Awful job by the Rangers bridging Spooner while disrespecting Hayes


Let’s be honest here. You’re telling me it makes sense to bridge two unproven players you acquired last deadline to identical contracts?!?! I’m not buying it. It was bad enough the Rangers gave the inconsistent Vladislav Namestnikov two years at an average cap hit of $4 million. Now, they’ve done the same exact thing with Ryan Spooner, who gets an extra year while a core guy like Kevin Hayes is playing for a contract.

This isn’t to diminish Spooner, who produced most of his 16 points in 20 games early on, after coming over from Boston as part of the Rick Nash trade that netted D prospect Ryan Lindgren along with a first round pick, and Matt Beleskey. In truth, it was a very good deal made by Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, who used Nash as a rental to land two good prospects for the future.

It’s just that I feel Spooner should’ve been playing for a contract. Not Hayes, who was a bright spot in a forgettable season. For the exact reasons given in a recent piece. There’s no sense rehashing it. Hayes is the same age as the playmaking Spooner, who could be a good fit on the match-up line with Jesper Fast. Hayes and Spooner showed some early chemistry after he was acquired.

It’s odd is all. But that’s how this franchise does business. Showing more loyalty to guys who haven’t earned it compared to players such as Hayes, who made great strides in his fourth year playing a different role with increased ice-time and responsibility.

Sometimes, it’s hard to understand what the thinking is with the Rangers. Are they even thinking at all?

About Derek Felix

Derek Felix is sports blogger whose previous experience included separate stints at ESPN as a stat researcher for NHL and WNBA telecasts. The Staten Island native also interned for or hockey historian Stan Fischler and worked behind the scenes for MSG as a production assistant on New Jersey Devil telecasts. An avid New York sports fan who enjoys covering events, writing, concerts, movies and the outdoors, Derek has covered consecutive Staten Island Yankees NY Penn League championships in '05 and '06. He also scored Berkeley Carroll high school basketball games from '06-14 and provided an outlet for the Park Slope school's student athletes. Hitting Back gives them the publicity they deserve. In his free time, he also attends Ranger games and is a loyal St. John's alum with a sports management degree. The Battle Of New York administrator and chief editor can be followed below on Twitter and Facebook.
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