The New York Rangers have re-signed defenseman Steve Eminger
to a one-year deal believed to
be worth $800,000.
Eminger’s return had been anticipated and once the
to terms with Brandon Dubinsky they likely had a much better idea of their
Eminger, 27, was acquired from the Anaheim Ducks prior to
last season in exchange for Aaron Voros.
He was a big surprise early in the season and was the
Rangers’ main physical presence on the back-end. Eminger’s play slipped a bit down the
stretch, but he remained extremely popular in the New York locker room.
Eminger doesn’t bring much offensive ability but he is
poised in his own end and will be a steadying presence as a sixth or seventh
defenseman. Eminger also likely had a
leg up on other possible veteran replacements because he’s already familiar
with the Rangers’ system.
Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Mike Sauer and Ryan McDonagh are
entrenched as the team’s top four defenders, while Eminger, Tim Erixon and
Michael Del Zotto will likely battle for the remaining spots.
Eminger could start the year in the lineup to give one of
the youngsters a bit more time to develop, as happened last year with Sauer and
McDonagh. It’s also possible that he
could rotate in and out of the lineup, but that will all depend on how Erixon
and Del Zotto look at training camp.
With Eminger back in the fold the lone remaining transaction
to be made this summer is the re-signing of Ryan Callahan, which could also
happen this week.
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