Well, we all know that the Scott Gomez to Montreal deal was a salary dump. But how much of a dump? Gomez has a $7.357 million cap hit through 2013-2014.
Chris Higgins, an RFA, made $1.9 million last season, and it’s safe to assume he has been qualified for that amount. Considering how much time he missed last season, and his output from his previous seasons, it’s safe to assume that $3 million will be the going rate for him.
Doug Janik, well, he’s a journeyman, he won’t be back next season, unless it’s as the 7th defenseman, the Rangers have too much defense anyway. He would come cheap at roughly $500,000 though. That’s what you want from a 7th defenseman.
Ryan McDonagh is in college, just finishing up his sophomore year at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He won’t be counting against the cap. I will be writing a prospect profile on him in the coming days.
Pavel Valentenko, well, if he comes to the US, he will start in Hartford. He bolted the AHL last year for the KHL, so it’s unlikely he will be back.
That’s a lot of words to just say this: The Rangers just gained $4 million in cap space*. They dealt from a strength (center) to fill a huge hole (LW), and they didn’t give up any prospects or current young NHLers. AND they freed up cap space. This trade was a huge win for Sather.
*-Actually number depends on the contract for Higgins, and if they sign Janik.
Just a note, I liked Gomez. I thought he would have done well under the Torts system with Avery and Callahan. But he was signed to be a leader, and he wasn’t leading, his contract was atrocious, and the Rangers needed to fill that hole. Good luck in Montreal Gomer.
As for the current lines, or my best guess at them:
Clearly, the Rangers have a need for a RW. They can go the RFA route (Drew Stafford, Ryan Clowe), the UFA route (Hossa, Kovalev, Knuble), the trade route (insert wild trade scenario here), or just see if they have someone in the system (Greg Moore, Dale Weise).
Personally, I would love to see Clowe in Ranger blue. But I don’t think the RFA route is a viable option. Without that 3rd round pick (used on Brian Boyle), the Rangers don’t have enough compensation for any RFAs (for more details, check the Cap Page).
My guess? Knuble, 1 year-$2.5 million.
As for that defense spot, it’s probably going to be one of Sauer / Potter / Sanguinetti.
All in all, it’s nice to have some cap room, eh?
Oh, almost forgot. The Rangers now have enough room to go after Hossa, and still keep Staal, Dubie and Cally long term.