The lull in hockey action on the ice from the end of the Stanley Cup playoffs to the beginning of another season’s training camp doesn’t mean that there’s lots of behind-the-scenes events going on in NHL front office spaces. The New York Rangers have been busy trying to reload player personnel for the upcoming 2022-23 run to win Lord Stanley’s trophy this off season. Rangers President and GM Chris Drury has been very busy finishing off player contracts in anticipation for the start of training camp next month.
Rangers signings and re-signings this offseason.
GM Chris Drury signed forward C.J. Smith to a one year contract this summer. As a solid prospect, Smith played 60 games last season for the AHL Chicago Wolves and registered 58 points for the Wolves (24 goals, 34 assists.) Smith ranked near the top of the Wolves in goals, assists and overall points last season and contributed a total of nine points as the Wolves won the Calder Cup. C.J. Smith isn’t an absolute stranger to the NHL and did suit up for one game last year for the Carolina Hurricanes and has played in 15 total games split between the Hurricanes and the Buffalo Sabres. It remains to be seen if Smith will make an impact in training camp or if he’s destined to move back and forth between Hartford and New York this upcoming season. As a background note, Smith had a strong collegiate career at UMass Lowell and garnered a total of 125 points in 120 during his college playing days.
Targeting forwards, the Rangers also recently signed a two-year, $2.1 million dollar contract extension with forward Kaapo Kakko. Kakko played in 43 games for the Rangers last season and made seven goals and 11 assists and also contributed five more total points during last season’s playoff run. Kakko has played in 157 NHL games with the Rangers and is one of the younger Blueshirts who can hopefully this organization move past the Eastern Conference finals next spring.
The Rangers added depth in the attacking front by signing forward Tim Gettinger to a one-year contract extension as well. Gettinger spent most of last year’s campaign as the alternate captain wearing the “A” for the Chicago Wolves and scored ten goals and 15 assists in 45 games. Gettinger also wore the Blueshirt eight times last year and fired off three shots in games. Again, Gettinger may find himself as a development player and move back and forth between Hartford and New York unless he can win a line spot with the Rangers in the upcoming training camp.