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Editorials

New York Islanders Metropolitan Division Free Agency Power Rankings

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: Leo Komarov #47 of the New York Islanders backs into Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche during the second period at the Barclays Center on February 09, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NEW YORK - FEBRUARY 09: Leo Komarov #47 of the New York Islanders backs into Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche during the second period at the Barclays Center on February 09, 2019 in the Brooklyn borough of New York City. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
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COLUMBUS, OH – OCTOBER 6: Artemi Panarin #9 of the Columbus Blue Jackets warms up prior to the start of the game against the New York Islanders on October 6, 2017 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. (Photo by Kirk Irwin/Getty Images)

New York Rangers

Ins: Artemi Panarin, Greg McKegg
Outs: John Gilmour, Chris Bigras

The New York Rangers are clearly winning the free agency in the Metropolitan Division. They landed the biggest free agent on the market and paid him less than their competitors to do so.

Artemi Panarin had a $12.5 million AAV offer on the table from the New York Islanders. But Panarin decided to play for the Rangers and pull $11.642 million on average. A full $858,000 per year, or just over $6 million for the full term of the deal.

That’s #winning.

With Panarin, the Rangers bring in a point-per-game winger to add to the top end of their roster. Their first line next season should be a combination of Panarin, Mika Zibanejad, and Vladislav Namestnikov on the right side.

It may not be the best top line in the NHL, but it’s definitely a top line in the NHL. Zibanejad and Namestnikov are already good players, but with Panarin, they’ll be even better.

Greg McKegg gives the Rangers some NHL depth at the bottom end of the roster to round things out.

And they didn’t lose anything in the process. Sure, they ‘lost’ John Gilmour and Chris Bigras. But have you heard of either player before just now? No. You haven’t.

Gilmour has played a total of 33 games in the NHL while Bigras has played 46 games in the NHL. They are fringe NHL players, spending most of their careers in the AHL.

The New York Rangers got demonstrably better in free agency without taking a step back.

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