Found July 02, 2012 on Blue Seat Blogs:
Entering the first day of free agency it was widely thought that the Rangers would seek to upgrade their offense and add a depth defender. Instead, the Blueshirts added grit on July 1st while watching several of their own free agents depart for greener pastures. Here’s what went down on Sunday. Subtractions Brandon Prust – It was disappointing to see the fan favorite go, but in the end GM Glen Sather made the right decision to let Prust cash in with a four-year, $10 million contract to play for the Montreal Canadiens.  Prust was a very valuable soldier in his three seasons with the Blueshirts and will be missed, but his offensive production simply doesn’t warrant that kind of financial compensation. John Scott – The hulking pugilist came over from Chicago at the trade deadline in exchange for a fifth-round pick and proceeded to play all of six games with New York.  It was obvious that he wouldn’t be retained and he’ll likely continue to be a fringe NHLer for Buffalo, where he signed for one-year, $600k. John Mitchell – The versatile forward earned himself a solid payday after working his way back to the NHL with the Rangers in 2011-2012 following a stint in the minor leagues.  Mitchell has to be thrilled with the two-year, $2.2 million contract he received from Colorado and is truly a feel good story after almost seeing his NHL career come to an end following his demotion by Toronto in 2010-2011.   Mitchell was an effective player for the Rangers, but is easily replaceable. Chad Johnson – The 26-year-old goalie was snapped up by Phoenix, joining an ever-increasing stockpile of recycled Rangers acquired by Coyotes GM Don Maloney.  Johnson seemed to fall out of favor with New York this year and was surpassed by Cam Talbot, who will retain the starting job with the Whale this year. Jonathan Audy-Marchessault – Perhaps the worst news of the day for the Rangers came when J.A.M. inked an Entry Level deal with the Columbus Blue Jackets.  Audy-Marchessault was a terrific discovery by the Rangers’ amateur scouting staff and proceeded to finish tied for 10th in the AHL in scoring as a rookie with 64 points (24 goals, 40 assists).  The Rangers wanted badly to sign Audy-Marchessault, but the 21-year-old likely saw a clearer path to the NHL with the thin Blue Jackets and preferred that opportunity.  Audy-Marchessault had established himself as a legitimate prospect, so it’s too bad the Rangers won’t be able to see their fruits of their labor. Additions Stu Bickel – A John Tortorella favorite, the Rangers agreed to terms with the 25-year-old depth defenseman shortly after the free agent period opened.  Bickel signed a very reasonable two-year, $1.5 million contract and will likely serve as a seventh defenseman and emergency forward, much as he did in 2011-2012.  Bickel is obviously not a flashy player, but he brings physicality and plays a simple game, two things the Rangers value on defense. Arron Asham – The 34-year-old right wing joined the Rangers for a two-year, $2 million deal, completing his tour of the Atlantic Division.  Asham was clearly viewed as a more affordable replacement for Prust and should be capable of filling a similar role.  Though he’s proven to be a borderline dirty player, Asham is actually a solid skater and is very effective on the forecheck.  Like Prust, he is capable of killing penalties and is no stranger to dropping the gloves.  Still, it’s a bit puzzling that the Blueshirts offered Asham a greater deal than favorite BSB target Zenon Konopka received from Minnesota (two-years, $1.85 million). Micheal Haley – Apparently not satisfied with adding two enforcers, the Rangers inked the former New York Islanders goon to a two-year deal.  Financial terms have not yet been reported, but it is believed that the first year of Haley’s contract is a two-way deal and the second year is strictly an NHL contract.  Haley will likely spend the season in Connecticut acting as a bodyguard for some of New York’s prized prospects, but he’ll inevitably join the club for some rivalry games.  He figures to be a healthy scratch for much of the 2013-2014 season. Kris Newbury – The Rangers were obviously pleased with the veteran leadership of Newbury in Connecticut and moved swiftly to re-sign him to a two-year, two-way deal.  Newbury has showed that he can handle spot duty in the NHL, so this was really a no-brainer of a move for the Blueshirts. — July 1st may have seemed like a puzzling day for Rangers fans, but it’s important to remember that this was only the beginning of a long summer of roster retooling.  New York is still keenly interested in acquiring Rick Nash and it sounds as though Columbus is inching closer to pulling the trigger on a deal.  There are still other players the Rangers may choose to pursue on the trade market and a handful of other free agents that may interest the club. So while the additions of Asham and Haley may not address the organization’s greatest areas of need, that doesn’t mean Sather isn’t still actively working the phones and could make significant changes in the coming days. You can expect more activity today and throughout the week and it’s a solid bet that the Blueshirts will be heard from again, possibly with a major splash.

Rangers Sign Micheal Haley (UPDATE: Prust Goes to MTL)

#NYR Rangers have signed former #Isles tough guy Micheal Haley to two-year deal — Katie Strang (@KatieStrangESPN) July 1, 2012 I really like Haley's toughness and swagger, as did Isles fans, but this signing begs the question: How many tough guys do the Rangers need on the roster? Rupp, Bickel, Asham and now Haley are all signed to contracts.  GM Glen Sather needs...

Aaron Asham In, Brandon Prust Out?

Well word has just come down that the New York Rangers have signed Aaron Asham to a two-year deal worth $2 million. Asham is a hated player who is going to stir things up on the ice. Now what’s interesting, is this the end of Brandon Prust’s time with the Rangers and it seems like it will be. [...]

UFA of the Day: Brandon Prust

Today on this not so gorgeous Saturday I battle what is either the start of a cold, or a hangover. But either way, here is today’s UFA of the Day. It addresses something I haven’t written about yet. Toughness. Here is Brandon Prust in today’s UFA of the Day. Name: Brandon Prust Age: 27 Size: 6’2″, 192 Lbs Why the Canucks might want him: Toughness. If you want to beef up...

Brandon Prust Signs With Montreal

Well with the signing of Aaron Asham it made Prust expendable and he has found a new home with the Montreal Canadiens. Montreal signs him for 4 years/$10 million, which is ridiculous. Now to all the Rangers fans complaining that the Rangers signed Asham and they are letting Prust go, you need to shutup. Had the Rangers made this [...]

Prust Emotional; Asham Wants a Cup

After signing a four-year, $10 million deal with the Montreal Canadians, Brandon Prust spoke with Andrew Gross at the Bergen Record about why he didn't re-sign with the Rangers..."I talked to Torts (coach John Tortorella) today. I didn't talk to Slats (GM Glen Sather) today, my agent was talking to them. I know we both like each other and both wanted me to come back...

Prust finds new home with Canadiens

Brandon Prust learned a universal truth about the business of professional sports. It is a business. "It was a sad, crazy, mixed-emotion day," Prust said in a conference call Sunday to announce his signing of a four-year, $10 million unrestricted free agent contract with the Montreal Canadiens. The Canadiens signed Colby Armstrong (one year, $1 million) and Francis Bouillon...

Rangers Sign Aaron Asham

Asham completes his tour of Atlantic Division, 2 yrs $1M per with Rangers.— Larry Brooks(@NYP_Brooksie) July 1, 2012 Two reasons I'm not a big fan of this signing: - It likely means Brandon Prust is officially not re-signing with the Rangers. They essentially fill the same roll in terms of being an enforcer, but Prust is cleaner, more respected and is more offensively capable...

Analyzing Asham versus Prust

Much noise was made yesterday when the Rangers went ahead and signed Arron Asham to a two year deal worth $1 million per season. At the time of the deal, Brandon Prust had not signed, but all had assumed that Prust would be signing elsewhere. About an hour later, Prust signed with the Montreal Canadiens with a whopping four year, $10 million contract. For those keeping track, the...

Prust To Montreal

via Spector’s Hockey, Various sources report the Montreal Canadiens have signed former Rangers forward Brandon Prust to a four-year, $10 million contract, or $2.5 million per season.

Not A Good Day for the Rangers

Wasn't sure what to expect on the first day of free agency, but in my opinion, it wasn't a good day for the Rangers.First, they lose Brandon Prust, as the former Rangers tough guy signed a 4-year, $10 million contract with the Montreal Canadiens....$2.5 million per?!?!?!?! That's almost as bad as trading Ryan McDonagh for Scott Gomez. Good for Prust to take advantage...

BSB free agency round table

As of noon today, free agents are officially allowed to shop their talents and sign with any team in the league. It’s always fun to watch where players wind up and for how much. In addition to live blogging all the fun starting a little bit before noon, we also did a BSB writer round table discussion on free agency and our predictions/hopes. By the end of the day, we will see who...

What To Expect From The Rangers

from Larry Brooks of the NY Post, It’s difficult to determine just who Sather might target over the next 48 hours. There is no credible right defenseman on the market to fill the second-pair hole on defense that remains wide open after University of Wisconsin free agent Justin Schultz’s decision yesterday to sign with the Oilers. Rather than throw Monopoly money at marginal...

Let the Insanity Begin!

You guys really didn't think I'd miss out on July 1st now did you?Looks like first big free agency shoe will drop today as Bob McKenzie at TSN reported this last night...Free agent defenceman Justin Schultz will decide tomorrow where he's signing.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 30, 2012 ESPN Insider notes that Schultz apparently wants to play north of the border...
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