Rangers agree to terms with RFAs Emerson Etem, Oscar Lindberg
This afternoon, New York Rangers GM Jeff Gorton announced that the team had agreed to terms with two more of their Restricted Free Agents, with those players being Oscar Lindberg and Emerson Etem, who was acquired from the Ducks during the second day of the NHL Draft.
Both players accepted their qualifying offers, which thankfully means that there is no arbitration required. That’s good, because I think that both players will be in the starting lineup on opening night, and I think that they’ll both be important players next season.
Oscar Lindberg’s deal keeps him under contract for the next two seasons for a cap hit of just $650k, which is excellent for the Rangers if they plan on using him at the NHL level (they should).
Emerson Etem received a one year deal from the Rangers, and he will make $850,500 for the 2015-16 season, a great contract for the team, as they are potentially getting a top-nine forward for very cheap.
Lindberg spent the whole season with the Hartford Wolf Pack, apart from his one game appearance with the Rangers. In 75 games as the team’s top center, Lindberg totaled a career high 56 points (28-28-56), setting new highs in both goals and assists. He performed very well in the playoffs too, scoring 16 points (3-13-16) in just 15 games.
The Rangers have been very patient with Lindberg’s development, having him develop and grow in Sweden and in the AHL over the past three plus seasons. That patience has paid off, and Lindberg has developed into an excellent, well-rounded player.
Lindberg, 23, was drafted by the Coyotes in 2010 out of Sweden, and later traded to the Rangers. The Rangers seem to have a thing for Swedes, and it has worked out for them, with players like Henrik Lundqvist, Carl Hagelin and Jesper Fast having big impacts on the team in recent years.
Lindberg getting a two year qualifying offer is good in many ways. Obviously, it’s great that he is under the Rangers control for the next two seasons. But this also means that the team has high hopes for him, and that they may have plans for him in the near future.
Personally, I would have Lindberg start as the team’s third line center. He’s more than ready, he’s defensively responsible, and he’s great in the faceoff circle. Kevin Hayes would fit in perfectly alongside Derek Stepan and Chris Kreider, and it’s time to give Lindberg a shot with the big boys.
I’ve talked a lot about Emerson Etem. I have really high hopes for him, and I think he will step up and have a good season as a top nine forward now that he’s presented the opportunity. He was mostly buried on the fourth line in Anaheim, and wasn’t given a fair, consistent chance to prove that he’s capable of being a top-nine forward in the NHL.
The situation is a lot different in New York. With Hagelin and St. Louis gone, they need fresh bodies to come in, play hard and produce. Etem will be given every opportunity to succeed. And under Alain Vigneault, who has done wonders with young, talented players in his two years with the Rangers.
Etem’s $850k cap hit is extremely friendly, and he could prove to be the best “bang for your buck” guy in the Rangers lineup. He’s only 23, nowhere near his potential, and he has the skills to be a really, really talented scorer. I’m excited to see how he does.
If you want to read a longer article on Etem and my thoughts on him, click HERE.
Posted on July 15, 2015, in Rangers Updates and tagged Alain Vigneault, Carl Hagelin, Emerson Etem, Etem Rangers, Etem trade, Hagelin trade, Hartford Wolf Pack, Madison Square Garden, Martin St. Louis, MSG, New York Rangers, New York Rangers blog, NYR, Oscar Lindberg, Rangers, Rangers blog, Rangers third line. Bookmark the permalink. 5 Comments.