In an interview with LoHud and USA Today, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton said that he did not anticipate needing to make another move in order to get Brendan Lemieux and Tony DeAngelo signed.
DeAngelo and Lemieux are both RFAs but did not have arbitration rights.
Gorton said that there is nothing stopping the Rangers from signing either player and that they are trying to make deals that work “right now, and for the future.” (LoHud and USA Today)
The Rangers sent both players qualifying offers of $874,125 to retain their rights and while neither player accepted that offer, it’s believed that both will end up signing for around that number.
The Rangers currently have $2.985 million in cap space for a 20 player roster that includes Vitali Kravtsov, Lias Andersson and Boo Nieves and has both Brendan Smith and Matt Beleskey in Hartford.
Adding Lemieux and DeAngelo to that roster, at their qualifying offers, would bring the Rangers to 22 players and $1.23 million in cap space.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers have the leverage in these talks and it’s likely that both will sign one-year deals at around their qualifying offers. That leverage flips though next summer when DeAngelo and Lemieux could have arbitration rights. The issue is that having arbitration rights doesn’t do much good if you don’t perform and both Lemieux and DeAngelo saw players join the Rangers this summer that may eat into their ice-times, roles and potential performance.
Lemieux is on the fourth line until Chris Kreider and/or Vlad Namestnikov are moved and even then he may only top-out as a third-liner. DeAngelo’s minutes, especially on the PP, may get eaten by Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox. Both players are likely looking for multi-year, bridge type of deals but the Rangers are unlikely to have much interest in paying for potential in players that may not get the ice time or roles to match it.