Good move by the Blueshirts to Keep Spooner
By Patrick Hoffman
Last season was clearly a mess for the New York Rangers.
They failed to make the playoffs, they got rid of some good players in order to start the rebuild, former head coach Alain Vigneault struggled to get his guys on the same page, and the team was the eighth worst team in the entire National Hockey League.
While those things are obviously all bad, one good thing to come out of it is that the team realized that they need to rebuild and get younger. On July 31, they showed one way that they are sticking to that motto when they signed restricted free agent forward forward Ryan Spooner to a two-year deal at $4 million per season.
He may not be the superstar they need, but after he was traded to the team by the Bruins last season, he came in and did a great job. Between the Blueshirts and the B's last season, Spooner, 26, had 41 points (13 goals and 28 assists).
The numbers above helped him establish career highs in points per game (0.69), plus/minus rating, and average ice time (15:18). It was with the Rangers, however, where he seemed to find his stride.
In 20 games on Broadway, Spooner picked-up 16 points (four goals and 12 assists) and was fun to watch when he burst onto the scene with seven points in his first three games. He has good speed, he drives hard to net, he can clearly set up his teammates, and is someone that can play well if the coach puts him in the right role.
This is a guy who is coming into his prime. As someone who was the 45th overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, Spooner has a lot of untapped potential that new head coach David Quinn should focus on getting out of him.
This deal is a nice pay raise for Spooner as his salary went up $1.15 million. For someone who has yet to establish true consistency in this league, this is pretty much a show me contract.
The Blueshirts believe that Spooner has a lot to offer their club. He was almost a point-per-game player when he joined the team in February and was someone that was used in a variety of roles.
It will now be up to booth Spooner and Quinn to figure out what role suits him best and what role will get the most out of him. If these two can figure this stuff out, the deal will be worth it for all parties involved.
Patrick currently covers the NHL here as well as for WTP Sports.
Has previously covered the NHL for Sportsnet.ca, Kukla’s Korner, Spector’s Hockey, About.com, NHL Network Radio blog, TheHockeyNews.com, The Fourth Period, Stan Fischler’s “The Fischler Report”, as well as a slew of others.