The circulating rumors are true, the Rangers confirmed they signed a deal with Lee Stempniak.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 19, 2014
The free agent started last season with the Calgary Flames and finished with the Pittsburgh Penguins after being traded. At 31 years of age, this right-wing doesn’t have a desirable scoring record but what he lacks in goals he makes up for with speed and the ability to shoot right. Something the Rangers could use to their advantage as far as power plays are concerned.
Lee Stempniak has the ability to be a solid player for the Rangers. In the 2006-07 season he recorded 27 goals and 25 assists in 82 games while playing for the St Louis Blues. His stats have since been inconsistent but he did manage four goals and seven assists in the regular season games he played with the Penguins. To further his run, in the Stanley Cup Playoffs he totaled two goals and one assist in 13 of those games. You can see his second period goal during game 1 of the Eastern Conference semi final in the video below. His backhanded shot can be seen around the 2:16 mark.
It is believed but not confirmed that the Rangers offered him one year at $900,000 which would be a significant pay cut from his last signing . His last contract was a 2.5 million dollar deal over a two-year span. Which, if that is the case, he is considered a low risk to the Rangers with the potential for a high reward. Having him sign on with the Rangers would fill the hole created by the loss of Benoit Pouliot. The biggest advantage, I feel, of Stempniak coming to the Rangers line-up is he would be the second right-handed addition for the upcoming season alongside Dan Boyle. It appears he will be a good fit and possibly add a right-sided balance to the team.