Many people were upset and strongly disagreed with this trade, mainly because Hagelin is a locker room favorite who is close friends with most Rangers teammates.
But economically, the trade makes a lot of sense.
Carl Hagelin, who has arbitration rights, is a RFA that made $2.4 million last year, so to qualify him, it would’ve taken at least $3.5 million. Etem does not have arbitration rights and is coming out of his entry level deal, so qualifying him would only take $850,500. The few million dollar difference doesn’t seem like a lot, but with only $12 million to spend on impending RFAs and UFAs, it clears up valuable cap room. Also, Etem is 23-years old, as opposed to Hagelin who is 26, and his potential salary is much higher.
Here’s what Pete Jensen, NHL.com fantasy hockey writer had to say:
While on paper it seems like Anaheim won this deal, whenever Etem does play in the NHL, he’s been stuck on the 4th line due to a stacked team Even then, he still finds ways to contribute when he can.
Hagelin is very speedy, and the Rangers locker room loves him, but he’s just not worth upwards of $4 million in the Rangers’ current cap situation.
We also saw Talbot getting traded to Edmonton for picks and Ryan Haggerty leaving the Hartford Wolf Pack in exchange for Blackhawks’ goaltender Antti Raanta.
Glen Sather held on for too long. There were reports of offers for Talbot including a 1st round pick, as well as offers including two second round picks, both of which were turned down.
New York Islanders GM Garth Snow jumped on the opportunity and grabbed the 16th and the 33rd overall picks from Edmonton in exchange for Griffin Reinhart. It was a great swap for the Islanders because they have an abundance of defensive prospects, and they got 2 great picks in return, the same two picks that were rumored to be going to the Rangers. Sather still got a decent return, but it could’ve been a lot better.
Regardless, Sather’s next move overrode the hiccup in Talbot.
When the Rangers first signed undrafted forward Ryan Haggerty, he looked like he was going to be a solid forward of the future. But this season’s been anything but in the AHL for Haggerty. On occasions, he was a healthy scratch for the Wolf Pack, and it didn’t seem like he was impressing too many people either.
New York Rangers
In return, the Rangers acquired Antti Raanta, who many fans say is good enough to be a starter for many teams in the NHL. At 26-years old, he is 20-8-5 with a 2.41 goals-against average and .912 save percentage in 39 career NHL games. This will give MacKenzie Skapski some time to get back into form following his surgery that has sidelined him until November, and possibly give him one more year as an AHL starter. Henrik Lundqvist and Raanta could potentially be the best goaltending tandem in the NHL.
Rangers made moves that bettered the team in the long run, instead of focusing on trying to make the popular decisions. The Blueshirts will be absolutely fine come October, as they once again begin the battle for the Stanley Cup.
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