Recapping the Rangers Signings Last Week
After trading one of the members of their core and acquiring Zibanejad, the Rangers had some decisions to make. As Chris Kreider's and Kevin Hayes arbitration hearings were right around the corner, the Rangers were questioning whether to move Kreider or Hayes for an elite defender (Kevin Shattenkirk), or keep them for a reasonable price. Well the Rangers chose the later on both guys and I couldn't be happier.
As the Rangers and Kreider were about to head through the doors to arbitration, the Rangers and Kreids found a deal minutes before the hearing. Kreider got a reasonable 4 year 18.5 million dollar contract. With an AAV of 4.625 mil, this is a great deal. Not being overpaid, and he still has something to prove. Am I still waiting for Kreids to have his breakout season. 21 goals back to back years for a guy with his speed and size is not enough. This guy can have 40 goals in a season if he put his mind to it. The only thing you can argue about is the contract only being 4 years, but that's okay nothing is ever perfect.
As for Kevin Hayes, he also got a very reasonable deal. Hayes signed a bridge deal, 2 years at 5.2 mil with an AAV of 2.6. He obviously wasn't going to get the same amount of money as Kreids due to his lack of production from this season compared to his rookie season, and also his minimal time in the league. This is a contract for Hayes to prove that he's a first or second line center in the NHL. For a big man, he's got the hands and hockey smarts to be real effective. Only downside is that for a 6'5 player I don't think he's laid a finger on anyone. God forbid he hit just one person to make a play.
Overall, GM Jeff Gorton has done a solid job retooling this Rangers team. Acquiring solid speed and penalty kill guys for the bottom six, resign their key players to reasonable contract, getting younger, and even freeing up some cap space for some wiggle room. There's not much more I can ask for at this point besides trading Rick Nash.
Only time will tell what Jeff Gorton does next.