While the Rangers were quiet on the second day of free agency, a few notable moves took place. The first being the departure of Rangers winger Nik Antropov, who was acquired at last season’s trade deadline, when he signed a 4 year 16 million dollar deal with the Atlanta Thrashers. The Rangers had some interest in getting Antropov to return to the team early on but after Sather spoke to his agent and was told Antropov was seeking more than 5 million annually, the team instead turned it’s attention to the other options available both already on the roster (qualifying Nikolai Zherdev for next season) and in free agency (Gaborik). Some question whether the Rangers would have been able to fit Antropov into their plans at the 4 million per year he eventually signed for if they had not given Donald Brashear such a ridiculous 2 year contract but I believe that both sides had already felt it was better to move on to newer pastures.
The Rangers also signed a trio of depth forwards that are almost certainly destined to begin the season with the team’s affiliate, the Hartford Wolfpack. Tyler Arnason, a defensive forward and NHL veteran having spent time with the Chicago Blackhawks and Colorado Avalance was signed to a two way contract and could get a chance to make the fourth line of the big club during training camp. Chris Chappell, an undrafted free agent who scored 38 goals and added 38 assists for Owen Sound of the OHL last season and Corey Locke, who lead the AHL’s Houston Aeros in scoring last season were signed to minor league deals. The Rangers also re-signed P.A. Parentau who plated for the Wolfpack last season.