Holik Signed by Rangers
The New York Rangers signed center Bobby Holik on Monday night, acquiring a tough, two-way forward who won two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils.
General Manager Glen Sather called Holik’s signing “an absolute priority” for the Rangers, who have missed the playoffs the last five seasons. Teams were able to start negotiating with unrestricted free agents Monday, though Sather targeted Holik before that.
“I always knew it was a possibility this could happen, so I always knew what I wanted,” Holik said. “The only ones I gave any serious thought to were from the Rangers. My mind was somewhat made up about what I want to get out of being an unrestricted free agent.”
Last season, the 6-foot-4, 230-pound Holik had 25 goals and 29 assists with the Devils. New Jersey also made a pitch to Holik on Monday, but it wasn’t enough to keep him.
He will reportedly earn $45 million over five years with the Rangers.
“We did, in my mind, put in a very substantial offer this morning and we felt comfortable with the offer,” Devil General Manager Lou Lamoriello said. “There are certain things we can’t control. It was a decision he had to make. It’s his future, I respect that. I wish him the best.”
Holik said “there was a major philosophical difference” between New Jersey’s offer and New York’s, and that he “didn’t spend much time looking at it.”
“I gave the Devils more than one chance, not just today, but over the last 13 months to sign me to a long-term deal,” Holik said. “I didn’t make this decision just today. A lot of things have gone through my head this year.”
Holik went to arbitration with the Devils last summer and was awarded a one-year, $3.5 million contract.
“I heard things that no player wants to hear,” Holik said. “I wouldn’t mind if it was honest criticism, that you could take to heart.... But it’s a strange process.”
The Washington Capitals signed free-agent forward Robert Lang to a five-year contract worth a reported $25 million.... The San Jose Sharks re-signed center Patrick Marleau, forward Marco Sturm and defenseman Shawn Heins. The club also declined to exercise its option on forward Alex Korolyuk, making him a restricted free agent.