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2012 NHL Free Agency: Stu Bickel Re-Signs With Rangers

The 2012 NHL free agency period begin Sunday, and the New York Rangers haven't made any big splashes yet, but they did re-sign a key player on their blueline. The Rangers and defenseman Stu Bickel agreed in terms to a two-year, $1.5 million contract.

The move adds depth and toughness to the Rangers' defense, which was key in helping the Blueshirts make it to the Eastern Conference Final. Bickel is expected to earn a roster spot as a third or fourth defensemen.

Last season, Bickel, 25, played in 27 games and compiled a plus/minus of plus-four. Bickel also had 80 penalty minutes, one goal and three assists.

Expect this to not be the last free-agent move the Rangers make on defense.

For more on the Rangers, please be sure to check out our blog Blueshirt Banter and SB Nation New York for all the latest news and updates. For everything on the NHL's free agency, check out SB Nation hockey hub page.