Rangers sign Kevin Rooney, Colin Blackwell to open NHL free agency

Kevin Rooney is headed across the river.

The former Devils’ fourth-liner signed a two-year deal Friday with the Rangers that carries a $750,000 cap hit. During his first three years in New Jersey, Rooney spent a majority of his time with the team’s AHL affiliate, the Binghamton Devils.

In 2019-20, Rooney collected four goals and five assists in 49 games with the Devils. The 27-year-old has appeared in 95 NHL games in the last four seasons, posting 10 goals and 9 assists.

Rooney adds some depth to the Rangers group of centers, bringing a gritty style of play. He could compete for a fourth-line role. The Rangers also need a forward who meet exposure requirements for the Seattle Kraken expansion draft.

The Rangers also signed center Colin Blackwell to a two-year deal Friday. The first year is a two-way contract at $700,000 and $350,000 while the second year is a one-way at $750,000, according to TSN. Blackwell, who appeared in 33 NHL games with the Nashville Predators the last two seasons, recorded three goals and seven assists in 27 games in 2019-20.

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