With less than two weeks until D Day with Derek Stepan, the Rangers re-signed forwards Emerson Etem and Oscar Lindberg.
Etem accepted the Rangers’ qualifying offer for one year $850,000. He was acquired from the Ducks for valuable third liner Carl Hagelin, who they couldn’t afford to keep due to Stepan’s next contract. He remains unsigned with an arbitration date on July 27. If it gets there, it won’t be good for either party. The Rangers must sign Stepan long-term. At this point, it’s a anyone’s guess what it’ll take. The figure of $39 million over six years has been tossed around. We’ll have to wait and see.
The Rangers are banking on Etem to fill the void on the third line. A former first round pick in 2010, he’s yet to establish himself. In 112 career games, he has 31 points (15-16-31). He’s never posted more than 11 in a season going 5-5-10 in 45 contests this past year. Etem did score three goals in the playoffs. He has a year to prove himself.
Lindberg signed for two years and will earn $650,000 per season. The Daily News Rangers’ beat writer Pat Leonard responded to my tweet indicating that both Etem and Lindberg’s deals are one-way contracts.
Acquired from the Coyotes for Ethan Werek on May 8, 2011, Lindberg has spent the past two seasons fine tuning his game in Hartford. He was second in scoring with 56 points (28-28-56) and tallied 16 points (3-13-16) in the postseason. He was recalled for one game and made his Rangers debut. At the very least, he’s finally in their plans. It’s time to find out what the 23-year old Swedish center is.