Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Rangers Sign Jeff Halpern, AHLer Logan Pyett To One-Year Deals

The depth signings just keep on coming. News broke late last night that the Rangers have signed veteran center Jeff Halpern, who spent last season with the Washington Capitals, to a one-year, $700,000 deal. The team has since confirmed the deal. Halpern recorded 4 G, 12 A for 16 PTS to go along with 24 PIM in 69 games last season while playing primarily on the fourth line for the Caps, but more important than that was what he gave the Capitals on the faceoff circle. Halpern won 58.3 percent of his faceoffs last season, which was good for the fifth highest faceoff percentage in the league. As everyone knows, faceoffs were an area the Rangers struggled in greatly last season, so it's easy to see why they would bring in a guy like Halpern considering the cost is next to nothing.

I don't mind the Halpern signing, and I understand why the Rangers did it. I would've personally preferred them to sign Zenon Konopka when he was available since the Rangers really needed help on faceoffs, in addition to that grittiness that they lost when Brandon Prust signed with Montreal, but this is still a decent depth move by Glen Sather. It's a cheap signing that could wind up paying big dividends if Halpern can give the Rangers a steady presence in the faceoff circle. The biggest knock on Halpern is that at he's 36 years old now and is a pretty slow skater, but you don't have to be the fastest of skaters to have a role in John Tortorella's system.

In addition to the signing of Halpern, the Rangers also inked AHL defenseman Logan Pyett to a one-year contract this morning worth $600,000 (hat tip to TheNYRBlog). Terms of the deal haven't been announced, but it's a decent depth move. Pyett, 24, was drafted in the 7th round of the 2006 NHL Entry Level Draft (212th overall) by the Detroit Red Wings and has spent his entire career in their system. Pyett has not appeared in an NHL game yet in his career. He's a right-handed shot - an area the Rangers needed to add depth in - and recorded 9 G, 13 A for 22 PTS in 74 games with the Grand Rapids Griffins last season. He has a little bit of offense to his game and is still pretty young, but this is really just a depth move to stash away in Hartford.

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