Usually anything written about Ryan McDonagh should begin with a big, passionate thank you to Bob Gainey but not this time as we’re past that (thanks Bob). We’re at the point now where McDonagh is becoming an integral part of the Rangers line-up, so much so that well ahead of schedule it’s a legitimate point in time to begin to discuss what McDonagh will be worth to the Rangers.
McDonagh is making a paltry (in comparison to his development) $875k this year and the same amount next season; he’s only eligible to become a restricted free agent prior to the 2013/14 season. McDonagh is also picking up a $425k bonus this season – well deserved thus far you’ll no doubt agree.
When it comes to the point where the Rangers begin to discuss terms with the talented blueliner, assuming the former Wisconsin badger continues his development, it’s going to cost the Rangers a fair bit of dollar. Do the Rangers overpay to get his name on a long term contract or do they use the restricted status to their cap advantage? It may be in their interests to get his name on a longer deal as soon as they can.
The next couple of years could be an expensive time on the blueline for the Rangers so it’s a good thing they have depth on the blue line in the organisation (allowing someone to be traded to make space for new deals). If Del Zotto completes his turn around this year and becomes an integral part of the top 6 his new deal won’t be cheap (after the 2012 season) while Mike Sauer’s latest deal expires at the same time as McDonagh. Meanwhile, Marc Staal and Girardi combine for over 7m in cap commitments. Girardi seems the prime candidate to be the victim of any cap management despite becoming a crucial part of the Rangers.
All Ryan McDonagh has done this year is become a force. He’s still learning and still makes some mistakes but he’s providing offense, doing his thing on the back end in an accomplished manner while doing it all with the composure and demeanour of a veteran way beyond his experience level. With 3 goals, 5 points and a huge amount of ice time this season, McDonagh has made the bitter pill of losing Marc Staal easier to swallow. So how much would you pay him? Would you get him under contract sooner rather than later?