Rangers Report Cards: Ryan Lindgren: A+ (A)
Lindgren sure had his ups and downs! The guy’s defense was sparkling like a disco ball, but the injury bug decided to crash his party. On February 25th, T.J. Oshie from the Washington Capitals gave him a hit that would make even a superhero wince. Lindgren was absent for the next few weeks, and it showed. In terms of offense, Lindgren wasn’t exactly setting the ice on fire.
He scored about as many goals as a penguin trying to play hopscotch. That said, his goal and 17
assists accumulated to a career-high 18 points. He also did manage to pull off a jaw-dropping goal in the playoffs. Maybe he was practicing his fancy moves for Dancing on Ice?
Believe it or not, Lindgren wasn’t even supposed to be a defenseman! Can you imagine that? According to the New York Post, He showed up to high school tryouts in 2011 as a forward, but Coach LaFontaine put him on the blue line. Best mistake ever, Coach. Lindgren’s defense was an instrumental part of Shattuck-St. Mary’s winning the 2014 Tier I Boys 18 and Under National Championship.
Lindgren then went to the USNTDP in Michigan, playing with Charlie McAvoy, Auston Matthews, Clayton Keller, and his current Rangers teammate Adam Fox. Captain Lindgren led the U.S. Under-18 Men’s National Team in 2016.
Then, in 2017, he helped the USA Junior team win gold at the World Juniors and grabbed a bronze a year later.
Lafonte’s mistake and Lindgren’s hard work have catapulted him onto the NHL path. And since he came to Broadway from the Boston Bruins in the Rick Nash trade in 2018 and made his NHL debut in 2019, he’s become Madison Square Garden’s rent-paying tenant, impressing everyone with blocked shots, bloodied faces, and the occasional goal that makes the crowd go wild.
That said, Lindgren’s injury history is longer than a Shakespeare play. His aggressive style of play has brought a myriad of injuries. It’s why he’s never played an entire regular season.
Lindgren’s contract will need some negotiation skills worthy of a diplomat. The 25-year-old is a restricted free agent next Summer and has outplayed his current $3 million salary. He deserves increased pay and a long-term pact. However, would it be worth it for the Rangers to give in? Let’s not spoil the fun of talking about contracts now. We’ll save that for another day.