The New York Rangers announced an 8-year extension worth $8.5M annually with #1 center, Mika Zibanejad on Sunday.
Zibanejad and a second-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft were acquired from the Ottawa Senators on July 18, 2016. The Senators received fellow forward Derick Brassard and a seventh-round pick in the 2018 draft in the trade. It is widely considered one of former GM’s best moves in New York.
“Since joining the team in 2016, Mika has emerged as one of the premier players in the NHL,” Rangers president and general manager Chris Drury said in statement. “In addition to being a great player on the ice, Mika is an exemplary person off of the ice. We are fortunate to have him as part of our Rangers organization and are excited that he will continue his career in New York.”
NHL Rumors: Rangers out on Jack Eichel trade talks
Prior to the signing, I wrote the following on October 8th:
The Blueshirts are making sure that one way or another an elite center will be a member of the team come next season. Whether that will be Mika Zibanejad or Jack Eichel remains to be seen. According to the same source, the Rangers will be in on Eichel up until they sign Zibanejad. That’s why the Rangers interest in Eichel is an unspoken bargaining chip Chris Drury has in his back pocket.
Upon the announcement of the deal, I checked back to see if the less than expected AVV from $10M to just $8.5M would keep them in the running. It was made clear to me that with both Adam Fox and Kaapo Kakko coming off their ELCs it takes the Rangers out of the mix.
Additionally, it was pointed out that it should also mean the end of Ryan Strome’s tenure with the Rangers as well as backup Alexandar Georgiev. Strome would have to take a serious hometown discount to remain.
Is this Marc Bergevin last season with the Habs?
Last month, a report noted that that the Montreal Canadiens and GM Marc Bergevin had some discussions regarding his future.
“What I can tell you is this. He has talked to owner Geoff Molson about his future dating back to last January. I’m told they spoke again last March. I’m told in July Molson made an offer,” Pierre LeBrun revealed. “There has not been an agreement, read into that what you will. I believe Marc Bergevin wants to stay, but they obviously have to reach a deal that works for both sides. Both sides continue to talk, and there’s a lot of pressure on this situation.”
Things seemed to have changed since that time. Prior to the news conference to announce that Carey Price would be entering the NHL and NHLPA’s Player Assistance Program, it was revealed that there would be no in season discussion with the GM on a new deal.
The question that one has to ask is if Bergevin wanted a better deal, or did something occur between July to date that gave the Habs second thoughts?
We could be looking at Bergevin’s last season in Montreal.