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Chris Kreider leads 4 Rangers who file for salary arbitration

New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider skates

New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider skates against the St. Louis Blues in the first period of a game at Madison Square Garden on Thursday, Nov. 12, 2015. Photo Credit: Kathleen Malone-Van Dyke

The Rangers signed two of their eight restricted free agents on Tuesday, the day on which players must decide whether to file for salary arbitration.

Defenseman Mat Bodie and forward Nicklas Jensen, who played in Hartford last season, agreed to terms, the team announced Tuesday.

Both Bodie and Jensen signed one-year, two-way contracts worth $600,000.

Bodie, 26, had seven goals and 36 points in 76 games for the Wolf Pack. Jensen, 23, acquired from Vancouver in January in exchange for Emerson Etem, had 15 goals and 25 points in 41 games for the Wolf Pack and was Denmark’s top scorer in the World Championships.

Forwards Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and defenseman Dylan McIlrath, the team’s top restricted free agents, are expected to file for salary arbitration before Tuesday’s 5 p.m. deadline. They had been given qualifying offers for one-year deals. Hearings will be scheduled in late July and early August.

General manager Jeff Gorton has said he hopes to reach agreements with the players. In recent years, just about every NHL player who filed agreed on a new contract before the hearings in Toronto.

Kreider, the 25-year-old left wing whose numbers improved in the second half to finish at 21-22-34 in 79 games, is coming off a two-year deal that paid him $2,475,000 per season.

Hayes, 24, was 17-28-45 in 79 games, and had a cap charge of $900,000 in his entry level contract, and $2.85 million in performance bonuses. Miller, 23, is coming off a career season (22-21-43) and a one-year contract of $874,000. McIlrath, 24, was 2-2-4 in 34 games and earned $600,000 last season.

Two other restricted free agents in Hartford, Marek Hrivik and Tommy Hughes, also are eligible to file. Bodie was eligible, Jensen was not.

After a hearing, the arbitrator’s ruling sets a salary for a player. A team must make a decision within 48 hours or walk away and the player becomes a free agent.


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