No big news to report for the Rangers just yet. I’m sure that won’t be the case all summer. Although if Scott Howson continues with his ridiculous demands (Skinner? Really?), that news won’t involve Rick Nash anytime soon.
But that doesn’t mean there wasn’t any news today. Remember during prospect camp I said to keep an eye on the invitees? Well at least one impressed the Rangers brass. Forward Kyle Jean signed his first pro contract today. Andrew Gross had this to say about Jean on the last day of prospect camp:
“And then there’s Jean, heading into his junior season at Lake Superior State and who might have done the best job out of anyone at camp in convincing the Rangers to offer him a contract.
Jean said Rangers’ amateur scout Larry Bernard followed him during the season and extended an invitation to attend the prospects camp…
“This is a new experience for me, I’m just trying to take it all in and have fun with it,” said Jean, 22, a 6-4, 203-pound free agent. “I feel good. I play college hockey but this game is different. College hockey is run and gun and kill somebody. Here, you make more smart plays. I like that. I think I need a couple of more years in college for development but I don’t know, we’ll see.””
I expect he will spend the year in Connecticut but nothing wrong with shoring up the pipeline. Plus I never doubt the Rangers scouting staff.
Later in the day, the Rangers lost another member of the 2011-2012 team as Ruslan Fedotenko signed a one year deal with the Flyers. I can’t say I’m surprised to see Feds go. He’s a great veteran presence both on the bench and in the locker room plus his playoff numbers (7-0 in game 7′s) are unreal, but there really was no spot for him on the roster. The signing of Taylor Pyatt confirmed it. Good luck in Philly, Feds! Sorry you won’t be winning the Cup next year
And finally, a piece of news that did surprise me – D Anton Stralman filed for arbitration today. Listening to his quotes on break-up day, I thought for sure he was headed back to Sweden. Guess after talking with his family he had a change of heart. With the filing, Stralman is guaranteed a contract with the Rangers for at least next season. Obviously he could sign before the hearing which could make the contract longer. Or the Rangers could refuse the arbitration decision meaning he would become a UFA, but I don’t expect that to happen.
Michael Del Zotto, our other RFA defenseman, did not file for arbitration. Thank goodness! I was worried he would take the Dubinsky route. **UPDATE** Someone (i.e. me) did not do their research. Del Zotto is not eligible for arbitration due to the fact that he does not have four NHL seasons yet hence the reason he did not file for it. Sorry about that!
Either way, guess our defense will look very similar to last year. Fine by me.