Ryan Spooner belongs on the rebuilding Rangers

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The Rangers have many prominent restricted free agents to sign this summer. Questions abound if the Blueshirts will retain them all or move some or one of their rights at the deadline. One particular player who happens to be on the bubble is trade deadline acquisition, Ryan Spooner.

Too Many RFA’s

Here’s the full list:

  • Kevin Hayes
  • Vlad Namestnikov
  • Jimmy Vesey
  • Ryan Spooner
  • Brady Skjei
  • Rob O’ Gara
  • John Gilmour

Off the hop, re-signing O’Gara and Gilmour would likely cost around 1 million or less and they can opt to bury the cap hit in the AHL if needed. 2 of the players that are absolute no brainers are Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei. Jimmy Vesey who is coming off his ELC of 925K can likely be signed to a bridge deal at an affordable price.

That leaves Ryan Spooner and Vlad Namestnikov, both acquired at the deadline in a state of flux. Let’s be honest from just an optics standpoint, not re-signing Namestnikov who was the only NHL level ready piece in the Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller trade would be an absolute embarrassment.

Ergo why, Larry Brooks in his latest column said Spooner likely doesn’t fit in the Rangers long term plans.

Spooner’s Situation

Ryan Spooner is arbitration eligible and the Rangers could simply opt to sign him to a one year deal and trade him at the deadline before he becomes a UFA. While this sounds like a decent plan, it is the epitome of a penny smart and a dollar dumb.

In his brief stint in NY Spooner impressed, posting 16 points in 20 games. He scored 4 goals, all at even strength and looked good on the Rangers PP, picking up 2 assists. He and Kevin Hayes also showed some chemistry together.

[su_quote cite=”Forever Blueshirts” url=”https://foreverblueshirts.com/match-made-in-boston/”]It’s clear that Hayes is benefitting from a player of Ryan Spooner’s caliber. Spooner and Hayes are similar players, in that they have good puck carrying skills, both play a 200-foot game and they ideally prefer to pass. Spooner’s playmaking ability helps counteract his smaller stature and having him on his wing has been the boost Kevin Hayes needed.[/su_quote]

While the Rangers could use more shoot first players, Spooner has shown that he can help the Rangers keep the puck and play more of a possession game. Before coming to the Rangers, who give up shots like a grandma gives out candy on Halloween, Spooner had a career CF% of 51.3 in Boston. It would be wise for the Rangers to make a real effort in signing Spooner to a marketable contract of 3 years, at around 3 to 3.5M per.

That contract would make him very easy to move and bring back decent value should the Rangers feel he really doesn’t fit. The one year option would make him a rental and not worth much if they are forced to move him or lose him for nothing next deadline.