The Rangers avoided arbitration with two pending restricted free agent forwards on Friday, signing Chris Kreider and hours later inking Kevin Hayes.
The team announced both signings Friday, but did not disclose financial terms.
A source said Kreider agreed to a four-year, $18.5-million contract and Hayes agreed to a two-year, $5.2-million deal.
Kreider’s arbitration hearing was scheduled for Friday morning, but the sides had been discussing a long-term contract. Hayes’ hearing was scheduled for next Wednesday.
Locking up the pair for $7.225 million this year leaves second-year general manager Jeff Gorton and the Rangers about $4.3 million under the salary cap, with 22 players signed, including defenseman Adam Clendening on a one-year, two-way deal. That figure does not include top prospects Pavel Buchnevich and defenseman Brady Skjei, who are on entry-level deals at a combined $1.85 million.
Kreider and the Rangers also avoided arbitration in August 2014, with the sides settling on a two-year pact for an average of $2.475 million. Kreider now gets a deal with an average annual salary of $4.625 million, according to the source.
Kreider, 25, had 21 goals and 43 points in 79 games last season. He has 61 goals and 68 assists in 248 games over his four seasons with the Rangers and 20 goals and 13 assists in 65 career playoff games. Kreider was the 19th overall selection by the Rangers in the first round of the 2009 draft.
Hayes, 24, had 14 goals and 22 assists in 79 games last season.
Earlier this month, the Rangers signed two other arbitration-eligible restricted free agents, center J.T. Miller and defenseman Dylan McIlrath.
The Rangers have not had a player go through an arbitration hearing since Nikolay Zherdev in 2009, when the team walked away from his $3.9-million award, making him an unrestricted free agent.
Boulton back with Isles. Eric Boulton, who turns 40 next month, has agreed to a one-year, two-way deal with the Islanders, the team announced Friday. Boulton, a 15-year NHL veteran, appeared in six games with the Islanders last season. He did not record a point. In four seasons with the Isles, he has six points and 156 penalty minutes in 54 appearances.