New York traded away speedy Swedish forward Carl Hagelin at the NHL Entry Draft.
On Wednesday, they signed speedy Swedish forward Viktor Stalberg.
A bit of a stretch? Sure, but there’s definitely something to it — the Rangers added an older, cheaper winger that can skate in Stalberg, who agreed to a one-year, $1.1 million pact just days after getting bought out by the Predators.
The former Blackhawk failed to live up to expectations in Nashville after signing a four-year, $12 million deal in the summer of ’13. He spent time in AHL Milwaukee last season, though part of that was rehabbing from injury; when up with the Preds, Stalberg had decent production — 10 points in 25 games — and was a pretty useful contributor in the club’s opening-round playoff loss to Chicago, finishing with three points in six contests.
For New York, the contract is a low-cost, low-risk move, and those are the types of deals the Rangers need to take on as they’re up against it in terms of the salary cap. New deals are still needed for the likes of Derek Stepan, J.T. Miller, Emerson Etem and Jesper Fast.
The Martin St. Louis era in New York is apparently over.
Per the Post, the Rangers won’t be bringing back the 40-year-old veteran for a third season with the club. The news doesn’t come as a huge surprise — the Rangers don’t have a ton of financial wiggle room with new deals still needed for Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, J.T. Miller and Jesper Fast — but the development is still noteworthy, given what GM Glen Sather paid to acquire St. Louis and all that happened during his time as a Blueshirt.
New York advanced to the Stanley Cup Final in St. Louis’ first year with the club, then came within one game of getting back this season. While the veteran winger’s production dropped in 2014-15 — 52 points was his lowest total in over 10 years — St. Louis still managed to score 20 goals during the regular season and, given the Post’s report that he’s not ready to retire, there could be suitors for him in free agency.
Acquired at the ’14 deadline in exchange for Ryan Callahan and a first-round pick, St. Louis will finish his time in New York with 60 points in 93 games, and 22 points in 44 playoff appearances.
Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman has heard from “people around the league” that Evgeni Malkin is unhappy in Pittsburgh and may welcome a change of scenery.
TSN/NBC insider Bob McKenzie believes the Rangers will at least discuss trading Rick Nash.
So, that’s pretty interesting, no?
Obviously, there are significant differences in each team’s situation, but the common denominator is financial pressure:
The Penguins have two of the highest cap hits in the league in Malkin and Sidney Crosby, plus they’ve got Kris Letang on a healthy contract as well. Another thing the Penguins have is a need to get better, and it’s tougher to do that without room under the cap.
The Rangers have a couple of big contracts of their own in Nash and Henrik Lundqvist. They also need to re-sign restricted free agent Derek Stepan this summer, then RFA Chris Kreider next summer.
Throw in the possibility that the salary cap remains at essentially the same level and the financial pressure only increases.
Anyway, enjoy those trade rumors!
Related: Friedman says Penguins need to ‘think about’ trading Malkin
Martin St. Louis is mere weeks away from celebrating his 40th birthday and shortly after that his current contract with the New York Rangers will expire. He’s not sure if another deal is in the cards.
“I’m going to get a chance to reflect and think about it and go from there,” St. Louis said, per The Record.
St. Louis talked to coach Alain Vigneault and assistant GM Jeff Gorton for his exit interview and conveyed to them his desire to think about his future before moving forward. Vigneault thinks that’s a good idea for all sides as the Rangers can use that time to get better sense of what they can offer St. Louis monetarily.
The Rangers have around $60.5 million tied to 15 players and still have to re-sign restricted free agents Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin. So while the Rangers like what St. Louis brings to the table, they might not be able to offer him much.
Of course, St. Louis could potentially play elsewhere, but part of his motivation for demanding a trade to the Rangers specifically was to be closer to his family. It’s not clear how willing he would be to move in order to extend his NHL career.
St. Louis had 21 goals and 52 points in 74 contests this season. He also recorded a goal and seven points in 19 playoff games.
After saying there’s a chance defenseman Matt Carle could play Game 5 at MSG prior to boarding a flight for New York on Saturday, Lightning coach Jon Cooper was a little more optimistic Sunday morning.
“I think he’s going to be available,” said Cooper.
Carle missed Game 4 with an undisclosed injury.
The 30-year-old, who has two assists in 16 playoff games this spring, left Game 3 following a collision with Derek Stepan.
Mark Barberio took Carle’s spot in the lineup in Game 4. The 25-year-old was a minus-1 in 8:44 of ice time.
Puck drop tonight is at 8 p.m. ET on NBCSN.