Mika Zibanejad signs new deal worth an estimated $68 million.

Zibanejad gets a new deal.

HockeyFeed

The New York Rangers have reportedly just completed a huge piece of business.

According to a breaking news report from Rangers insider Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers have reportedly come to terms on a new contract extension for forward Mika Zibanejad. Brooks reports that the deal will carry the max term of 8 years and will come in at an average annual value of somewhere around the $8.5 million mark. That is a huge commitment to Zibanejad and is also a huge commitment on the part of the player to the team, one that avoids the pending unrestricted free agency that was on the horizon for Zibanejad at the end of this season.

It is a huge deal for the Rangers and while they likely, as Brooks suggests, gave up more term here to a 28 year old forward than they would have liked, there's also little doubt that Zibanejad could have potentially earned even more on the open market as a free agent next summer. 

This move also likely puts an end to any conversations involving the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres forward captain Jack EichelThe Rangers have long been believed to be among the frontrunners for Eichel's services via a trade, but with Zibanejad signed as the team's franchise centerman for the foreseeable future that deal appears to be dead in the water. Brooks himself has speculated in the past that it would be impossible for the Rangers to manage both a hefty contract for Zibanejad and Eichel's deal at the same time, so barring something drastic it seems like Eichel is not destined for New York.

Zibanejad has no doubt earned this deal and has arguably been the franchises best player over the past 2 seasons. Over that period of time Zibanejad has appeared in 113 games for the Rangers and has a whopping 65 goals and 60 assists for a combined 125 points over that stretch of play. It is hard to overstate his value to the Rangers organization at this time and no doubt as a result of that this move will be extremely well received by the Rangers' fan base.