The NHL News seems to always break down around 5:00. Naturally, there were two signings within what felt like minutes of each other. Yes, there’s that one with Auston Matthews. However, the New York Rangers finally inked Alexis Lafreniere to a two-year deal at $2.325 million AAV.
Finally, the deal is done after talk of offer sheets and all sorts of crazy rumors. It really did seem like there was a number and it was only a matter of time.
— Mollie Walker (@MollieeWalkerr) August 23, 2023
Again, these are deals that often take their own sweet time. It did seem curious how this one seemingly popped up out of nowhere. With the Rangers being jammed up against the salary cap, the dollars were limited. It was going to take X amount of dollars to get Lafreniere in camp. That’s exactly what happened.
The Rangers’ forward wants more ice time. New York wants to see more consistency. That seems to be the two bulls butting heads. Whatever the case may be, the Rangers and their top draft pick from 2020 have up to two more years to figure things out.
The hope is that the salary goes up enough along with Lafreniere’s production. Time will tell whether Peter Laviolette can get more out of the left winger.
Alexis Lafrenière, signed 2x$2.3M by NYR, is a young middle six winger who has a knack for getting to the net and making himself open for tap-in chances. Other elements of his game haven't quite developed as expected but there's time. #NYR pic.twitter.com/gi75WeQLsj
— JFresh (@JFreshHockey) August 23, 2023
One thing to be emphasized is that the Rangers forward is not even 22 yet. Not every player develops the same. This may be a very slow process. However, when fans see other teams and how their top picks have thrived, the frustration gets to be real.
By the way, this temporarily pushes the Rangers over the salary cap by $46,583. That is temporary and the belief is no one in Gotham is too worried about that.
Everything you need to know about Alexis Lafrenière's new deal, his development up to this point, where it leaves the #NYR from a roster and cap perspective, and what's next, right here 👇https://t.co/iZXU9463dv
— Vince Z. Mercogliano (@vzmercogliano) August 23, 2023
With so many things to digest, the next question is what becomes that next step for Alexis Lafreniere. One thing is clear that he needs to play more than 15 minutes a night. Now, in training camp and in October, can the forward up his level to merit more prime top-six and power-play ice time.
— EP Transfers (@ep_transfers) August 23, 2023
With a new deal, now it is time for Alexis Lafreniere to take those next steps at Madison Square Garden.