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Rangers stay busy, sign d-man Falk: one year, $975,000

Jul 10, 2013, 1:26 PM EST

JustinFalk

Just hours after signing restricted free agent forward Carl Hagelin, the New York Rangers re-upped with another RFA — defenseman Justin Falk.

Falk, acquired at the 2013 NHL Entry Draft from Minnesota, has signed a one-year, $975,000 deal, according to Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

Falk, 24, has solidified himself as an everyday NHL player during the last two seasons. He played in most of the 2013 regular season (36 games), although his ice time plummeted from 19:30 minutes per game in 2011-12 to just 13:13 last season.

The Wild were looking to trim salary this summer and Falk’s presence on the blueline diminished last season with the addition of Ryan Suter and emergence of Jonas Brodin.

Falk’s best season came in 2011-12, when he played a career-high 47 games and racked up a career-high nine points.

With the move, the Rangers now have eight defensemen under contract for next season — Falk, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Michael Del Zotto, Anton Stralman, John Moore and Aaron Johnson.

  1. barkar942 - Jul 10, 2013 at 3:57 PM

    Bye Bye DelZ? Off to Edmonton for a first round pick?

    • DED - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      Yeah, I agree. While he led team defensemen in scoring, McD was right behind him this year. And it’s obvious from that signing the other day that they value McD over Del Zotto.

      Del Zotto is young and has talent. He’s 23 with 250 NHL games (and 110 points) under his belt. I’m sure there are plenty of teams willing to trade a draft pick for him.

    • stakex - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:24 PM

      The Rangers don’t need to get rid of Del Zotto, and likely have no plans to. Aaron Johnson probably isn’t going to make the team. He’s simply a depth player the Rangers can call up if they have injuries. After that Falk, Moore, and Stralman will probably battle for the bottom two defense slots.

      Now the thing I keep hearing is “But the cap!, think of the cap!” which comes from people simply looking at CapGeek and assuming that’s all the cap space a team will have. The Rangers however, will have four extra players on the roster once they re-sign Stepan. We already know they have no plans for Powe and Asham since they were waived, and again… Johnson will likely not make the team. That’s at least $2.4 million in additional cap space if they all go to the minors, and $2.6 million if Asham and Powe are traded/claimed. The Ranges could also get another $900k once they get down to six defensemen.

      So once you factor that in, and the Rangers don’t have to be under the cap until AFTER camp, they have over $6 million to re-sign Stepan. Plenty, and no reason to get rid of Del Zotto.

      • DED - Jul 10, 2013 at 8:35 PM

        Who said that they needed to trade Del Zotto? Bark & I just feel that the Falk signing means that the Rangers will do it. It certainly would make Sather’s job easier and, IMO, it seems like something he’d do given his past behavior.

        Zuccarello just went to arbitration. In the PHT article about this year’s list, it states “a team cannot walk away from an arbitration award under $3.5 million in the new CBA.” So let’s say they give Zucc $1.5 million (double what he’s making now), that doesn’t help. And if it’s more…

        And what are the new rules of regular waivers as far as cap hits? I honestly don’t know. I tried to find out but couldn’t. Both Asham and Powe were put on regular, not unconditional, waivers. I’m not too optimistic that Powe will get picked up because… well, he didn’t do anything that contributes to the bottom line: meaning points. He only had 18 SOG, not surprising for a 4th liner who got no ice time. But didn’t he have an injury too? And Asham is 35. He’ll might still get picked up provided a team appreciates what he does. But the big question is: what if they don’t?

        You’re probably right regarding Johnson, but a lot of people are harping on McIlrath making the team this year. [shrug] But who knows. Besides he’s a $1.3 million cap hit. I don’t know that the Rangers will go with 6 defensemen given Staal’s history but October is a long ways off.

        So right now they’ve got $3.3 mil of cap. We’ll see what happens.

      • stakex - Jul 10, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        Well the only talk of Del Zotto being traded has revolved around the Rangers cap crunch, so I just assumed you meant they had to move someone and DZ was the likely candidate. My bad.

        I still think it would be a bad idea for the to move him. While him and McD were close in points last year, Del Zotto really is the Rangers best offensive defensemen… and with them likely going with a more offensive minded system he seems likely to be a key player for that. Not to mention that while the Rangers now have some depth on defense, I’m not sure they have anyone else ready to jump into a full time role as a top 4 defensemen. Stralman and Moore might be a gamble for the Rangers.

        Now if Zuccarello gets $1.5 million that’s probably fine. The Rangers could fit that and Stepan in under the cap once they trim the roster because don’t forget, they already have 13 forwards and only need 12. So if they end up keeping Zuccarello, that’s yet another player they can remove from the roster one way or another and save some more cap space. If he gets much more then that, then yes its going to be a huge issue… but lets face it, Zuccarello has only played in 67 NHL games and has just 11 goals. If he gets more then $1.5 million I’d be shocked.

        As for the waivers rules, I don’t know how everything works. I do know that if no one picks them up the Rangers can stick them in the minors and take $925k (min NHL salary + $375k) of their $1 million cap hit off the books making each of their cap hits $75,000. Beyond that I don’t know the little ins and outs.

  2. jaredo10 - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:11 PM

    How about MDZ , ZUCC AND A PICK TO EDMONTON FOR HALL

    • DED - Jul 10, 2013 at 4:30 PM

      Rangers can’t afford Hall’s contract.

    • dku5 - Jul 10, 2013 at 6:02 PM

      ..And Zuccarello is a RFA, and the Rangers have 13 forwards. Trade Del Zotto and add Asham or Krieder and MAYBE you could find a deal for Hall, but I doubt it.

  3. DED - Jul 10, 2013 at 10:29 PM

    @stakex

    Re: Regular Waivers. Oh that’s not much at all. That would work.

    Re: Zuccarello. Does the league have some kind of formula for arbitration? They seem to for just about everything else when it comes to money (suspensions, not so much).

    Re: Del Zotto. Look, I hope you’re right. I’d rather not lose Del Zotto. He gets a bit better each year and I still think he can be a top player in the league. And I don’t see the new signings being better than him and I don’t know if McIlrath is ready to make the leap from the AHL. But hockey is still a business and I can see Sather looking at the numbers and making that calculation, especially if Zuccarello puts him in a squeeze.

  4. damnllama - Jul 11, 2013 at 5:08 PM

    At Days End Isnt All This Cap Talk Going To Be Contingent On Lunquist Signing Or Not?

    Argument.Abounds Whether To Keep Him OR Not. Imo Keeping Him And Still Having Awful Power Play And Low Goal Totals May Not Pay.?

  5. damnllama - Jul 11, 2013 at 6:38 PM

    How about some no lead power play, carry in and set up? Anyone avail?

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