According to reports, The New York Rangers have signed veteran forward Vinny Prospal to a one year deal worth 1.1 million dollars. The 34 year old became an unrestricted free agent last month when he had the remaining three years of his contract bought out by the Tampa Bay Lightning.
Prospal, who struggled to get on track last season when he recorded 19 goals and 45 points while amassing a -20 rating over 82 games, is known for his strong play on the puck and gives the Blueshirts a veteran option should Brandon Dubinsky (who remains unsigned) struggle as the team’s default first line center.
Prospal has scored 20 or more goals four times in his career and reached the 30 goal plateau just 2 seasons ago while splitting time with Tampa Bay and Philadelphia.
Analysis: At first look, this signing seems like another Sather reclamation project but I think Prospal is different. He gives the Rangers multiple options on the wing and down the middle and is only one season removed from a 33 goal campaign. The 6-2, 198 lb. forward will probably be given the chance to win a spot on the second line but could end up centering Gaborik on the top line with the team’s brain trust still unsure if Dubinsky can handle those duties. I think this is a smart signing at an affordable price and at only one year it won’t block the path of one of our younger players (Grachev or Lisin) who may be ready to contribute full time come 2010.