With free agency, or as TSN calls it “Free Agent Frenzy,” starting on July 5, which of the New York Rangers unrestricted free agents are worth signing back?
Taking a look at the list of players, I see only one or two possible re-signings the Rangers should get done out of their eight possible unrestricted free agents.
One of them, and probably the most important one, is left winger Ryan Clowe, who the Rangers received in a trade with the San Jose Sharks at the trade deadline of the 2013 season in exchange for second and third-round draft picks. Clowe added some much needed size to the Rangers in the 2nd half of last season and proved to be a factor on both offense and defense until he suffered a concussion in the first round of the playoffs against the Washington Capitals and failed to return to the team once the Rangers advanced to the 2nd round to play the Boston Bruins, where The Blueshirts lost the series in five games. Clowe’s cap hit with the Rangers last season was about $3.6 million, but with his injury and his lackluster season with the Sharks before the trade, I believe his value will be lower than it was last year. If that is the case then I think the Rangers should definitely re-sign Clowe to a one or two-year contract.
The other unrestricted free agent the Rangers might re-sign is defenseman Steve Eminger. Eminger’s cap hit with the Rangers last season was only $750K and is due to the fact that he is only a depth player, who pretty much just fills in and doesn’t rack up any points. He is now 29 years old and with younger defensemen in the Rangers farm system, and possibly more to come in this year’s draft, Eminger is not a must sign and in my opinion will probably not get resigned by the Rangers for next season. Whether he is or isn’t on the team next year, I don’t think anyone would object to either.
The rest of the unrestricted free agents for the Rangers are as follows. Roman Hamrlik and Matt Gilroy, who no one want back, and career AHLers Sean Collins, Logan Pyett, Brandon Segal, and Mike Vernace. Almost all of those names, especially the first two, I guarantee won’t be on the Rangers roster next season. However, I am not Rangers GM Glen Sather, which is a blessing, not a curse, so I can’t say for sure what he is thinking. We will just have to wait and see, and also pray the Rangers don’t overpay.