The New York Rangers added a depth center on Friday by signing Tyler Arnason to a two-way contract. Arnason, 30, had 22 points and 14 penalty minutes in 71 games with the Colorado Avalanche last season. Terms of the deal were not disclosed.
The Rangers are likely still in the market for a top-two center and have reportedly expressed interest in Saku Koivu, who is also being targeted by Anaheim, Minnesota and New Jersey, one newspaper report said. Koivu is expected to still take some time in weighing his options and he is now one of the most sought after players on the market as a bonafide No. 2 center.
Arnason, though, gives the Rangers an option as a two-way pivot who could potentially serve as a replacement for Blair Betts, one of the team's top penalty killers last season who remains an unrestricted free agent. Arnason, though, did not kill penalties for the Avs even though he finished third on the team with 58 takeaways.
Since he's on a two-way deal, he could be sent to Hartford of the American Hockey League, where he would receive a different salary.
Arnason has played for Chicago, Ottawa and Colorado and has 88 goals and 157 assists for 245 points in 487 games. While with the Blackhawks in 2003-04, he established career-highs in goals (22), assists (33), points (55), power play goals (6) and shots (222).
However, Arnason's production has gone down in the past three seasons. He had 49 points in 82 games during the 2006-07 season, his first in Colorado, but dipped to 31 points in 70 games in '07-'08 and 22 points in 71 games this past season.
The Rangers also announced the signings of a pair of minor-leaguers, Corey Locke and P.A. Parenteau. Locke, a three-time AHL All-Star, had 79 points in 77 games for the Houston Aeros (Minnesota Wild) last season. Parenteau had 78 points in 74 games for Hartford.
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