The New York Rangers Sign Morgan Barron to Contract; Zibanejad Gets Team Award

New York Rangers, Mika Zibanejad

The New York Rangers have announced that the team has agreed to terms with forward Morgan Barron on an entry-level contract. The Halifax, Nova Scotia native was selected by the Rangers in the sixth round, 174th overall, of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft. His contract begins at the start of the 2020-21 season.

Barron played his college hockey in upstate New York at Cornell University, where he led the team in goals and points in each of his final two seasons. He also led the team in shots on goal in each of those seasons, recording 255 shots on goal in 65 games (3.92 shots on goal per game over the span). Barron tied for third in the NCAA in shots on goal in 2018-19 (152).

The twenty-one-year-old was a tri-captain with Cornell in 2019-20, led the team in several categories during the season, including goals, points, and shots on goal (103), and he was tied for second on the team in assists. He helped Cornell post a 23-2-4 record and win the ECAC Regular Season Championship during the 2019-20 season.

Barron skated in 29 games with Cornell University this season, registering 14 goals and 18 assists for 32 points, along with a plus-17 rating and 24 penalty minutes. He was named a First Team All-American, and he was selected as one of 10 finalists for the Hobey Baker Award as the top player in collegiate hockey in 2019-20. Barron was named the ECAC Hockey Player of the Year this season. In addition, he was named to the ECAC Hockey First All-Star Team and was a unanimous selection to the All-Ivy League First All-Star Team this season.

Mika Zibanejad gets New York Ranger Team Award

The Rangers also announced that Mika Zibanejad has been named the winner of the 2019-20 Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award.

Zibanejad, who also won the Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award last season, is the sixth Ranger who has won the award in at least two consecutive seasons (along with Adam Graves, Mark Messier, Sandy McCarthy, Ryan Callahan, and Mats Zuccarello).

The Steven McDonald Extra Effort Award presented by Northwell Health is awarded annually to the Ranger who, as chosen by the fans, “goes above and beyond the call of duty.”

The award, which has been given annually since the 1987-88 season, bears the name of New York City Police Detective Steven McDonald, who was shot and injured in the line of duty on July 12, 1986, and passed away on January 10, 2017.

In honor of this year’s award, NorthwellHealth is donating $25,000 to the Steven McDonald Foundation.



New York Rangers Playoff Roster Could be Impacted by NHL Ruling

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

The New York Rangers could be impacted by the NHL’s statement that teams should not be permitted to sign players from their respective reserve lists to 2019-20 contracts so they can participate in the upcoming tournament. This stance could affect whether players like Morgan Barron are included on the roster when the league resumes sometime this summer.

This became an issue last Tuesday when NHL deputy commissioner Bill Daly spoke on this matter during a Zoom video conference call with reporters when he referred to such potential roster additions as “ringers.”

“It would be our position, particularly given the advanced date and given the fact it could affect a lot of the players who might now be able to play the balance of the season, it may be unfair to let them play the balance of the season,” Daly said. “We’ve progressed past the trade deadline. Each team has kind of set its roster. Its roster reflects — and everybody will come back healthy, which is a benefit to the teams — its efforts in the 2019‑20 season.”

Ranger fans might remember when Chris Kreider was signed from Boston College after leading them to the NCAA title in 2012. It was also not an issue last year highly regarded defenseman Cale Makar followed a similar path out of college last season and debuted for Colorado during its first-round playoff series against Calgary.

Of course, we live in different times right now. Teams have been prohibited from signing players on their reserve list to contracts for the 2019-20 season since the league paused March 12 because of the pandemic. However, the NHL Players’ Association clearly does not agree with this stance, and the sides will continue to discuss the matter as they iron out the details on the return-to-play plan.

A little movement on this may have occurred on Sunday, when Daly confirmed in an email to the teams that the deadline to sign entry-level contracts was extended an additional month to July 1. This is at least a sign that young Rangers like Barron, K’Andre Miller, and/or Patrick Khoderenko to be part of the extended playoff roster. It is expected that teams will be allowed to carry slightly less than 30 skaters and an unlimited amount of goalies on their playoff rosters.