Re-sign or Let Go: Every New York Rangers free agent analyzed

Jeff Gorton and his Rangers have eight free agents at the close of the 2020 season. Three are unrestricted and five are restricted with arbitration rights. Let’s take a quick look at them and make a prediction for each.

Phil Di Giuseppe, LW, 26 years-old, $700,000 AAV (RFA)

Di Giuseppe did a solid job late in the season and certainly earned himself another two-way deal. He put up four points in 20 games this past year and showed the ability to forecheck well.

Prediction: 1 year (two-way) deal, $800,000 AAV

Micheal Haley, FWD, 34 years-old, $700,000 AAV (UFA)

Haley was a tough competitor when he wasn’t injured. He supplied David Quinn with a mean streak and tenacity on the forecheck. Sadly for Haley, this is likely the end of his NHL career.

Prediction: Rangers let him walk

Alexandar Georgiev, G, 24 years-old, $925,000 AAV (RFA)

Alexandar Georgiev (Getty Images)

The window to trade Alexandar Georgiev passed last year. Jeff Gorton and the Rangers believe in Alex going forward as the perfect tandem partner to Igor Shesterkin. Those who are still talking about them possibly trading him are just holding on to the past with Henrik Lundqvist. The King is very likely being bought out at the end of this month.

Prediction: 3 year deal, $2.75 million AAV

Brendan Lemieux, LW, 24 years-old, $925,000 AAV (RFA)

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Brendan Lemieux sis needed (Getty Images)

The Rangers love Lemieux and he loves playing for the Rangers. They also recognize they need players like him after basically being booted from the playoffs with zero pushback. They saw how different they could play when he returned for game three against the Canes and making it hard on their defense every shift. He’s a keeper.

Prediction: 3 year deal, $2 million AAV

Greg McKegg, C, 28 years-old, $750,000 AAV (UFA)

I have to tell you, I really liked McKegg this year. In 53 games, he notched 9 points playing primarily on the fourth line. Here’s the deal, the Rangers could very well bring him back for a modest increase, just so long as it is under a million and they have the option to bury his salary in the AHL. I think he could get more on the open market with a team like Ottawa, Arizona, LA, or Detroit.

Prediction: Rangers let him walk

Jesper Fast, RW, 28 years-old, $1.85M AAV (UFA)

The writing is pretty much on the wall with this one. On September 1, I spoke with a source close to the negotiations and was told “the window has passed”. Yesterday, Fast in his own words relayed that it would have been nice to stay and that he knows there are other teams interested. Three teams likely in on him are the Predators, Flyers, and Jackets.

Prediction: Rangers let him walk

Ryan Strome, C, 27 years-old, $3.1M AAV (RFA)

Unless the Rangers have a deal for a better second line center in their pocket that doesn’t cripple their cap situation, Strome is coming back. Here’s the deal though, the Rangers need to be in a position to sign or trade for a better center in the 2021 free agent season. Strome will return, just not long-term. Although I’d prefer a two year deal, Strome would rather be a UFA in 2021 and get paid.

Prediction: 1 year deal, $5M AAV

Tony DeAngelo, RD, 24 years-old, $925,000 AAV (RFA)

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Ryan Strome and Tony DeAngelo need to stay with NYR (NHLI/Getty Images)

Breaking News: Tony DeAngelo is going to get paid this off-season. There is a slim chance it won’t be the Rangers, but don’t bet on it. A lot of people are saying one good season doesn’t mean he should break the bank, I assure he won’t, but he is going to get a good market deal for an RFA.

To be fair, in 61 games in the 2018-19 season DeAngelo averaged .49 points per game. He took a big leap forward this year with a .77 points per game average. The Rangers realize that and will pay him appropriately.

The argument that Nils Lundkvist is coming in the 2021-22 season isn’t a good reason to let him walk. Unless you want the Rangers to take a step back next season. Remember, good young players with term are easy to trade if you have to.

Prediction: 3 year deal, $5.25M AAV

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Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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