Adam Fox

Adam Fox is a finalist for the Norris Trophy

The NHL has announced that Adam Fox is a finalist for the Norris Trophy which is awarded “to the defense player who demonstrates throughout the season the greatest all-round ability in the position.”

The award is voted on by the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

From the NHL:

  • Playing in his second NHL season, Fox ranked among the top defensemen in assists (1st; 42), points (2nd; 47), power-play assists (2nd; 21), takeaways (3rd; 38) and power-play points (3rd; 23) across 55 contests.
2020-21 Rangers Adam Fox Ryan Lindgren

Adam Fox named Rangers Team MVP

The Rangers have announced that Adam Fox has been named Team MVP and Ryan Lindgren was named the winner of the Players’ Player Award and.

From the Rangers:

  • The Most Valuable Player Award was voted on by members of the New York Rangers media and has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1941-42 season.
  • Fox has won the award for the first time in his career. He is the first Ranger who has won the award in one of his first two seasons in the NHL since Henrik Lundqvist in 2006-07, and the first Rangers skater who has done so since Brian Leetch in 1988-89.
  • Fox, who also won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award in 2020-21, became the seventh Ranger to be named the Team’s MVP (as chosen by the media) and to receive the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award (as chosen by the fans) since 1987-88, which was the first year the Steven McDonald Extra Award was presented. He joins Adam Graves (1992-93 and 1993-94), Mark Messier (1994-95 and 1995-96), Leetch (1996-97), Wayne Gretzky (1997-98), Lundqvist (2017-18), and Mika Zibanejad (2018-19) as the only players to win both awards in the same season.

Artemi Panarin received the second-most votes for the award this season.

From the Rangers on Fox:

  • Fox skated in 55 games with the Rangers this season, registering five goals and 42 assists for 47 points, along with a plus-19 rating and 14 penalty minutes.
  • He led the Rangers in numerous categories this season, including assists, average ice time (24:42), and blocked shots (102).
  • Fox became the fourth defenseman in franchise history to average at least 0.75 assists per game in a season (min. 10 games played), joining Brian Leetch (four times), Brad Park, and Sergei Zubov, and he became the first Rangers defenseman to do so since Leetch in 1995-96.
  • Fox also became the eighth defenseman in franchise history to average at least 0.85 points per game in a season (min. 10 games played), joining Leetch (nine times), Park (four times), Ron Greschner (four times), Zubov (twice), Reijo Ruotsalainen (twice), James Patrick (twice), and Barry Beck, and he became the first Rangers defenseman to do so since Leetch in 2000-01.
  • Fox posted a career-high 12-game point streak from Mar. 17 vs. Philadelphia to Apr. 8 vs. Pittsburgh, and the point streak was tied for the fifth-longest by a defenseman in franchise history.
  • His 42 assists and 47 points this season were each the most by a Rangers defenseman at 23 years old or younger since Sergei Zubov in 1993-94.

Adam Rotter: Fox was the Rangers best player this season and really the only choice. He was their most consistent player, despite ending the season on a six-game pointless streak, and never really wavered despite all the minutes he was playing night to night. He’s going to be, or at least should be, a finalist for the Norris Trophy and this past season is hopefully Fox just scratching the surface. He’ll be even better equipped to play those big minutes night to night next season and just better overall as he goes from a second-year player to a third-year player. We know that the Rangers have held off naming a captain since Ryan McDonagh is traded and that the thought had always been that Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad were the leading candidates, with mentions of Jacob Trouba and the possibility that they were ultimately holding it for Alexis Lafreniere, but I think Fox has to be right up there in consideration.

The Players’ Player Award which “has been given annually since the conclusion of the 1958-59 season and recognizes the Ranger who, as selected by his teammates, “best exemplifies what it means to be a team player.”

Jesper Fast had won the award the prior five seasons.

Lindgren is the first defenseman to win the award since Ryan McDonagh in 2013-14 and is only the fourth different defenseman to win the award in the past 30 seasons (Jason Strudwick 2007-08, Brian Leetch 2000-01 to 2003-04).

From the Rangers:

  • Lindgren skated in 51 games with the Rangers this season, registering one goal and 15 assists for 16 points, along with a plus-20 rating and 35 penalty minutes.
  • He established career-highs in several categories in 2020-21, including assists, points, plus/minus rating, and hits (98), and he led the team in plus/minus rating this season. Lindgren was one of only three Rangers who recorded 90 or more hits and 50 or more blocked shots this season.
  • At the time he suffered an upper-body injury on Apr. 29, he was one of only four Rangers (and the only defenseman) who played in each of the team’s first 51 games of the 2020-21 season.
  • Lindgren ranked second on the Rangers in average shorthanded ice time this season (2:30), and he ranks fifth in the NHL (min. 115:00 of shorthanded ice time) in power play goals against per 60 minutes of shorthanded ice time in 2020-21 (4.22).
  • He was not on the ice for a power play goal against in 20 consecutive games from Jan. 24 at Pittsburgh to Mar. 9 at Pittsburgh (51:30 of shorthanded ice time over the span).

Adam Rotter: Lindgren will always be overshadowed on his defense, by his partner if Fox, by K’Andre Miller, Jacob Trouba and probably Zac Jones, Braden Schneider and Nils Lundkvist, for a variety of reasons, but like Dan Girardi before him, he’s plays the tough minutes, always has multiple stitches or a black eye and he must really be hurt if he isn’t in the lineup. He, and Jacob Trouba, provide a lot of the toughness that the Rangers were missing last week and it’s nice that his teammates recognize him for that with this award.

Brendan Smith was named the winner of the “John Halligan Good Guy Award” that  “recognizes a player for their cooperation with the media throughout the season.”

Adam Rotter: Since the moment he arrived from Detroit Smith has never been afraid to speak after games or practices and be accountable for what happened. I think you could argue him for the Players’ Player Award as well and I think he accepted his role as a mentor and leader on these young teams and the Rangers will miss him if he isn’t re-signed.

2020-21 Rangers Adam Fox Pavel Buchnevich

Adam Fox and Pavel Buchnevich on Covid list

6:55PM: The lines for tonight are (MSG):

  • Kreider, Zibanejad, Kakko
  • Panarin, Strome, Blackwell
  • Lafreniere, Chytil, Gauthier
  • Lemieux, Rooney, Howden
    • Miller, Trouba
    • Lindgren, Hajek
    • Reunanen, Brendan Smith
Adam Fox

Adam Fox NOT a Calder Trophy Finalist

4:49PM: On not being a Calder finalist, Fox said (NYR):

  • “Didn’t really feel too much, obviously it’s nice to be possibly be recognized for it and having your name in the conversation is special. It’s not something I set out to do at the start of the year. A lot of great players, not any disappointment really.”
  • Does it put a competitive chip on your shoulder, “I guess, maybe, it’s just people’s opinions, it’s not up to me to decide. I’m confident in the way that I play, just trying to help the team during the season and going into the playoff is my focus. The recognition is nice here and there but it’s not what I set out for.”
  • On his season, “for me, I just wanted to come in and make an impact. Leaving college, I thought I was ready to make the jump. There were learning curves along the way. For me, I know what I can do with the puck, it’s more away from the puck and as the year went on I got more comfortable with pace and more comfortable with guys on the team. As the season went along I grew as a player and progressed myself and felt good at the end of the year for sure.”

12:37PM: Adam Fox is not a finalist for the 2020 Calder Trophy.

Quinn Hughes of Vancouver, Cale Makar of Colorado and Domimik Kubalik of Chicago are the nominees.

The Calder Trophy is voted on the PHWA.

Fox ranked fifth in points for rookies, behind Hughes, Makar, Kubalik and Buffalo’s Victor Olofsson.

Adam Fox

What the Rangers are getting in defenseman Adam Fox

The Rangers have announced that Adam Fox, acquired on Tuesday, has signed his entry-level contract.

Rangers GM Jeff Gorton calls Fox a “highly skilled player” that can “really move the puck” and “run a power play.” (Newsday)

Gorton said that the Rangers view Fox as someone that is “pretty close” to being NHL ready. (The Athletic)

Chris Drury told The Athletic that Fox is “really, really good” and brings “elite hockey sense.”

Harvard head coach Ted Donato said that Fox is “underrated defensively” and called him one of the best players to ever play for Harcard. (

Corey Pronman of The Athletic ranked Fox 4th on Carolina’s list of prospects before the season and wrote that he makes “difficult offensive plays seem routine and can control a shift with his vision and offensive instincts.”

Pronman ranked Fox 16th in his 2017-18 midseason prospect list, 64th in his list heading into 2018-19 and 44th in his 2018-19 midseason rankings, writing that he is an “incredibly smart player” with a “ton of poise and patience.”

Craig Button of TSN had Fox ranked 12th on his prospect list from January.

The 2016-17 Sports Forecaster ranked Fox as Carolina’s 18th best prospect, the 2017-18 issue ranked him Carolina’s 5th best prospect and the 2018-19 issue ranked him as Carolina’s 11th best prospect.

Chris Peters ranked him 30th overall in his prospect list and wrote before the NCAA tournament that Fox has “elite vision and has really improved his puck management in three years with the Crimson.” (ESPN)

Carolina GM Don Waddell said last year, during the Hurricanes’ development camp, that Fox was “one of the premier defensemen” not yet in the NHL. (News Observer)

Billy Jaffe said that Fox is a “hell of a player” and he has worked on his skating and shot. “I don’t think he is as powerful a skater but he is shifty and smart and elusive. He’s a pro, Ted Donato loves him and says he is an absolute stud and sometimes had 2-3 guys on him and still put up those numbers.” (NHL Network)

Fox was recently ranked as Carolina’s seco”nd best prospect and 30th prospect overall by The Hockey News Future Watch issue.

They wrote “Fox was the key piece to the blockbuster that saw the Hurricanes acquire Dougie Hamilton and Micheal Ferland. They wouldn’t have done it without getting Fox, because they see him as an elite right-shot PP ace who is already skating, thinking and playing at an NHL level. There have been questions about whether Fox will sign or play one more year at Harvard and then become a UFA, but the Hurricanes are confident they can get his name on a contract.”

Last year Fox was ranked as Calgary’s second best prospect and 52nd overall and The Hockey News wrote, “an excellent passer with good vision, Fox has another attribute that the Flames love: “he has an elite brain,” GM Brad Treliving said. “He has so much poise and patience.” At the WJC, Fox led US defensemen in points and the team in ice time, providing proof his all-around game has evolved from being a power play specialist. His size makes it obvious he must develop strength. “He skates as fast as he needs to, ” Treliving said. “He doesn’t have to beat you by three strides, he just has to bear you by one.”

In the 2017 Future Watch issue, Fox was ranked as Calgary’s sixth best prospect with them saying, “smart, offensively gifted defenseman flourishing in his freshman year.”

Adam Fox

What acquiring Adam Fox means for the Rangers on defense

With their acquisition and expected signing of defenseman Adam Fox, the Rangers will add another under-22 defenseman to the organization.

Fox joins a group of right shot defensemen that include Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith, Tony DeAngelo and Neal Pionk.

Shattenkirk ($6.65 million) and Smith ($4.35 million) are both signed for two-more seasons while DeAngelo and Pionk are RFAs.

On the left side the Rangers have Marc Staal, Brady Skjei, Libor Hajek and Freddy Claesson in the NHL and Ryan Lindgren in Hartford.

Staal ($5.7 million) has two-more years on his contract, Skjei ($5.25 million) has five-years, Hajek and Lindgren have two-more years on their entry-level contracts and Claesson is an RFA.

  • Staal has a no-move clause
  • Shattenkirk has a no-move and modified no-trade
  • Smith has a modified no-trade

If the Rangers were to buy out the final two-years of Shattenkirk and/or Smith and/or Staal’s contracts the cap hits would be:

  • 2019-20: Smith $970,3833 | Shattenkirk $1.483 million | Staal $2.9 million
  • 2020-21: Smith: $3.145 million | Shattenkirk $6.083 million | $3.7 million
  • 2021-22: Smith: $1.45 million | Shattenkirk $1.433 million | $1.2 million
  • 2022-23: Smith: $1.45 million | Shattenkirk $1.433 million | $1.2 million

Larry Brooks writes in the NY Post that the Rangers will “almost certainly” attempt to trade Shattenkirk this summer and would be willing to eat up to 50% of his contract. (NY Post)

Brooks says that the Rangers attempted to do the same at the trade deadline but only had “nibbles” from teams looking to shed an onerous contract. (NY Post)

John Gilmour and Rob O’Gara are both slated to be UFAs this summer.

2018 first round picks K’Andre Miller and NIls Lundkvist are not expected to be with the organization next season.

Yegor Rykov, who was acquired for Michael Grabner in 2018, could potentially come to North America for next season.

Prospects Brandon Crawley and Sean Day both have one year left on their entry-level deals.

Adam Rotter: The Rangers carried and rotated eight defensemen for most of this past season and it could be easy to see them do the same next season. Which eight though will play itself out over the summer and in training camp. I’m not sure if the Rangers are going to buy anyone out but Brendan Smith would probably be the most likely candidate. He doesn’t necessarily deserve to be bought out based upon how he played up front and on defense but if the Rangers are unable to move him and retain salary a buyout is certainly possible. With the need for veterans on defense and his standing as the second longest tenured Ranger I think Marc Staal will return.

Then there is Kevin Shattenkirk who fits the bill of a veteran but also someone who needs the same kind of minutes and PP time to succeed that Tony DeAngelo, Neal Pionk and Adam Fox would need as well on the right side. Shattenkirk has some protection that can influence where he goes in a trade but there should be a bigger market for him this summer, when teams have more cap space, than at the deadline. It would be a bit of a complex trade to make, with finding a team Shattenkirk would go to and absorbing salary and other assets but one the Rangers are likely going to investigate.

Libor Hajek was very impressive in his brief tenure before getting hurt, Tony DeAngelo progressed in a big way and, if healthy, Neal Pionk has shown to be a capable NHLer so far. Hajek, Fox and Lindgren all can go to Hartford without waivers, and that has an impact but the Rangers will start the year with the players who earn it in training camp and make adjustments along the way.