And just like that, the Rangers sign two of their four main RFAs - apologies to Darren Raddysh - and both for reasonable two year contracts. Sure they're both a little on the high side, but with the shorter term and speed at which they got done, you can expect a little inflation.
Discuss in the forums: Georgiev signed and DeAngelo signed
While most observers predicted an agreement ahead of the November 5th date for goaltender Alexandar Georgiev, the inking of defenseman Tony DeAngelo was perhaps a little less expected. DeAngelo had a break-out season last year, placing fourth in the league with 53 points in 68 games when the season was suspended. His 15 goals were a full 10 better than his previous career high set back in his rookie season of 2016-17 with the Arizona Coyotes, and his point total 23 more than last year's 30 he registered in his second season with the Rangers.
On a two year contract, both the player and the team take some risk. If DeAngelo proves last season wasn't a fluke, he'll see his value rise further and will put the Rangers at a bit of a disadvantage at the end of the contract, faced with what will likely be a substantial number and term, or another short-term deal that will lead into UFA status shortly after. From the player perspective he gets a little extra money now, but if he can't maintain his pace, he may miss out on some of that salary on the outer years.
Whether DeAngelo remains part of the long term plans for the organization remains to be seen. Played as a third pair defender with first unit power play time, the 24 year old provided a significant amount of offense last year, and the edge to his game gave a fairly passive team an extra element when the need arose. His defensive play remains inconsistent, and it remains to be seen whether that aspect of the game can evolve, but overall he's been a good acquisition for the Rangers.
His off-ice persona, where he is often outspoken about his beliefs and view of life, might be a challenge for some teams, but as we've seen with other players in the past, the Rangers are not necessarily afraid of that aspect of a player, as long as it doesn't go too far.
In Alexandar Georgiev, they make good on their decision to let Henrik Lundqvist depart, keeping the 24 year old Bulgarian born netminder in the organization for at least another two years. It was the play of both he and projected #1 Igor Sheshterkin that has given the team confidence that they can move forward with the pair in net. If Sheshterkin continues his form and establishes himself as a true #1, then the team will have the option to deal Georgiev and give him the opportunity to be the starter elsewhere. If there's injury or loss of form, then the undrafted netminder could still become that starting goaltender for the team.
All in all, a good piece of work by the Rangers GM Jeff Gorton, avoiding what could have been a challenging hearing, particularly for DeAngelo.