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
Total: 5 players, $7.573 million
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 Naturally some of that is outdated (St. Louis/Cally), but I nailed the Girardi contract.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. Miller, Jesper Fast, Oscar Lindberg, Danny Kristo, Dylan McIlrath, Conor 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."Projecting the Rangers’ 2014-2015 payroll, part two",