NHL free agency opened at Noon on Thursday and the Rangers made four depth moves. The Rangers entered the free agency period with about $20 million in cap space so most fans expected them to make a big splash. Top targets such as Blake Coleman, Phillip Danault, and Jordan Martinook all came off the board without ending up in New York. The Jack Eichel rumors once again continued to be the biggest news surrounding the Rangers. As the Rangers saw players sign deals with other teams speculation about a trade grew. The offseason has just begun and with $17 million in salary-cap space left it’s safe to say the Rangers will make additional moves.
The moves the Rangers did make today might not be flashy but all four could play a role next season. Let’s take a look at the four newest Rangers.
Patrik Nemeth (Defenseman) 3 Years 2.5M AAV
Nemeth was the most significant signing of the day. He is a big 6’3 228lb stay-at-home defenseman that plays with an edge. The 29-year-old Swede is a veteran of 366 NHL regular-season games and 23 playoff games. He began last season with the Detroit Red Wings before being moved at the deadline to the Colorado Avalance. He suited up in all 10 postseason games for the Avs this past season.
I reached out to Max Bultman who covers the Red Wings for The Athletic about Nemeth. He shared that Patrik is a strong shutdown defender that can play a big share of the penalty-killing minutes. After seeing the large contracts that were handed out I think the Rangers did a nice job getting a quality 3rd pairing defenseman at a reasonable AAV. It is also nice to have a Swedish veteran defenseman to help mentor Nils Lundkvist as he gets his feet wet in the NHL.
Jarred Tinordi (Defenseman) 2 Years 900K AAV
Tinordi is a hulking 6’6 205lb defenseman who, stop if you have heard this before this offseason, plays a physical game. He started last season with the Nashville Predators playing in 7 games before being claimed on waivers by the Bruins. He played 14 regular-season games for Boston and suited up in 4 playoff games. Tinordi was a First Round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens in 2010 and his father Mark played 12 seasons in the NHL, including one with the Rangers. Tinordi will most likely be the 7th defenseman next season. Oh and he has a history of fighting Tom Wilson, they have squared up twice before.
Dryden Hunt (Forward) 2 Years $763K AAV
Hunt might be the most interesting signing of the day. This guy loves to throw around the body. He played in 26 games last season for the Arizona Coyotes and racked up 94 hits. That is a 296 hit pace over an 82 game season. Hunt has skated in 89 career NHL games and has produced 6 goals and 23 points. The 25-year-old forward has shown he can contribute offensively at the AHL level where he has 150 career points in 214 games a .70 PPG average. I am not sure if he will start the season with the Rangers or with the Hartford Wolf Pack in the AHL but he definitely fits the type of player the Rangers have been targeting this offseason.
Greg McKegg (Center) 1 Year $750K AAV
Kegger is back! Greg McKegg is a solid depth center that can kill penalties and win faceoffs. A veteran of 190 NHL games played, he played a career-high 53 games with the Rangers during the 2019-20 season and played in all 3 playoff bubble games. He played for the Bruins last season appearing in 5 games. McKegg’s deal is a two-way contract so the Rangers can move him between New York and Hartford without waivers.
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