger benefits down the road. The Rangers signed defenseman Fredrik Claesson formerly of the Ottawa Senators. At first, the move made little sense adding another lefthanded defender until someone pointed out that Claesson happens to be Erik Karlsson’s best friend.

If this move helps the Rangers wind up with Erik Karlsson then, by all means, this would be a very nice move. Claesson is just 25 and despite being a lefthanded shot, can also play the right side. Claesson is a “stay-at-home’ defender which the Rangers can use for their defensive corps.

Vladislav Namestnikov (NHL.Com)

The Rangers also resigned forward Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year deal. Nameestnikov should play on the wing but he can also play center if needed. The 25-year-old came over from Tampa Bay in the Ryan McDonagh trade. Despite just recording four points in 19 games it was hard to see the Rangers not keeping him.

Have to disagree that this signing means that the Rangers will now trade Ryan Spooner as others are suggesting. Spooner was 4-12-16 in his 20 games after joining the Rangers.

If anything Namestnikov’s signing sets the bar for what the Rangers are willing to pay for Spooner (and also Kevin Hayes). Yes, the Rangers still need some grit but moving one of the guys who was scoring during the worst of times makes no sense.

If you want to wonder who might go then one would think defensemen Rob O’Gara and Steve Kampfer are now expendable. I would also add defenseman Brendan Smith and forward Matt Beleskey.

Don’t bother wondering how much space the Rangers have in cap room because of sites like Capfriendly.com, Nhlnumbers, and spotrac.com all have different numbers. Remember the Rangers do not have to be at the cap limit until they announce the season opening roster.

But for once it is nice to see the Rangers not using the first day of free agency to set the roster as they have in days past.

Even if it was just for a day.