Connect with us


Rangers Get Busy on First Day of Free Agent Frenzy

Raphael Diaz returning to New York.

Raphael Diaz as a member of the Calgary Flames. (Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)

Raphael Diaz as a member of the Calgary Flames. (Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports)


The NY Rangers kept busy on the opening day of Free Agent Frenzy, but the players they signed were more of the depth variety, as they needed to try a refill the roster of the Hartford Wolf Pack of the American Hockey League (AHL) and not necessarily that of the NY Rangers.

The first player signed, was former Ranger, Raphael Diaz. Raf, last played for the Blueshirts in 2014, when he was traded to the team by the Vancouver Canucks. He played 11 regular season games and four playoff games for the Broadway Blueshirts, as they made it to the Stanley Cup Finals.

This past season, Diaz was a part of the Calgary Flames, in which he played in 56 games. In those games, he scored two goals and two assists for a total of four points, along with 10 penalty minutes.

Diaz stands 5 foot 11 and weighs 197 pounds. And over the last four seasons has skated in 201 NHL games, with the Rangers, Montreal, Vancouver and Calgary. In those games he scored eight goals, registered 41 assists and accumulated 49 points and 62 penalty minutes.

The Baar, Switzerland native represented his country in the 2010 and 2014 Olympics as well as the 2013 IIHF World Championship.

Next on the day, saw the signing of Jayson Megna, 25 year old forward, who played last year for the Pittsburgh and their AHL affiliate, the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins.

The Fort Lauderdale, Florida native, is one of only seven players in the NHL born in the sunshine state of Florida. Megna attended the University of Nebraska-Omaha and as a freshman, scored 13 goals and 18 assits for a total of 31 points. He added a plus 13 rating and 27 penalty minutes. This all helped him be named to the WCHA All-Rookie team in 2011-12.

In 48 NHL games with Pittsburgh, he scored five goals and five assists for ten points to go along with 20 penalty minutes.

In 144 career AHL games, Jayson tallied 40 goals and 26 assists for 66 points. He also established a plus 19 rating as well as 72 penalty minutes.

Matt Linblad, 25 years of age, was signed on Wednesday by the Rangers and will most likely play at Hartford in the AHL. The Evanston, Illinois native who is 5-11 and weighs 193 pounds, attended Dartmouth University for three seasons. In 89 games played for Green, he scored 29 goals and dished out 51 assists for 80 points, and a plus 24 rating.

In 106 career AHL games played, Matt has 18 goals and 33 assists for 51 points. His plus/minus rating is a plus 4 and he was assessed 14 minutes in penalties.

Viktor Stalberg, 29 years of age, was signed by the Rangers on Wednesday, and will vie for a spot on the opening day roster. The 6 foot 3, 210 pound forward, a native of Gothenburg, Sweden, has played in 338 career NHL games for Toronto, Chicago and Nashville. In those games, he scored 62 goals and 70 assists for a total of 132 points that will go along with 182 penalty minutes.

Viktor has also played in 38 career playoff games, in which he scored two goals and seven assists for nine points. He also won a Stanley Cup with the Chicago Blackhawks back in 2012-1013.

The NY Rangers signed just another former Boston College Eagle, Brian Gibbons. Brian, 27, is 5 foot 8 and 170 pounds, who has played in 66 career NHL games for the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Columbus Blue Jackets. In those 66 games, the Braintree, Massachusetts native scored five goals and 17 assists for 22 points. And in 194 career AHL games, Gibbons tallied 33 goals and 68 assists for 101 points, to go with 117 penalty minutes. Add that to 14 goals and 27 assists for 41 points in 54 AHL playoff games over the last two seasons and you need not wonder how and why he participated in the 2014 AHL All-Star Game.

The Rangers added some goaltending depth by signing 6 foot 6, 198 pound; Magnus Hellberg. The Uppsala, Sweden native, has appeared in 98 career AHL games and has a record of 42-36-7, to go along with a GAA of 2.36, a SV% of .917 and 10 shutouts. He was named AHL Goaltender of the Month in February of 2013, when he registered a 6-1-0 record with a 1.36 GAA, a SV% of .950 and 2 shutouts.

Out of these signings, I believe that Diaz and Stalberg will vie for spots on the 2015-16 roster and the rest of the players will add much needed depth to the depleted roster of the Hartford Wolf Pack.

No great, but a good first day for new GM Jeff Gorton.

1 Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment Login

Leave a Reply

More in Hockey