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Projecting the Rangers’ 2014-2015 payroll, part two

Lots of questions this offseason for Slats.

Lots of questions this offseason for Slats.

Part One

One of the major concerns for next year is the payroll. The Rangers have a lot of money tied into a few players, and about half of the roster will be hitting some form of free agency. Dan Girardi’s contract is done, so that hits the payroll. Martin St. Louis is on the payroll instead of Ryan Callahan, which actually saves a few dollars. But no matter which way you look at it, the Rangers have $54 million tied into 13 players. That gives the Rangers $17 million to get the other eight or nine guys under contract, assuming a $71 million cap*.

*-The cap may drop to $68 million due to the declining value of the Canadian dollar. For the sake of this exercise, we are going to stick to $71 million, as that’s what has been reported.

There are three types of players heading into the offseason: Those that are signed, those that are RFAs, and those that are UFAs. Let’s break them down.

Signed (Cap Hit): Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5m), Rick Nash ($7.8m), Brad Richards($6.67m), Marty St. Louis ($5.625m), Dan Girardi ($5.5m), Ryan McDonagh ($4.7m), Marc Staal ($3.975m), Derek Stepan ($3.075m), Kevin Klein ($2.9m), Carl Hagelin ($2.25m), Derek Dorsett ($1.633m), Cam Talbot($562k)

Total: 13 players, $54 million

RFAs (Qualifying Offer): Derick Brassard ($3,7m), Mats Zuccarello ($1.15m),Justin Falk ($1.023m), Chris Kreider ($850k),  John Moore ($850k)

Total: 5 players, $7.573 million

UFAs: Brian BoyleAnton Stralman, Dan Carcillo,Benoit Pouliot, Dom Moore, Raphael Diaz

Total: 6 players

Let’s assume that even if Brad Richards gets bought out, they will replace him with another center making roughly the same amount of money. The ideal target is Paul Stastny, who makes $6.6 million this season. That is essentially a wash.

Of the RFAs, Zuccarello, Kreider, and Moore will all get raises on their QOs. Brassard may not get a raise due to the high value of his QO, but I would assume he still gets his. Falk will not be qualified at that amount.

Of the UFAs, Boyle, Stralman, Diaz, and Pouliot are all maybes based on asking price. Stralman apparently rejected a three-year, $9 million contract (since refuted by his agent). If he wants more, I’d guess the Rangers let him walk. I’m assuming that Carcillo and Moore will not be re-upped.

In Part One, I made some initial projections using Capgeek’s Armchair GM feature. Naturally some of that is outdated (St. Louis/Cally), but I nailed the Girardi contract. Those predictions can still hold true for most of the roster. Here was my logic behind the players still on the roster:

  • I gave modest raises to the RFAs based on current performance, but I admittedly did not perform any research on their market value. True market value will be easy to gauge at the end of the season when their stats are final. Brassard is the only one that did not get a raise, as mentioned above.
  • I used Matt Hendricks’ contract to gauge Brian Boyle’s value.
  • This initial projection has the Rangers at $64.7 million, with about $6.4 million left to spend on the remaining 5 roster spots (3 F, 2 D).
    • The St. Louis/Cally swap gives the Rangers roughly $6.275 million to work with for those five spots.
  • Assuming league minimum for 1 F and 1 D as the 13 F and 7D, the Rangers will have about $5 million to spend on three spots (2 F, 1 D).
  • Prospects (J.T. MillerJesper FastOscar LindbergDanny KristoDylan McIlrathConor Allen) were not included in the projections. They are too much of a wildcard.

There is a lot that will happen between now and the 2014-2015 season, but the salary cap –and the number of players the Rangers have hitting free agency– has been a hot topic for some time. We will revisit this post again when the season ends, but the Rangers aren’t in terrible shape.

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21 Responses to “Projecting the Rangers’ 2014-2015 payroll, part two”

  1. SalMerc says:

    Dave – Awesome work above. I can see all of the UFA’s leaving. I also feel they might want to try to lock-up McD to a longer term deal, making the available pot even smaller. I can see Stall, Klein and Hagelin put into packages to re-coup some high draft picks, saving some money and opening a spot or two for the kids.

    All analysis may change if Slats decides to retire.

    • Seahorse says:

      Mcd just got a brand new contract last offseason

    • Dave says:

      Longer term deal for McDonagh? He’s locked up for a while.

      Why in the world would they trade to blow up the roster when it’s been very clear that Slats, whether you like it or not, is in win-now mode?

  2. Chris A says:

    I took a shot. Consider Diaz a placeholder for a 7th D. Maybe the 7th D is slightly overpaid and Boyle is slightly overpaid.

    With that $2.7M in space and the extra $827K for Kristo the Rangers have about $3.5M if they want to add a 2nd/3rd line winger. Maybe Stastny commands more than $6.95M so that space can be allocated there as well

    CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
    CapGeek Armchair GM Roster
    FORWARDS
    Rick Nash ($7.800m) / Paul Stastny ($6.950m) / Carl Hagelin ($2.250m)
    Martin St. Louis ($5.625m) / Derek Stepan ($3.075m) / Chris Kreider ($1.750m)
    J.T. Miller ($0.894m) / Derick Brassard ($4.000m) / Danny Kristo ($0.827m)
    Brian Boyle ($1.700m) / Dominic Moore ($1.250m) / Derek Dorsett ($1.633m)
    Oscar Lindberg ($0.675m) /
    DEFENSEMEN
    Ryan McDonagh ($4.700m) / Dan Girardi ($5.500m)
    Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Kevin Klein ($2.900m)
    John Moore ($1.600m) / Dylan McIlrath ($0.703m)
    Raphael Diaz ($1.500m) /
    GOALTENDERS
    Henrik Lundqvist ($8.500m)
    Cameron Talbot ($0.563m)
    BUYOUTS
    Wade Redden ($0.000m)
    Brad Richards ($0.000m)
    ——
    (estimations for 2014-15)
    SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $68,370,208; BONUSES: $1,026,667
    CAP SPACE (22-man roster): $2,729,792

    • Ray says:

      Did you mean to leave out Zuccarello?

      • Chris A says:

        Wow, I thought someone was missing. Good catch.

        So Zucc gets most, if not all of, that $3.6M in cap space and slots into Kristo’s place.

      • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

        Doubtful, and Kristo may not be NHL ready yet, so Zuccs on that 3rd line for a little less ($2.5M – $3M) than the remaining cap space as detailed by Chris A makes sense.

  3. Scully says:

    Good writeup. We’re un better shape with the cap than most of us realize. I wonder though, why you’d buy out Brad Richards and sign Stastny for the same dollars? I get that age and upswing would be factors in that decision, but I’ve always thought the main thinking behind cuttings Richards was that his declining play wouldn’t warrant that salary, and that the extra cap space was way more important. As in, even if we do buy him out we’d want to spread that money around and not lock up another player to a similar deal.

    Thoughts?

    • Chris A says:

      It’s a question of how much do you believe in a Brassard/Stepan combo for the top two lines.

      If you think they are adequate then you take some of the Richards money and get a 3C, if you don’t believe in them to fill that role then you sign Stastny with Richards’ cap hit.

      The X factor here is JT Miller. If Miller can be a really good NHL center then you might be willing to roll the dice with Stepan/Brassard/Miller down the middle. Problem is we won’t find out about Miller anytime soon.

    • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

      Piggybacking on what Chris said, I think the Rangers’ biggest need is a top line center. That’s the going rate on the market, and since the Rangers don’t have any in-house candidates, that’s the most likey use of Richard’s buyout money.

      I wouldn’t be comfortable with Stepan/Brassard as the top 2 centers going forward. Brass is an ideal #3.

      • WilliamW says:

        Most teams in the league could use an upgrade in the first line center. It’s probably the hardest role to fill on a contender

        That’s what Richards was bought in to be, it’s rare that a potential 1C makes it to free agency. Usually needs to be filled through the draft

  4. Forever 1994 says:

    First off, Brad Richards as much as I have liked his game this year he is not worth 6.67 mil never mind the hit we take at the end of contract. JT Miller is ready for the big time and would think the NYR would keep him. No need to bring in Stastny or his 6.6 mil contract. Say goodbye to Stralman, Boyle and D. Moore to be replaced by Lindberg, McIlrath and Bourque. Resign Carcillo who has been very good (what!) for us. Maybe move Dorsett to Ottawa for Neil w/4th line of Lindberg/Bourque Carcillo & Neil. McIlrath slots into Stralmans spot next to Staal. This way we are good with the cap and we pay our own guys Kreider, McDonough etc. and we won’t be pushed around.

    • Forever 1994 says:

      Slotting McIlrath with Staal puts the rookie with a quality veteran defenseman and of course we re-up Staal. Diaz can be the 7th D-man.

    • Chris A says:

      Three big issues with your scenario.
      – You don’t have enough PK’ers on that roster.
      – Bourque
      – What do you plan on doing with the $8M in cap space you created?

      Lindberg/Bourque/Carcillo sounds like an awful 4th Line. Similar to the 4th lines the Rangers used to roll out a few years ago. That group would get eaten alive if they play close to ten minutes a game as AV prefers.

      Also, Bourque is a goner after this year. There is zero chance the Rangers resign him. He’s been virtually a non-prospect/Hartford roster filler for two years.

      Neil for Dorsett isn’t an awful idea. Salary is about the same and Neil is signed for two more years.

      • Ray says:

        Actually, I think there is at least some chance that Bourque will be resigned. He has actually made good strides this year and is one of Hartford’s better forwards. I see him as a sixth line forward, the kind of guy you can turn to if 3-4 forwards get injured and still expect to get a marginally acceptable performance. It’s worth keeping a couple guys like that around and the Rangers are not swamped with prospects anyway.

        The best players are not always the guys we get most excited about – or should get most excited about. Personally I think Bourque is now better than Kristo will ever be, BUT Kristo still has a chance to an actual good player, so is the brighter prospect. Still, if the injury bug hits hard, you want a Bourque to minimize the damage.

        • Chris A says:

          I can’t comment on players I don’t see and can only go on what I have read about them in the past. If you are reading good reports on Bourque then that would be a change. It seemed like most of what I have read about him never hinted at NHL potential, but there were a lot of mentions of “undersized” and “concussion history”.

          I get your point though, a guy like Kristo can potentially become a key player but a guy like Bourque you can plug in for a few games here and there and he shouldn’t hurt the team.

  5. WilliamW says:

    I think the Rangers are in a good place generally with the roster. The theee upgrades are what 90% of teams need, star center, big bodied forward and offensive RHD

    I may be in the minority here but I don’t think Stasny is the right move. It’s Richards all over again but with less offensive potential

    If BR is bought out (and I think it’s likely he will be), Miller or a depth veteran like Grabovski/Legwand should be the answer to fill in behind Stepan and Brassard (or in front of Brassard)

    Stepan is a bottom half of the league 1C so that would be a nice upgrade but isn’t the missing piece

    5 of the top 6 wings are established and the top F prospects (ex Miller) are wingers

    Boyle should be resigned assuming a similar contract to his current one, D Moore and Carcillo have done well this year and would be welcome back on comparable terms or moved if Lindberg /Fast is ready

    Goalies are set, the top 3 on D are about as solid as there is and the only real question on the back end is who will be the #6D

    For all the flak he gets, Sather has built a top tier team on paper while remaining competitive

  6. Frank Cerbone says:

    Yahoo is not a finance guy, but a former 3rd liner utility forward.

    Rather than depend on his finance guys, assuming he has any, he has ALWAYS OVERPAID for players he was interested in (see Bure, Kasparitis, Redden, Holik.

    Most recently, Sather was widely quoted as saying he had to give up his #1 & #2 draft choices to obtain soon to be 39 yr old St Louis so as to protect the Ranger’s future.

    When taken in the context of Sather trading a #1 & #2 for Nash, a #2 for Clowe, and former #1 23 yr old Del Zotto for 29 yr old Klein, and a FARM SYSTEM RANKED 27th IN THE NHL….does have even a clue about what he is talking about?

    Assuming Sather cries to Dolan about having to ask for a early buy out of Richards to save the Ranger’s future SO SATHER CAN TRY TO OVERPAY FOR a Stasny,we fans have been down this road before and before and before.

    At season’s end Rangers have to make a commitment to promote both Miller & Lindberg. You ABSOLUTELY need to promote some low paid prospects EVERY season to offset your overpaid older players. Otherwise, you lose a Pouliot, Stralman, or Boyle without compensation.

    Good to see Dolan own up to giving away all New York young players and #1 picks when she shouldn’t have. That is why Phil Jackson will try to fix Dolan’s mess over the next 5 years.

    • Chris A says:

      Promote, yes.

      Give them NHL jobs without a safety net in case they flounder, awful idea. You have to have a contingency plan in place.

      If the Rangers are trying to win a Cup next season they cannot allow their Centers to be Stepan/Brassard and nothing if both Miller and Lindberg show they can’t hack it.

  7. Frank Cerbone says:

    Got to Google and search “CapGeek NHL UFA 2014″ and their are VERY, VERY FEW 2014 UFAs in 2014 that are forwards or centers under 30.

    Stasny, Michaelek, Callahan, Bolland, Setoguchi, and Downey are your guys under 30.

    Devin Setoguchi is on my radar- 27 yrs old, 6-0, 195, RW, with a 96 MPH slap shot, not a fighter, but does play the body, pretty durable.

  8. mattimar says:

    Good job…Too much money for Brassard is a problem. Also the team really needs a number 1 Center and that might eat up some cap space (it would be a wash with Richards though). McIlrath would be fine if he makes the team..if not they will need to add some toughness somewhere.

    Here is another related thought. Why are the Devils with much less talent (or the talent that they have is not very young) sooo competitive and always in the race? I mean they lose Parise and Kovalchuk two world class players and they are right in it. Something is wrong with the way the Rangers operate.