Rangers sign two big-name veterans to one-year contracts

New York Rangers, Blake Wheeler. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
New York Rangers, Blake Wheeler. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

It’s early in the 2023 free agency period, but the New York Rangers have already brought in a pair of veteran players.

The first was goaltender Jonathan Quick, who is coming off of a Stanley Cup championship with the Vegas Golden Knights. Quick split the 2022-2023 season between the Golden Knights and Los Angeles Kings.

The 37-year-old three-time champion played 41 games last season and recorded 16 wins, a 3.41 goals against average, and an .882 save percentage.

He is no longer the netminder that won two Cups with the Kings, but he will not be asked to be that player in New York. Igor Shesterkin is one of the NHL’s top goaltenders, so Quick will serve as a backup that will bring championship experience to an up-and-coming Rangers team.

Quick and Wheeler are signing with the New York Rangers.

In addition to Quick, forward Blake Wheeler is also on his way to the Big Apple. At age 36, Wheeler is coming off of a unique season with the Winnipeg Jets. He was stripped of his captaincy before the season started but still made his presence felt.

In 72 games, he scored 16 goals and 39 assists for 55 points. With over 1100 games played and over 900 points scored in his NHL career, Wheeler will be a leader and a veteran presence for the Rangers, while still being capable of producing on the ice.

What I love about these moves for the Rangers is the simplicity. At the trade deadline, they went overboard on talent, and it proved to be too much. Here, they have added two veteran players that can contribute in different ways, and they have done so affordably.

Quick and Wheeler will be able to leave their mark on this team without disrupting the established players in the lineup. Plus, with both on one-year deals at under $1 million, the signings do not handcuff the Rangers moving forward.

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These are the types of moves that will help a team as young and as talented as New York. They’re not flashy, but they are low-risk and high-reward. I expect both players to be effective in the 2023-2024 season.