Michael Grabner and the New York Rangers have reportedly agreed to the terms on a new two-year contract. According to Elliote Friedman, the contract carries an annual cap hit of $1.6 million.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 1, 2016
Grabner was selected at number 14 overall by the Vancouver Canucks in the 2006 draft. The winger only played 20 games for the Canucks before he was traded to the New York Islanders at the 2010 draft. After five seasons with the Islanders, Grabner was traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs.
Now after just one season with Toronto, the Austrian is headed back to New York but will now be a part of the Rangers rather than the Islanders.
This is a bottom-six signing for the Rangers. But at the same time, Grabner’s nine goals and 18 points in 80 games with Toronto last year should get a kick in the pants playing with a better Rangers team.
Grabner has reached the 20 goal mark twice in his career and set career highs in 2010-11 with 34 goals, 18 assists, and 52 points. So the offensive touch is there, and might be able to be tapped into again by Alain Vigneault in New York.
Along with his role in the Rangers’ bottom six, Grabner could prove to be a valuable asset on New York’s penalty kill. The 28-year-old is tied for fourth in the NHL in shorthanded goals since the 2010-11 season with 12 shorthanded tallies and ranked second in shorthanded ice-time by a forward last season with 248:29.
Since the free agency opened, the Rangers have gone small in terms of the splash made. On top of signing Grabner, New York has also signed Adam Clendening and Nathan Gerbe. All three should factor into lines three and four for the Rangers behind the team’s stud like Rick Nash, Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard.