Rangers Spending Cash to Improve AHL Team

Photo from Wikimedia Commons

When the NHL capped team’s yearly salary way back in 2005-06, it limited the extent the Rangers could use their financial might as an advantage over other teams.

This off-season, however, the Rangers have utilized this advantage to improve an area of their organization: their AHL team.

The last two seasons, the Rangers’ top affiliate has missed the AHL playoffs. That means no playoff games for the organization’s pro-level youth outside of the NHL.

To address this, the Rangers added AHL star Chris Bourque, as well as very good AHL players Steven Kampfer and Cedrick Desjardins to two-way contracts that will pay them a high salary at the AHL level. They also signed Chris Mueller, top-six forward for the AHL Champs Texas Stars, to a one-way contract. Matt Hunwick and Mike Kostka were also signed to one-way contracts, though it’s probable at least one of them will start the season with the big club.

Here’s a look at how that group’s AHL salaries have increased since their last contract:

It may seem minor, but it’s a good idea to have a culture of winning breeding at all levels of the organization. The dollars the Rangers spent to shore up their AHL affiliate won’t go to waste.

2 comments

  1. JPFlush says:

    With the lack of depth at center for the Rangers you’ve gotta figure Mueller is a very good candidate for the 13th forward spot. AV only likes to bring 1 extra Fwd and Dman and plus he’s got a low cap hit. If not Mueller, than C Bourque will probably see time with the big team., especially if at least 2 prospects out of JT, Fast, Lindberg, Kristo or Haggerty can’t crack the squad.
    On another note how the hell don’t we pick up Legwand at 2yrs and 6mill?!
    Maybe it’s similar to B. Boyle where he wanted a bigger role, in this case a 1st/2nd line roll rather than 2nd/3rd, but at his age (34), you’d think he’d try and win a cup. But too late for that now…unless he sucks and they trade him to us for a mid round pick and retain some salary. Who knows!
    Either way Rangers need to add another center and maybe Steve Ott can fill that 3rd line role for a low #, maybe 2.5-2.75mill for 2-3 yrs. We’d be adding a good face off man, PKer, and add some toughness and grit to the team and he’s also shown to produce points when given a chance.

    • JPFlush says:

      Having Mueller or Bourque on the main squad would allow us to sign 1 more veteran to our AHL squad (that has played 320 NHL/AHL games total) so there could be 1 more good AHL player being added soon. Hopefully it’s a top 2 center for Hartford.