Ranger Rumblings: Lettieri to Anaheim & Swedish stars

New York Rangers forward Vinni Lettieri. Mandatory Credit: Brace Hemmelgarn-USA TODAY Sports

There was some overnight action on the free agency front, but not for the New York Rangers

Say goodbye to Vinni Lettieri as the Hartford center was signed by Anaheim. The New York Rangers let him escape to free agency after three years in the organization.  His most notable accomplishment was making the team out of training camp in 2018-19.  New coach David Quinn liked Lettieri’s shoot first style and chose to bring him to the Garden over Lias Andersson and Matt Beleskey..

Lettieri didn’t reward Quinn’s faith in him as he played 16 games by December and scored exactly no goals and had no assists.  He was demoted to Hartford and scored once in two brief recalls to New York.  That was the last he was seen in a Rangers uniform.

A proven AHL scorer, the 25 year old gets a new start in the Ducks organization.  Lettieri was signed as an undrafted free agent out of the University of Minnesota where he was a teammate of Brady Skjei.

Other signings

There were some big signing late Friday as Bruins defenseman Torey Krug inked a seven year, $45 million deal with the St. Louis Blues.  Calgary blueliner T.J. Brodie signed a four year, $20 million deal with the Maple Leafs.  The Flames went out and replaced Brodie with Canucks defenseman Chris Tanev for four years at $18 million. Veteran netminder Corey Crawford of the Blackhawks signed a two year deal with the New Jersey Devils.

The one signing of interest of Ranger fans was Flyers center Derek Grant.  He inked a three year deal with the Anaheim Ducks for an AAV of $1.5 million.  The Ducks had traded Grant to Philadelphia at the deadline so it was a return for him.

Grant had been mentioned as a potential depth center target for the Rangers coming off a 15 goal season and an excellent record in the faceoff circle.  Scratch him off the list.

Star goaltending and an overtime winner in Sweden

Ranger goalie prospect Olof Lindbom is healthy this season and is off to an excellent start with Mora of the Allsvenskan League.  Mora won on the road against Kristianstad 2-1  and LIndbom was one of the stars of the game with 31 saves for a save percentage of .969.   It was  his second win of the season in two starts and has allowed only four goals in the two games.

Newly drafted prospect Oliver Tärnström was back in uniform for the AIK J20 team after one game with AIK in the Allsvenskan League.  He scored his second goal of the season, an overtime power play goal that gave them a 5-4 win over Brynäs IF.   Tärnström, an 18 year old center, was drafted in the third round (#92 overall) earlier this week.

In Liiga action in Finland, one prospect played as KalPa lost 6-3 to Tappara.   Left winger Leevi Altonen played 8:01 and was scoreless though he was on ice for two Tappara goals.  He had two shots on goal and took one minor penalty, a hooking penalty in the second period.

Kalpa has a 1-1-0 record so far this young season.  Altonen is looking for his first point of the season.

TPS Turkiu defeated SaiPa 4-3 , but Lauri Pajuniemi missed the game with a thigh injury that will keep him out for about a month.

In the Mestis League in Finland, Tarmo Reuanan did not play in Tuto’s 5-2 win over FPS.  Tuto had announced that defenseman Reunanen had been loaned to Tuto and would be playing regularly for them.  He is listed on the Tuto Hockey roster and will hopefully see action today when Tuto takes on KOOVEE Tampere.

Adam Huska was not in goal for HKM Zvolen in the Tipos Extraliga in Slovakia as they lost 5-3 to  DUKLA Trenčín.   There’s still no word on Libor Hajek who was supposed to be playing for Olomouc in the Czech Extraliga, but that team is in quarantine for two weeks due to the coronavirus anyway.

There is a full slate of games on Saturday in Russia, Sweden and Finand so a number of Rangers prospects will be in action.