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Rangers sign Lee Stempniak — one year, $900,000

Jul 19, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT

Lee Stempniak Getty Images

The New York Rangers may have their third line figured out at last.

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers have signed forward Lee Stempniak to a one-year contract worth $900,000. Stempniak ended last season with the Pittsburgh Penguins and had 12 goals and 34 points overall with the Pens and Calgary Flames.

Update (10:30 a.m. ET): Andrew Gross of Ranger Rants says the deal isn’t done, but it’s being worked on. Provided something wacky doesn’t happen, you can bet he’ll be in New York.)

Update (1:04 p.m. ET): The Rangers made the signing official via Twitter.

Stempniak joins former Penguins teammate, and Dartmouth College alum, Tanner Glass in New York. Both players had less-than great performances against the Rangers in the postseason but will now hope to help them get back there next season.

Signing the 31-year-old Stempniak serves as a replacement for Benoit Pouliot who signed with Edmonton on July 1. Throw Stempniak on the right side of recently signed Matthew Lombardi and put Mats Zuccarello on the left and now the Rangers appear to have their new third line squared away.

  1. milkmemalkin - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:07 AM

    Let the rats eat the leftovers. This scrub wouldn’t even make this years 4th line in Pittsburgh.

    • penguins87and71 - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:26 AM

      What are you talking about? The Penguins can barely fill out their 2 bottom lines! Lee Stempniak would look good on the Penguins roster right about now, especially for only 900k.

      • jpelle82 - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:02 AM

        there’s plenty of guys to fill the bottom 2 lines once spaling and sutter are signed

        dupuis Crosby kunitz
        Bennett malkin hornquist
        megna sutter downie
        adams goc comeau

        spaling in there somewhere, maybe in megna’s spot

        sill is a solid bottom six defensive forward
        ebbett can plug and play anywhere

        you can bet they will work the waiver wire or pick up another taylor pyatt type guy come early October but its not as bleak as you make it out to be

        I will agree though for 900k, you would think they could’ve gotten him onto the 23 man roster somehow….unless he pissed someone off or vice versa. the pens and bylsma certainly gave him every opportunity to be worth more than 900k, he just didn’t do it.

    • flyerspsu - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:07 PM

      hes a troll …

  2. penguins87and71 - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:14 AM

    I don’t get it I really don’t. The Penguins should have signed him! Isn’t this the kind of player that the Penguins want? This guy is skilled and brings grit. He performed well with the Penguins last year. The Rangers got a pretty good player.

    • claudegirwho - Jul 19, 2014 at 12:08 PM

      Geeze did you buy his jersey or something last year? He wasn’t really any good last year had a shining moment or two but looked slow and didn’t really fit in. We don’t need a guy like that on the third or fourth line.

      • penguins87and71 - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:49 PM

        Look at his numbers last year with the Flames and the Penguins,12 Goals, 22 A, and 34 points. He did have a -16 plus/minus rating, but that’s because he played most of the season with the Calgary Flames. I’d take that on a team that doesn’t have many scoring forwards on the bottom two lines. At least he would add some scoring depth to the third line. I would have signed him at that price.

      • claudegirwho - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:47 PM

        All that matters is his numbers with the pens last season they got a long enough look at him to even say 900,000 is too much for this guy. Trust ownership they know way more about these guys then we do.

      • claudegirwho - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:38 PM

        3 points in 13 playoff games for stempniak.

    • steelpenbucs87 - Jul 19, 2014 at 5:24 PM

      No, they didn’t. His production away from Crosby was terrible – negative possession stats across the board. $900K for Stemp is a fine price, but he’s a very replaceable player.

      • penguins87and71 - Jul 19, 2014 at 6:41 PM

        If they can replace him then great, but no one the bottom two lines are going to be able to score goals again this year. I’m not calling Stempniak the best player in the world, because his not. I would have just liked to see him back in a Penguins jersey, because he would have made the Penguins forward depth deeper and would have put some goals into the net. These Penguins in my opinion are going to be a lot different this year then Penguins teams in the past. I think the Penguins will have to probably win most or their games 2-1, or 3-2. They dont have the offensive power this year like the teams they have had in the past.

  3. stepanup - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:37 AM

    Yes! Big fan of his. Kind of 3rd liner I want, he does a little bit of everything, including being on the PP.

    • c9castine - Jul 19, 2014 at 5:40 PM

      heres a smart guy…

      lee stempniak at 900k is a steal. hard working guy who could easily pop in 20 goals. hes got really slick hands that nobody seems to know about.

      im sure you might remember his toe-drag walk on mcdonagh in the playoffs…

  4. dutchman1350 - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:52 AM

    Rangers are in a cap crunch. They won’t be able for afford Zuccer, Brass and Moore. Something has to give…Nash trade?

    • jpelle82 - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:07 AM

      no. moore is the odd man out in that one. did they sign kreider yet? they should have plenty to sign those 3 forwards. you figure each one is worth 4 million, zuccarello should get 5 in my opinion.

      • elrock7 - Jul 20, 2014 at 8:43 PM

        they just gave moore a 2 year contract.

    • rmccleary97 - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:28 AM

      Kreider should be the easy one; give him a bridge contract to get you a couple years. Brassard and Zuccarello will be UFA after this season, so if you’re going term with them you’re buying out UFA years which increases the price.

      Derrick put up 18-27-45 which isn’t much different from what he did in Columbus. His saving grace is his work in the playoffs, but remember that Stepan is RFA after this season and he’s already got more impressive stats (a 20-goal season, two 50-point seasons) and was on pace for 30-38-68 in the lockout-shortened ’12-13 season. If Brassard’s worth $5.5M per, Stepan is worth at least that (and probably more).

      Zuccarello is basically riding last season and wanting $4.5 million per. Not a chance; not on one season. I like him, think he has a role on the Rangers – but I’d let someone else overpay. However, I think the Rangers will do it anyway.

      My guesses:
      — Kreider: 2 years, $5 million
      — Brassard: 4 years, $18 million
      — Zuccarello: 3 years, $12 million

      That’s $11 million on the cap, leaving you $1.3 million to deal with Moore. Sign him for $1.5 million, drop Kostka or Hunwick (no cap penalty involved) and you’ve got 22 guys signed and sitting just under the cap. They’re fine this year, but possibly pinched next year having to deal with Staal, Hagelin, Stepan and J. Moore (again).

    • hockeybomb12 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:24 PM

      Actually, Zucc will get about 4.5-5.0 mil per, Brassard around 4.1-4.5 mil per and Moore will get 2 mil per when all is said and done. Rangers have enough space. Kreider will need to be squeezed in on a 2.5-3 mil per bridge deal but it should work once Kotska, Hunwick, Lombardi, Haggerty, etc… are off the roster in Hartford.

    • stepanup - Jul 19, 2014 at 4:06 PM

      All will get signed.

  5. 950003cups - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:32 AM

    Ok, I’m waiting for Ashton Kutcher to jump out on MSG Network and yell to ranger fans “you got punk’d”

    Is this a real move? Are they trying to make a mockery of their fans?

    Rag fans! Stand up! Rise against your heathen masters! Stand up united and say “no more!” No more of the Taylor Pyatts, Tanner Glass or the overhypes of the Dick Rash’s of the league! No more Devils under cover agents like Holik, Gonez, and Rupp! And certainly no more Lee Stempniaks! No more!

    I call upon those in the loyal fan base to chant!
    Ninty Four! We Want More!

    I call upon you to educate your children! Go to your local eBay and buy that VHS player! Dust off that old tape of the cup championship! Tell them it’s possible! Show them!

    Do a “Fire Sather” rally! Those were very instrumental.

    Who’s with me! Let’s Gooooooooooooo!!

    • hockeybomb12 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:26 PM

      Stop trolling. This was actually about the same level as the Pouliot signing last offseason which turned into a major boon for the Rangers.

      • 950003cups - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:27 PM

        Geez! This is the thanks I get for leading the rags revolt? I offer you my leadership! The leadership if a NJ Devils fan! The “crem de la crem” of fanbase leaders.

        Well sir. I have good news and bad news.

        Good News: I will not turn on the needy rags fans
        Bad News: I will allow then you drag you in a sewer hole and beat you up

    • stepanup - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:46 PM

      The harder you try the worse it fails. I don’t recall you always being a mockery?

      • 950003cups - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:16 PM

        It’s the offseason. Gotta follow the rules of the NHL. Trash talking is a MUST!

  6. ragsrus - Jul 19, 2014 at 11:56 AM

    It must suck being a Debbie fan knowing your team is the worst in the East. Even the Sabres might have a better team. And there’s no hope either. Your farm system is garbage and you just paid a back up goalie 6M per year. Enjoy being the new Isles, which by the way, are also better than your garbage team. Get off the rangers jock, you’re worse than a groupie.

    • geejon - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Don’t even reply to him. That’s exactly what he wants. He’s probably some obese/ugly guy who never leaves his house and spends all day trolling Rangers message boards hoping to rile people up. If you ignore him it’ll bother him more than any comment you make which he’s probably already seen 1000 times. Just pity him and leave him and his miserable life alone.

      • 950003cups - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:19 PM

        What a loser comment. I hope you don’t raise any children with that brain. Future drug addicts on the way

    • hockeybomb12 - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:28 PM

      I’m a Rangers fan too but the Devils are actually getting better. The signed Camileri to pick up some of the scoring work, the have youth like Ried Boucher coming up into the system, and their future is set in goal with Schnieder. They are good enough to be a playoff team.

    • 950003cups - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:21 PM

      There it is. The defeatist mentality. It’s as if you already know that NJ is gonna sweep you.

      • 950003cups - Jul 19, 2014 at 10:30 PM

        That was intended for that butt licker “ragsrus”

  7. pitpenguinsrulez - Jul 19, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    So tell me this how, How does Tanner Glass get more than him?

    • geejon - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:05 PM

      Rangers were desperate for size and grit and overpaid for Glass because he was pretty much the only UFA available who brought that. They could have just kept Dorsett or resigned Carcillo but Vigneault didn’t trust Carcillo’s discipline anymore and Dorsett is a “weight class” below Glass so they dealt him for a 3rd pick and signed Glass to the same $ he was making. It’s the 3 years that’s the head-scratcher.

      • claudegirwho - Jul 19, 2014 at 2:49 PM

        They didn’t make a deal for glass hence the new contract and the head scratcher is both money and length on this one

      • chip56 - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:25 AM

        Every season the Rangers make one deal that leaves me going WTF – Tanner Glass for three years is this year’s version. It falls into the same category as Aaron Voros, Patrick Rissmiller, Aaron Asham, Mike Rupp, Jeff Halperin…

      • chip56 - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        They also felt like they needed a big body who could play the PK to replace Boyle – Glass fits that role, Dorsett and Carcillo did not.

  8. penguins87and71 - Jul 19, 2014 at 3:33 PM

    Claudegirwho: Listen the Penguins don’t have many scoring forwards on this roster as currently constructed. I’m just saying he would add some depth scoring to a team that currently doesn’t have a lot of depth. I think he could have helped out quite a bit on this team as a role player. He would have added some scoring, which they need, especially for 900k. Lets just agree to disagree.

    • claudegirwho - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:03 PM

      We have enough regular season scoring. 3 points in 13 playoff games

    • jdlinder11 - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:27 PM

      stempniak does not fit into the mold of a player the pens want. He is not a very good possession player and he does not do well along the boards. He is also very streaky in his scoring. While I agree that $900k is a good price for him, he is replaceable and I would rather have someone younger and faster who plays a better possession game.

  9. c1md6 - Jul 19, 2014 at 9:49 PM

    In all fairness it’s much difficult to score in the playoffs than the regular season, there are no more devils or islanders to light up…

  10. stakex - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:08 AM

    Wow…. quite a bargain for the Rangers, and a really solid signing.

    Fun fact: Pouliot scored 36 points last year, and is now making $4 million a season with Edmonton. Stempniak had 34 points, and is making $900k. While there might be some other minor differences between the two that impact their salary this year, that’s still a pretty shocking fact.

    Although the one thing I wonder is where do guys like JT MIller, Oscar Lindberg, and Jesper Fast fit into all this? It was looking like the Rangers were going to turn to some of their young players to fill out the roster, but with their recent signings that doesn’t seem very likely now. Not sure if that’s a good thing or a bad thing to be honest.

    • chip56 - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:20 AM

      I agree that it’s a solid signing.

      There’s still one forward spot up for grabs and I feel like Miller/Fast/Lindberg and Danny Kristo will have to fight for it. Though I wonder if a strong camp by a kid could push Matthew Lombardi out of the lineup too.

  11. chip56 - Jul 20, 2014 at 10:16 AM

    If I had to guess I think the Rangers will look like:

    Krieder – Stepan – Nash
    Zucc – Brassard – St. Louis
    Hagelin – Moore – JT Miller
    Glass – Lombardi – Stempniak

    Girardi – McDongagh
    Boyle – Staal
    Moore – Klein

    I think a strong camp by Miller and Danny Kristo could push Lombardi to a reserve role, send Moore to the 4th line and turn that third line into Hag’s Miller and Kristo.

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