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Rangers and Brendan Lemieux exchange arb figures, manageable gap exists

November 4, 2020, 10:22 AM ET [59 Comments]
Jan Levine
New York Rangers Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
The Rangers and Brandan Lemiuex exchanged arb figures in advance of their Friday hearing. If comparing the gap between the figures these two parties exchanged and the numbers proposed by New York and Ryan Strome, it's like night and day. A gap still exists but it is likely manageable and should allow the two parties to reach an accord before the hearing.

Lemieux made $925K last year. New York, for some reason, only gave him a slight nudge for year 1 and mild bump for year 2, likely reflective of his play last season, which was a far cry from what he showed after coming to the team. We knew Lemiuex would ask for a decent bump, though an AAV for $2 mil based upon his play last year is a bold ask. I figure $1.25 in year 1 and $1.75 in year 2 or any derivation therein for a $1.5 mil AAV seems to be a logical meeting point. Regardless, Lemiuex will be exposed to Seattle after this season, unless something really radical happens.

This is what I about Lemiuex in my April assessment of his season.

Lemieux, in my view, was a major disappointment. Maybe the expectations I had for him was too high. But even at the low end of what might have been acceptable wasn't reached.

As Larry Brooks noted in his assessment, six goals, 12 assists, 42.2 percent Corsi, on for 19 goals for and 30 against at full strength. Ugly numbers overall, cognizant of the expected decline in shooting percentage. Even with giving him credit for the penalties for/against differential, the numbers weren't there.

One comment I heard a lot was Lemieux didn't appear to be in shape, which impacted his play. That may have been the case, since he did look a step slow. Lemieux should have been a staple on the third line, moving up when needed. But Brooks noted in the column that Lemieux was mostly planted on the fourth line, rightfully so.

The one piece of good news is that Lemieux's so-so campaign should result in a lower salary increase next next season. Signed to the minimum this year due to no arbitration rights, Lemieux, like Tony DeAngelo, bet on himself by taking a one-year deal. Despite having arb rights this off-season, I would not expect Lemieux's salary to rise much. Maybe he goes from 925K to $1.2-1.5 million, but no higher and it's quite likely he ends up at the lower end of that range.

Lemieux needs to come to camp in great shape and prove that he belongs in the lineup nightly as well as in a prominent role. This past year was a not a good one for the agitative forward. For Lemieux to retain his roster spot, 2020-21 must be a lot better.

What say you?

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