Rangers sign center Ryan Carpenter in NHL free agency

New York Post
New York Post

Chris Drury indicated that he was targeting a low-salary depth center of the Kevin Rooney mold, and the Rangers president and general manager found what he was looking for.

The Rangers signed Ryan Carpenter to a one-year, one-way deal for a league-minimum $750,000 on Thursday, fortifying the club’s options for the fourth line with a low-cost center who does in fact bring a lot of the same qualities as Rooney did. Coincidentally, Rooney signed a two-year deal at $1.3 million per year as a free agent with the Flames, who Carpenter was traded to at last season’s trade deadline and played eight games for.

Carpenter, 31, is a defensive-minded forward who is effective on the penalty kill and is relatively strong on faceoffs. Since he is a center, the 6-foot 200-pounder will probably have a good shot at securing a spot on the fourth line considering most of the other candidates are wingers. That gives the Rangers Mika Zibanejad, Vincent Trocheck, Filip Chytil and Carpenter down the middle. The Rangers also have Barclay Goodrow as an option at center.
The Rangers signed Ryan Carpenter in NHL free agency.

Carpenter is the second player who previously played for Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant that Drury has brought in this offseason, after he signed Trocheck – who played for Gallant in Florida – to a seven-year deal on Day 1 of free agency on Wednesday. In his second season under Gallant in Vegas in 2018-19, Carpenter recorded career highs in points (18), assists (13) and faceoff win percentage (52.6).

Last season, Carpenter skated in 68 games between the Blackhawks and the Flames. Totaling three goals and nine assists, Carpenter also posted a 47.27 faceoff win percentage to give him a career 48.2 rate. The Flames acquired the Florida native for depth heading into the playoffs, but the club never really needed him and Carpenter didn’t compete in any postseason contests.

With 308 games of NHL experience, including 26 playoff games with the Golden Knights and the Blackhawks, Carpenter is now tied with Chris Kreider as the third-oldest player on the Rangers behind only the recently signed 37-year-old Jaroslav Halak and the 35-year-old Ryan Reaves.

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