June 8: The Rangers have officially announced the contract, confirming its two-year term.
June 7: The New York Rangers have re-signed forward Anton Blidh to a two-year/two-way contract extension. The signing continues a trend for the 28-year-old Blidh as he has played under the parameters of a two-way contract for the past eight seasons. CapFriendly is reporting that Blidh will have an NHL cap hit of $775K in each of the two seasons or a minor’s salary of $350K. Should he spend the entire season in the AHL he does have a minimum guarantee of $385K in each year.
The move is a little bit curious as the Swedish winger came over in a trade deadline deal with the Colorado Avalanche but never dressed for the Rangers at the NHL level. It appears that general manager Chris Drury views Blidh as organization depth. He is a very useful defensive player who can kill penalties and chip in occasionally as he did this past season putting up 13 goals and 10 assists in 53 AHL games split between the Hartford Wolfpack and Colorado Eagles. While he struggled early in the season in Colorado, he seemed to find a home in Hartford as he finished his season putting up seven goals and four assists in his final 17 games.
Given Blidh’s career trajectory and his inability to stay at the NHL level it does appear that he’s destined to be a good AHL player and occasional NHL call-up. In 84 NHL games scattered across seven NHL seasons he has four goals and eight assists to go along with 41 PIM.
The signing is a nice story for Blidh who less than a month ago had a scary incident in a playoff game against the Hershey Bears. In the first period of Game One of the Atlantic Division Final, Blidh collapsed on the Hartford bench and the game had to be stopped to provide him with medical attention. In the end it turned out that Blidh had the wind knocked out of him and thankfully he was okay. Fortunately, he was able to keep playing and now he will be able to continue playing for at least the next two years.