Yesterday was a busy day for the Whale, as they made six moves to fill out the roster in time for their Calder Cup run. The Whale called up forwards Jason Wilson, Danny Hobbs, and Jordie Johnston, and goaltender Scott Stajcer from the Greenville Road Warriors of the ECHL. In addition, the Whale signed forward Michael Kantor and defenseman Charlie Dodero to ATOs from Sudbury in the OHL.
All six will be with the Whale for their next game on Friday.
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
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.
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.
The Rangers have signed forward Josh Nicholls –20 years old– to an entry-level deal, confirmed by Seth Rothman of Inside Hockey (side note: A great follow if you aren’t already). Nicholls is Rangers’ prospect Shane McColgan’s teammate with the Saskatoon Blades of the WHL. The 6’2, 185 lb winger was originally drafted by the Toronto Maple Leafs in the 7th round in 2010, but they let his rights expire last year.
This year with Saskatoon, Nicholls has 41 goals and 73 points in 65 games. Nicholls’ deal will be a three-year entry-level deal. Pension Plan Puppets (Leafs blog) notes that Nicholls also suffered a knee injury, which may have played into why the Leafs didn’t tender a contract.
Renaud Lavoie is reporting that the Rangers have signed goalie Cam Talbot to a two-year contract extension tonight. Talbot is 18-19-1 with a 2.56 GAA and a .918 SV% with the CT Whale this season, where he has played since 2009. The signing indicates the Rangers have seen a (very) small glimmer of hope that Talbot could be the heir to the throne, but the organization still needs to acquire a legitimate goalie prospect.
The most interesting thing about the news: in year one Talbot will make $550k on a two-way deal, but in 2014-2015, Talbot will get $575k on a one-way NHL contract. That happens to be the year after Marty Biron’s contract expires. That doesn’t necessarily mean Talbot is earmarked for Biron’s job, it wouldn’t be too difficult to deal a cheap goalie if it came to that (although it’s still a good bet Biron will be gone after his current deal ends).
This also probably doesn’t speak well toward Scott Stajcer’s future with the franchise.
In a minor move, the Whale have signed forward Andrew Carroll to a PTO. The 27-year-old forward spent all of last season with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, putting together a line of 1-5-6 with 138 PIMs in 68 games. This year, the 6’0, 205 lb forward has played in the ECHL with Idaho, putting together a line of 12-19-31 with 45 PIMs in 36 games.
Carroll will likely add depth to the depleted Whale forwards if successful with his PTO.
Per John Shannon, the “newly signed” Jason Arnott did not pass his physical for the Rangers. This will kill any potential deal with the organization, and Arnott will return to the free agent pool. No details have been released about what prevented him from passing the physical. However, Arnott did have knee surgery over the summer, so that may be what killed it.
Via Darren Dreger, the Rangers have agreed to terms with veteran center Jason Arnott on a one year deal worth between $1.6-$1.7 million. More to come as details become available, but considering the Rangers’ lack of depth at forward and the early season face-off woes, I think this is a great pick up.
Per Larry Brooks, the Rangers have agreed to terms with defenseman Matt Gilroy. The contract is believed to be for one year at $650,000. We noted that Gilroy adds some much-needed depth and flexibility to the Rangers blue line, and was number two on the list of things we can expect the Rangers can do with business operating as usual.