Vladislav Namestnikov New York Rangers
(Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers began the 2018 free agency season by re-signing one of their own to a multi-year contract 

The New York Rangers announced Sunday afternoon that they have signed center Vladislav Namestnikov to a two-year contract.

Namestnikov was acquired at the 2018 trade deadline as a part of the Ryan McDonagh/J.T. Miller trade with Tampa Bay. He scored two goals and two assists in 19 games with the Blueshirts.

The expectation is the Namestnikov will receive a $3.5 million salary next season with the chance of reaching $4 million thanks to some bonuses. In the final year of the deal, he will have an AAV of $4million.

There was some speculation that Namestnikov was going to hang up the skates in the NHL and head over to the KHL for next season. But, his agent quickly put those rumors to bed.

Namestnikov had a hard time making the adjustment to the Big Apple after the Feb. 26 trade. He found himself receiving similar treatment that J.T. Miller saw from former head coach Alain Vigneault. It was obvious that Namestnikov never really took to Vigneault’s style and that hindered his game.

With new coach Davide Quinn, Namestnikov has a chance to create a new impression on the New York fan base. Can he become the player he was in Tampa Bay where he scored 123 points in 263 games? Or was he just a product of playing alongside some of the games top players in Steven Stamkos or Nikita Kucherov?

Namestnikov is one of 11 restricted free agents that the Rangers needed to determine where their futures would be. Other notable RFA’s are Jimmy Vesey, Ryan Spooner, Kevin Hayes, and Brady Skjei.

The contract shows that general manager Jeff Gorton believes in Namestnikov, now it is time for the 25-year-old to show Gorton that it was the right decision.

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Dominick is a graduate of Canisius College. He has covered the Rangers for the last seven seasons and the Yankees for the last four.