Viktor Stalberg presents an interesting questions for the New York Rangers. On July 1, Stalberg will become an unrestricted free agent. Will the Rangers let him walk? Or will they sign him to another low risk contract. It will be interesting to see how Jeff Gorton approaches this situation.
Stalberg who signed a 1 year, 1.1 million dollar contract with the Rangers last year recorded 9 goal and 11 assists in 75 games. Stalberg is 100% replaceable in the NYR lineup. However, Gorton must decide whether he will instill more youth in the lineup, stick with player who have already contributed, or a combination of both. Stalberg, who was decent throughout the year, does add speed to the lineup, something the Rangers have been lacking in since the trade of Carl Hagelin. He is also another veteran presence that the younger players can look up to. With that being said, Stalberg is a 30-year-old player who is way past his prime.
I’m truly 50/50 on this one. While I think signing Stalberg is very low risk, I also feel the Rangers can shake things up and sign a free agent to perform the same job. If we’re lucky but said player can even perform at an even higher level. For a comparable price the Rangers can explore options like Dale Weise and Riley Nash. Hell, maybe we can pick up this Nash and dump ours. Wishful thinking, I know. I wont be too upset if the Rangers decide to fill some bottom 6 depth by signing Stalberg, but in doing so they must let Dominic Moore and Tanner glass go. The voids of those players can be replaced by younger, more motivated players.
This summer will be very telling as to what Gorton and the Rangers organization decide is the best route for the Rangers. Keep trying to win a cup while we have Hank, start rebuilding, or a little bit of both. July 1 will be a very interesting day for the Blueshirts. Can’t Wait.