Tag: New York Rangers

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Seven

Leafs sign d-man Hunwick: two years, $2.4 million


The Toronto Maple Leafs have kicked off free agency with a minor signing, agreeing to a two-year pact with veteran blueliner Matt Hunwick.

The deal, per Sportsnet, is worth $2.4 million and carries an average annual cap hit of $1.2M.

Hunwick, 30, scored 11 points in 55 games for the Rangers last year and made six playoff appearances. The former Bruin and Avalanche played on a one-year, $600,000 deal in ’14-15 and headed to unrestricted free agency after what was, all things considered, not a bad effort in his lone year as a Blueshirt.

Crowded crease: Flames bring back Ramo on one-year, $3.8M deal

Dallas Stars v Calgary Flames

Interesting move from the Flames to open free agency — per Sportsnet, they’ve re-signed goalie Karri Ramo to a one-year, $3.8 million deal.

Ramo, 28, didn’t sound as though he’d be back in Calgary in mid-May, when Flames GM Brad Treliving suggested the team’s crease was getting a little crowded with Jonas Hiller and Joni Ortio already under contract.

“We’ve got a young guy Ortio who’s pushing, knocking on the door,” Treliving explained. “[Ramo] is a decision we’ve got to make over the course of the next few weeks, we’re just not there yet.

“A wise man told me there’s only one net. Carrying three goalies, you can only do it for a short period of time.”

That said, the Flames were pleased with how the Finnish netminder played last season. Ramo had a solid campaign, essentially splitting starting duties with Hiller — Ramo had 32 starts to Hiller’s 44 — and that trend carried over to the playoffs, where Hiller was the No. 1 against Vancouver, only to cede the gig in Round 2 versus Anaheim, when Ramo took the job and played well.

In Calgary’s Game 5 elimination contest, Ramo was stellar in stopping 44 of 47 shots, many of the highlight-reel variety.

Recent rumors suggested Calgary was in the market for another goalie. At the draft, the club was rumored to be in the running for former Rangers (now Oilers) netminder Cam Talbot — so, in that light, bringing back Ramo isn’t a huge surprise.

That said, the Finn has scored himself a nice raise — up from the $2.75M annually he made on his last deal — and the Flames now have $8.4M locked into him and Hiller.

Defensemen Hunwick, Bartkowski to become UFAs

Tampa Bay Lightning v New York Rangers - Game Seven

A pair of veteran blueliners will hit the open market tomorrow.

Matt Bartkowski, who’s played in 131 games over the last five years with Boston, has been told he won’t be re-signed by the club while Rangers rearguard Matt Hunwick, a veteran of nearly 350 NHL contests, will also go to market after New York passed on an extension.

Hunwick, 30, scored 11 points in 55 games for the Rangers last year and made six playoff appearances. The former Bruin and Avalanche played on a one-year, $600,000 deal in ’14-15 and could net a similar contract in free agency after what was, all things considered, not a bad effort in his lone year as a Blueshirt.

Bartkowski, 27, played last year on a $1.25 million deal but struggled to impress, scoring just four points in 47 games. He was briefly floated as a trade candidate at the deadline but, with no takers, he was left to play out the string with Boston.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of traction Bartkowski gets on the open market. He’s still relatively young and, in ’13-14, he scored a career-high 18 points in 64 games and made eight playoff appearances for the Bruins.

‘Hawks sign No. 3 goalie Leighton to one-year extension

Michael Leighton, Chicago Blackhawks

Just days after trading away Antti Raanta, the Chicago Blackhawks have shored up their goaltending by re-signing veteran Michael Leighton.

Per ESPN, it’s a two-way deal that pays $575,000 at the NHL level.

Leighton, 34, enjoyed a solid campaign with AHL Rockford last season, going 22-13-4 with a 2.26 GAA and .920 save percentage. He finished with five shutouts, led the team to the playoffs and was named the IceHogs’ MVP.

A veteran of over 100 career NHL games — and a Stanley Cup Final with Philadelphia, which he lost to the ‘Hawks — Leighton is now firmly entrenched as Chicago’s No. 3 netminder, behind Scott Darling and Corey Crawford.

Raanta, who at times served as Crawford’s backup with the ‘Hawks, was traded to the Rangers at the draft to fill Cam Talbot’s backup gig behind Henrik Lundqvist. Talbot was flipped to Edmonton.

Lehtonen, Niemi see benefit in splitting goalie duties

Kari Lehtonen

Kari Lehtonen ranked eighth among goaltenders in total minutes last season while Antti Niemi was ninth. If everything goes according to plan, neither of them will be in the top-10 next season and that’s something the 31-year-old Finnish goaltenders are comfortable with.

“My year was disappointing, so I want to fix that, and I’m open to doing anything I can to do that,” Lehtonen said, per the Dallas Morning News. “We are adults and we are older in our careers, so I think we can work through anything that comes up. Goalies have a certain friendship and Antti and I are friends, and I think that helps a great deal.”

He added that he thinks he plays better when rested, so he sees the advantage to his playing time being reduced.

Niemi was obviously aware of the situation before inking a three-year, $13.5 million contract on Monday, so it’s no surprise that he’s open to it. He did point out though that this will provide him with more time to recover between starts and work with goalie coach Jeff Reese.

It should help that the duo is familiar with each other. Lehtonen still remembers splitting ice time with Niemi for a game when they were both 10 years old. Much more recently, they were roommates during the 2014 Winter Olympics.

This will be an expensive experiment for Dallas as the two netminders have a combined $10.4 million annual cap hit for the next three seasons. That means the Stars will be paying more for its goaltending than even the New York Rangers, which carry the current cap hit leader among netminders in Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5 million annually).