Ryan Spooner belongs on the rebuilding Rangers

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The Rangers have many prominent restricted free agents to sign this summer. Questions abound if the Blueshirts will retain them all or move some or one of their rights at the deadline. One particular player who happens to be on the bubble is trade deadline acquisition, Ryan Spooner.

Too Many RFA’s

Here’s the full list:

  • Kevin Hayes
  • Vlad Namestnikov
  • Jimmy Vesey
  • Ryan Spooner
  • Brady Skjei
  • Rob O’ Gara
  • John Gilmour

Off the hop, re-signing O’Gara and Gilmour would likely cost around 1 million or less and they can opt to bury the cap hit in the AHL if needed. 2 of the players that are absolute no brainers are Kevin Hayes and Brady Skjei. Jimmy Vesey who is coming off his ELC of 925K can likely be signed to a bridge deal at an affordable price.

That leaves Ryan Spooner and Vlad Namestnikov, both acquired at the deadline in a state of flux. Let’s be honest from just an optics standpoint, not re-signing Namestnikov who was the only NHL level ready piece in the Ryan McDonagh and J.T. Miller trade would be an absolute embarrassment.

Ergo why, Larry Brooks in his latest column said Spooner likely doesn’t fit in the Rangers long term plans.

Spooner’s Situation

Ryan Spooner is arbitration eligible and the Rangers could simply opt to sign him to a one year deal and trade him at the deadline before he becomes a UFA. While this sounds like a decent plan, it is the epitome of a penny smart and a dollar dumb.

In his brief stint in NY Spooner impressed, posting 16 points in 20 games. He scored 4 goals, all at even strength and looked good on the Rangers PP, picking up 2 assists. He and Kevin Hayes also showed some chemistry together.

It’s clear that Hayes is benefitting from a player of Ryan Spooner’s caliber. Spooner and Hayes are similar players, in that they have good puck carrying skills, both play a 200-foot game and they ideally prefer to pass. Spooner’s playmaking ability helps counteract his smaller stature and having him on his wing has been the boost Kevin Hayes needed.Forever Blueshirts

While the Rangers could use more shoot first players, Spooner has shown that he can help the Rangers keep the puck and play more of a possession game. Before coming to the Rangers, who give up shots like a grandma gives out candy on Halloween, Spooner had a career CF% of 51.3 in Boston. It would be wise for the Rangers to make a real effort in signing Spooner to a marketable contract of 3 years, at around 3 to 3.5M per.

That contract would make him very easy to move and bring back decent value should the Rangers feel he really doesn’t fit. The one year option would make him a rental and not worth much if they are forced to move him or lose him for nothing next deadline.



  • Id rather trade Hayes for a RHD and resign Spooner and Vlad whether their wingers or centers!! It be a very smart move on Gortons part to sign 2 centers who could also play wing and/or center if the original center is thrown out of the circle!! Vlad would be definitely be an embarrassment if we let Vlad go when he was one of the key pieces of the JT/McD trade!! Id also trade Vesey and a 1st rd pick for a higher pick if possible..Keep Gilmour and let Ogara go!! Brady is an obvious one in resigning him!! Trade Hayes and Tampas 1st/2nd rd pick to Wash for rights to Carlson!!

  • For a player who was viewed as more of a throw in then a major piece in the Nash deal he certainly did impress everyone in his short time in New York. I think his versatility will be a valuable asset for the Rangers. Not only can he play both wings and at center he can be slotted anywhere from 2nd line to checking line and play a competent game. He certainly fits in the Rangers plans in my opinion.

    To base Kevin Hayes last 15 or so games out of his 3 year career would be a major mistake that could hinder the Rangers for years. To automatically assume he has turned the corner is foolish. I agree with those who believe they should use Hayes as a trading chip to bring in other assets this team lacks. Do fans really want to sign Hayes to a 5mil+ contract that’s at least 5 years in lenght? With Mika as this team’s #1 center and prospects like Chytil, Andersson and Howden as centers which doesn’t even include who they draft in this upcoming draft Hayes should be the odd man out with Namestikov and Spooner here too. Hayes with any resemblance of a 5 year deal keeps guys like Chytil and Andersson buried as bottom 6 centers for years to come. If Chytil and Andersson do surpass Hayes which I believe not only fans but the organization should expect, the you have an extremely over paid bottom 6 center who doesn’t fit the mold of a bottom 6 forward. Despite being around 6’5 220 pounds, he plays like a Finnish finesse center. Let’s not forget how frustrating Hayes has been for over 2 1/2 years and not get blinded by his last 15 games.

    I think the idea you MUST bring Namestikov back because Miller was part of the deal is idiotic. Namestikov wasn’t the prize of the deal, highly touted prospects Hajek and Howden plus possibly another 1st round pick next year were the true prizes. I don’t think the Ranger fans would lose sleep if he wasn’t brought back next season at all. If he’s used in a deal that brought back a capable defenseman who is responsible in his own zone we all will forget about him until we read his name in a future Lesser Known Ranger article.

    • Agree on hayes, should trade him.

      Chytil just left game at worlds with head injury. Walked off, but still not good

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