Rangers sign McIlrath, narrow to-do list down to Kreider, Hayes

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The New York Rangers aren’t waiting until the last minute to handle every salary arbitration situation, although they still have some work to do.

The Rangers avoided arbitration with defenseman Dylan McIlrath via a one-year, $800K deal, according to the CBC’s Tim Wharnsby. New York recently confirmed that an agreement was made.

This comes after locking down promising forward J.T. Miller on Wednesday while New York still faces potential hearings with Chris Kreider (slated for July 22) and Kevin Hayes (July 27).

Locking up McIlrath to a reasonable deal provides optimism that the Rangers could take care of both Kreider and Hayes.

(For further reading on one of those scenarios, note that The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes Kyle Palmieri‘s contract could stand as a comparable for Kreider.)

McIlrath, the 10th pick of the 2010 NHL Draft, is still attempting to carve out his place in the Rangers’ lineup. He played 34 of his 37 career NHL regular season games last season and added a playoff contest as well.

Dan Boyle‘s departure opens things up quite a bit for him, although he’ll still need to prove himself since the Rangers have plenty of defensive options from a quantity standpoint.