Rangers sign RFA’s Darren Raddysh and Gabriel Fontaine

Gabriel Fontaine after being selected 171st overall by the New York Rangers (Photo by Jeffrey T. Barnes/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers keep getting business done signing two more of their players, both destined for Hartford.

The New York Rangers signed defenseman Darren Raddysh and Forward Gabriel Fontaine to one year contracts for the league minimum of $700k.  Both players were Restricted Free Agents (RFA’s) and getting them under contract means that the only unsigned players on the roster are Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux.

Thursday, the Rangers announced that they had signed Tony DeAngelo and Alwxandar Georgiev to two-year contracts.

Darren Raddysh is a 24 year old right-shot defenseman, the only righthanded defenseman on the roster other than Tony DeAngelo, Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox.  He came over from the Chicago Blackhawks in February 2019 in a trade for Peter Holland.

He has played the last three years in the AHL and after Joey Keane was traded last year, he was the top offensive defenseman on the team with six goals and 28 points.

Gabriel Fontaine was a sixth round draft pick (#171 overall) in 2016. After his career with the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies in he QMJHL, he turned pro and the center has spent the last three seasons in Hartford.

Fontaine missed most of last season after suffering a shoulder injury in a game in early November.  Limited to 13 games, he finished with one goal and four points.  His best season was 2018-19 when he scored 11 goals and added 15 assists in 72 games.

Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux have  both filed for arbitration with Strome’s hearing scheduled for November 5 and Lemieux’s the next day.   Teams try their hardest to avoid going to arbitration and the Rangers have already inked Tony DeAngelo and Alexandar Georgiev, avoiding their hearings scheduled for next week.

The expectation is that the Rangers will get their two remaining RFA’s under contract soon and then they will wait to see how other arbitration hearings and free agency woks out before making any additional roster moves.

Most NHL executives are taking a wait and see attitude and there has been very little activity on the trade front. On Saturday, the Bruins signed their RFA defenseman Matt Grzelcyk, Pittsburgh signed free agent defenseman Cody Ceci of the Maple Leafs and Toronto went out and signed 41-year old forward Joe Thornton.

There had been some chatter on the Rangers rumor front that Thornton would be a good fit for the Blueshirts, but stick a fork in that one.

The big issue confronting the Rangers is Ryan Strome’s contract and his ability to be the second line center the team needs.  You can be sure that is what the team is working on.