With the New York Rangers up against the cap, it was extremely unlikely they would make a big splash in the first day of free-agency.
Instead, the Rangers chose to replenish the depth in their organization, signing forwards Viktor Stalberg, Brian Gibbons, Jayson Megna, and Matt Lindblad, while also signing ex-Rangers defenseman Raphael Diaz to be the team’s seventh defenseman.
The Rangers signings yesterday were minor, but the message spoke volumes…Oscar Lindberg, will be ready for the show next season
These signings aren’t sexy, and, quite honestly, you might not have even heard about them. But what they do mean is that one of the Rangers top prospects, Oscar Lindberg, will be ready for the show next season.
Lindberg only appeared in one game last season. He saw very limited ice-time, not allowing fans to see his game. The Swedish center, who seems destined to be an excellent top-nine or bottom-six forward in the NHL, is 23 years old and is almost a ‘shoe-in’ to make the opening roster out of training camp.
In 75 games with the Hartford Wolfpack, Lindberg had 28 goals and 56 points. He also went on a tear in the playoffs, recording 16 points in 15 games. Here is what Hockey’s Future, had to say about Lindberg’s talent:
"“Lindberg has an excellent work ethic and plays well in all zones. A true center, with very good on-ice awareness, Lindberg has good playmaking abilities, and tends to step up play in big games.”"
The players picked up by the Rangers yesterday, particularly Gibbons, Megna, and Lindblad, are likely to help out at the AHL-level with the Hartford Wolfpack, with the potential to be injury fill-ins. This is the reason why Lindberg will be a prime candidate to make the team out of training camp.
New York Rangers
Currently, the Rangers third-line is a mess.
They don’t want to slide Dominic Moore up to that spot, as he is clearly a great fourth-line player who, in spurts, can move up the lineup as a winger. But we all know Moore is better suited as a fourth liner.
So that means the third-line center spot is up for grabs. Aside from Lindberg, there is no real threat to take that spot. A third line of him centering Emerson Etem and J.T. Miller seems like a real possibility, and would be an excellent line for the Rangers.
With the Rangers limited cap-space, they will need to look within to plug some of the holes in their lineup right now. There is no big-money free-agent on the way right now And honestly, that might be the best thing for them. Giving the Rangers prospects a chance to play is the only way they get better. If the Rangers want to have sustained success, they will have to get production from their kids.
The Rangers signings yesterday were minor, but the message spoke volumes. Lindberg is ready for the NHL, and he will be on the ice for opening night, centering the third line.
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