And here he comes.
The Rangers have added Ryane Clowe. The now former San Jose Shark comes to the Rangers after he agreed to waive his no trade clause, per several media sources on twitter. Clowe will cost the Rangers a 2013 second round pick, a 2013 third round pick (original Florida’s pick, traded to the Rangers for Wojtek Wolski) and also a conditional 2014 second that is dependent on him agreeing an extension with the Rangers or the team winning two playoff series this season. That pick becomes a 2014 5th round pick if the conditions are not met.
There’s a couple ways to look at this; first of all there’s the fact Clowe hasn’t scored a goal this season and has health issues. On top of this he’s had periods where he has taken lazy penalties and if he gives the puck away as he did in San Jose this season he could be in Tortorella’s dog house quickly. On the other hand Clowe address numerous Rangers needs. He hits, he plays an all round physical game, brings size and snarl and is willing to dirty work as well as drive to the net; all things the Rangers lacked this season.
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This one was tweeted to me by OHL scout Victor Carneiro, and I’m a little delayed in posting this (Thanks for the tip Vic!). The Rangers have signed Tommy Hughes, a 6’2, 215 lb defenseman from the London Knights. Hughes, an undrafted free agent, just finished his fourth season with London, putting together a line of 1-15-16 in 67 games. The right-handed defenseman will be another solid addition to what is currently a weak defensive pool of prospects.
Hughes is the second undrafted UFA signing of the offseason. Connor Allen of UMass was added earlier last week
Earlier today, the Rangers announced that they have sent Kris Newbury back to the Connecticut Whale of the AHL. In his second stint with the Rangers this season, Newbury played in four games, collecting an assist, a +1 rating, 2 PIMs, and 4 hits while averaging a little more than 8 minutes of ice time.
A few days ago, Steve Zipay noted that the Rangers were showing interest in NCAA free agent defenseman Connor Allen out of UMass. Today, the Rangers signed Allen to an entry-level deal. Terms of the deal are still unknown, although it is highly unlikely that the Rangers signed him for this season, as he would make contract number 50. It is more likely that his deal begins next season, and he can join the Whale this season if he signs an ATO.
As noted in the previous post, Allen is a 6’1, 203 lb defenseman with a scoring line of 14-25-39 in 99 NCAA games. The Rangers were thin on defensive prospects, so the addition of Allen is a nice boost.
The Carolina Hurricanes have placed center Jussi Jokinen on waivers, which prompted a lot of discussion about the Rangers claiming him. Jokinen is having a down year, but he is still a good face off guy and one of Carolina’s top puck possession forwards (1.11 CorsiRelQoc, 3rd among ‘Canes forwards). Jokinen is shooting well below his career average (9%, average of 13%), which would affect his point totals. Also, his quality of teammates have taken a big hit over the past few years.
Two things might stop the Rangers from claiming him: His contract ($3 million through next season), and that he would be contract number 50 for this year. Fifty contracts is the max, and leaves the Rangers with minimal flexibility. His contract is a big dent in a year where the cap goes down. The Rangers would need to move a body this year and another body in the offseason to fit him in.
Per Katie Strang, the plan is to have both Jesper Fast and Mats Zuccarello travel to North America tomorrow. Both are coming off seasons in Sweden and Russia, respectively, so both are in game shape. It is unknown what the organization plans to do with them at the moment. They could both be sent to Connecticut of the AHL for a game or two, or could be inserted right into the lineup with the Rangers. The Rangers play Thursday, but that might be pushing it. If they are to play with the Rangers, Saturday against Montreal might be the earliest.
The popular scenario is that Zuccarello will be with the Rangers immediately –he has prior experience with most of the team and the coaching staff– and Fast will be sent to the AHL to adjust to the North American game. Scouts think Fast is ready, but there’s no need to rush him.
Also per Strang, Zuccarello’s contract is $700k, pro-rated for this year only. Fast’s entry-level deal, signed last June, is $900k for three years.
Per several reports, the Rangers have re-signed forward Mats Zuccarello to a one-year contract through the end of the season. Zuccarello will be given a one-way deal, and the organization will reevaluate Zuccarello at the end of the season. The Hobbit adds much-needed scoring depth to the bottom-six, and will hopefully jump-start the third line, which is in desperate need of scoring.
As noted previously, Zuccarello will not need to pass through waivers, as the Rangers submitted a qualifying offer last offseason.
As expected, Stu Bickel cleared waivers and will be sent to the Connecticut Whale in the AHL for tonight’s game. Bickel was not happy with the way he was treated, as Andrew Gross has some interesting quotes:
“It is what it is,” Bickel said. “It’s been tough for me to get an opportunity to play any minutes on the backend to develop some confidence.”
“I came up last year and I performed and was able to play some minutes and play well,” Bickel said. “I did everything I could with the opportunity. Getting less minutes, it’s more difficult to do what I want with it. (Now), it’s wait and see.”
It’s unfortunate that Bickel did not see much ice time, but when he did, he wasn’t too effective. Hopefully he can rebuild that confidence in Connecticut and make an impact.
The Rangers have recalled center Kris Newbury from the Connecticut Whale. This is Newbury’s second stint with the Rangers this year. In his first call up, Newbury stayed for just one game, and finished with 7 PIMs. Newbury showed some great chemistry with Chris Kreider, putting together an impressive line of 1-8-9 while Kreider was with the Whale.
Newbury replaces the departed Jeff Halpern and Stu Bickel.
Update: Per Elliotte Friedman, the Rangers have placed Stu Bickel on waivers. If/when he clears, the Rangers will have cleared $1.45 million in cap space in waiving Bickel and Halpern.
Original Post: Per Larry Brooks, the Montreal Canadiens have claimed Jeff Halpern off waivers from the Rangers. Halpern was waived yesterday to make room for Arron Asham’s return to the lineup. Losing Halpern will cost the Rangers in the face off circle, but Halpern’s ice time had seen a sharp decline over the past week or so. Halpern’s Ranger career ends with 30 games on Broadway, an assist, 8 PIMs, and a -5 rating.