- Matt Ehalt, ESPN New York contributor
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The first 12 hours of free agency have come and gone and the New York Rangers were rather quiet in the first day. While, everything can change with the signing of Brad Richards, who they are heavily interested in, the Rangers took a much quieter approach on the first day.
The Rangers first signed ex-Pittsburgh center Mike Rupp, reportedly agreeing to a three-year, $4.5 million deal. While Rupp won’t light up the scoreboard at MSG, he will bring some toughness and grit that has become part of the Rangers identity. The signing looks like it could be a solid, low-cost move that helps the team’s depth.
While the Rangers went out and got Rupp, they retained one of their own with the re-signing of Ruslan Fedotenko. It’s a reported one-year, $1.4 million deal, according to TSN, and gives the Rangers another capable body. Fedotenko notched 25 points last season and bringing him back really has no downside.
Of course, the Rangers hoped their first day of free agency would include the top free agent on the market, but Richards has not yet made up a decision. If the Rangers can land the center, the Rupp and Fedotenko signings suddenly become the lesser deals of the summer. If the Rangers don’t land Richards, they might have to become creative to try and upgrade the roster.
Let’s see what day two of free agency holds in store.