Players’ Player Award & a new deal for Ryan Lindgren

Chris Drury got right to work in his new role as New York Rangers President and General Manager, announcing that the Blueshirts had inked Ryan Lindgren to a three year deal worth a reported $3 million a year. It’s a smart move and is just the beginning as Lindgren was just one of 13 Restricted Free Agents (RFA’s) that need to be signed.

It means that Lindgren will  be under contract at a team-friendly rate through the 2023-24 season at which point he will be a RFA again and eligible for arbitration.

Lindgren spoke about his new contract, saying  “Obviously it means  a lot. I love it here, love my teammates, love the staff, love the city. especially the fans are so passionate…very excited to be coming back.”

Actually, there was no doubt that he would be coming back.  Lindgren had established himself as a top pair defenseman as Adam Fox‘s partner and was valued for his toughness.  He seemed to be bloodied in every game and was sidelined for the last five games of season when he slammed into a stanchion at Madison Square Garden while throwing a big check at Cal Clutterbuck of the Islanders.

He was a RFA with no arbitration rights so the Rangers could have played hardball and signed him for less and a shorter term.  By giving him the pay raise and the longer term, they are making a statement about how much they want him to be part of the Rangers’ future.  If anything, it would have been better to get the 23-year-old on an even longer deal.  While the Blueshirts didn’t reveal the financials, it was reported by

Lindgren said that he will be going back to Minnesota and will work on getting “bigger and stronger”  and be working on improving his skating and puck handling.

The Players’ Player

The team also announced that Lindgren had been named the recipient of the Players’ Player Award, as voted by his teammates.  He is the first new winner in six years as Jesper Fast was honored the last five seasons. 

The award is given to the player “who best exemplifies what it means to be a team player” and it is significant as it comes from his fellow Rangers.

Lindgren called it “a huge honor, having guys on the team vote for it. Obviously there’s a lot of guys that could easily have won this award, but I’m very honored, it means a lot to me. Very cool to having won that.”

The speed with which Drury closed this deal indicates that he might have been handling some of the contract negotiations already in his prior role as Associate General Manager.  Drury has lot on his shoulders with the Rangers’ coaching situation and their need for a first line center still unresolved.

It’s going to be a  busy summer for the Rangers.