New York Rangers Sign Veteran Backup

Jaroslav Halak contract
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The New York Rangers have agreed to terms on a Jaroslav Halak contract. This deal is for one season at $1.55 million and carries him through the end of the 2022-23 campaign. The Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli broke news of the contract on Wednesday afternoon.

NHL free agent frenzy

New York also sent defenceman Patrik Nemeth to the Arizona Coyotes. The Athletic’s Shayna Goldman broke news of the deal, but no other details were available.

Jaroslav Halak Gets Contract with Rangers

Over his 16-year NHL career, the journeyman goalie has played for many teams. Some of Halak’s stops include the Montreal Canadiens, Boston Bruins, Vancouver Canucks, New York Islanders, Washington Capitals, St. Louis Blues and Boston Bruins. The Slovakian goalie has a career record of 285-180-64 with a career 2.49 goals-against-average. Halak also has a career save percentage of .916 and 52 shutouts.

Last season, he went 4-7-2 with a 2.94 goals-against-average and .903 save percentage with the Canucks. Montreal originally took Halak in the ninth round, 271st overall of the 2003 NHL Draft.

The Slovakian also represented his home country at the international level. He played for his native land at the World Juniors, World Championships and Olympics. He was part of Team Europe that placed second at the 2016 World Cup of Hockey.

What it Means

Halak’s main job will be to take some games from Igor Shesterkin and lighten his workload. The veteran is a low-cost option as the Rangers try to keep their lineup together that reached the Eastern Conference Final. General manager Chris Drury has some work to do in keeping youngsters like Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller around.

Trading Nemeth will likely involve some picks so the Coyotes could take his contract. Nemeth struggled in the Stanley Cup Playoffs and was eventually phased out of the lineup. Trading him will also allow some of their younger defenders to get some valuable ice time.