And just like that, the New York Rangers have all of their main free agents signed. Yesterday afternoon fan favorite and second line center Kevin Hayes came to an agreement on a 1 year, $5.125 million. An interesting deal indeed, more on that later. Ryan Spooner who the Rangers acquired in the Rick Nash deal with Boston came to an agreement today on a two-year contract with an AAV of $4 million. Not bad at all if you ask me. So what do these contracts mean for the Rangers and their rebuild?
First and foremost, I am a Kevin Hayes guy. I love him as a player. He seems like a great locker room guy and has a good personality as well. So why only a one year deal? I guess the Rangers don’t see him as a building block in their future during this rebuild process. Rumors came out today that the Rangers offered Hayes two years but he turned it down for the one year deal. With this one year deal it is all but certain that Hayes is going to be a trade piece at the deadline this upcoming season. It’s inevitable. Cue all the fans who are going to threaten to throw themselves off the Chase Bridge come trade deadline. Time to get another first round pick and a prospect or two, work that magic Gorts. It’s bound to happen especially with guys like Chytil, Andersson, Howden waiting for their shot. Hayes is a solid 40 point per season player, no question about it. But with those guys waiting and the very high potential that Mika Zibanejad has makes Hayes the odd man out.
Ryan Spooner, I am so amped this guy was tossed into the Nash deal. Two reasons. One, he ripped my girlfriends heart out because she is a diehard Bruins fan and that’s her favorite player and now he’s on my team. Suck it babe! Two. He is a very talented player. He has also been a 40 point player the last three season and is one year younger than Hayes. He started off hot with the Rangers after the trade and never looked back. I’m excited to see what he does playing a full year on this team and under new Rangers coach David Quinn. He’s flexible and when the time comes for Chytil or Howden to play fulltime, they can always flip Spooner over to the wing and he can still produce points as he relies on his passing and playmaking abilities.
With these deals you can tell the Rangers are sticking true to their full rebuild. Thank god. With everyone signed and locked up the Rangers have $5.6 million in cap space available going into the season. This leads the option to be a favorite come the deadline to absorb big contracts and to obtain prospects and picks like they did this past season. It’s going to be a very young team with a lot of kids learning the ropes and I’m super excited to witness guys like Chytil and Howden get a lot more NHL minutes. It’s going to be a fun growing season and seeing what all these young kids are made of. October can’t come soon enough.