How much are you willing to spend to keep Michael Grabner around?

December 13, 2017, by

michael grabner

The Rangers sure did strike gold with Michael Grabner. Signed to an expansion friendly deal before last season, fans –and probably the front office– thought they were getting 10-15 goals with good penalty killing. Getting that and a body for expansion for $1.6 million was a solid deal.

But then Grabner started scoring. His shooting percentage astronomically high, but the goals were coming. He scored 27 last year, and many thought the Rangers were silly not to capitalize on his value. He likely could have fetched a first round pick at the trade deadline last year. But the Rangers held court.

This year Grabner is already halfway to his production from last year (16.7%), with 14 goals in 30 games. He is again shooting with an astronomically high shooting percentage (22%). He was supposed to regress to our expectations. He has not, and it’s been wonderful to watch.

But Grabner’s sweetheart deal expires at the end of the season. After what will likely be a pair of back-to-back 25-goal seasons, Grabner will be due a huge raise. At 30 years old, it is likely the last time he will be able to get a big contract.

Grabner’s future contract has Benoit Pouliot written all over it. Pouliot turned a 15-21-36 year with the Rangers into a five year deal worth $20 million with Edmonton. It’s worth noting that while the contract was bought out, Pouliot put up seasons of 34 and 36 points before his 14 point stinker last year. That said, we all breathed a sigh of relief that the Rangers passed on that deal.

Grabner is certainly older than Pouliot was at the time of that massive contract. That will likely play into Grabner’s deal. But on the flip side, GMs have more money this offseason, and there aren’t many big names. Grabner’s pair of 25-goal seasons (assuming he gets 11 more goals this year) will look mighty enticing.

I spoke with Chris, and his model has Grabner at $2.75 million over five (!!) years (that’s how his model is built – to age everyone out at 35 years old). The model doesn’t account for the cap ceiling or other free agents, but it does account for production compared to other contracts in the league. I think that’s a good starting point for any expectations of a Grabner contract. Let’s use that as a base, and assume fewer years means more dollars.

Perhaps the Sam Gagner deal (three years, $3.15 million cap hit) in Vancouver is a comparable. That is on par with Chris’ model, with fewer years and more dollars. That’s certainly more palatable than five years, even at a lesser cap hit. I’d actually be pretty ok with that number, but it is admittedly a lot to spend on a third line winger. With big raises due to five key RFAs, it might not be doable. That $3.15 million mark may be the ceiling the Rangers can afford.


"How much are you willing to spend to keep Michael Grabner around?", 5 out of 5 based on 7 ratings.
Categories : Players


  1. SalMerc says:

    Two years at $3.1M each. If he doesn’t like it, he can walk.

    • Lace says:

      Yeah Sal but this league is predicated on Speed and puck possession now as I’m sure you well know. Guys like that help build winning teams. In the Sather days we were all used to seeing the Rangers spend the money. I have faith Gorton will do the right thing. I would give Grabner 2-3 years at $3.15 per. Not saying I’d walk from any more but I wouldn’t go too crazy bidding on him. Since Grabner spent time with the Islanders and is working on year 2 on Broadway, I’d assume he would like to stay here rather than go back to free agency.
      Does anyone think we could get him signed cheaper by working out an extension before this season is over?

      • SalMerc says:

        I agree on the speed aspect. My issue is that we should not be blocking opportunities for some of our youth. While he does have great value, sooner or later we need to get guys like Letteri, Chytil, Andersson and even some of our college players a chance at making the club. All too often we block guys with “nice” players. You don’t win with nice players, you need some stars. Grabner will never be a star. Some of the guys I mentioned may be top 6, but if we keep guys around that take up Cap space and roster spots, they will never get their chance.

        Grabner is very good, but we have 5 guys who are also good in our top 6, none is great. Let’s get someone who possesses the chance of being great on the roster.

    • Michael says:

      Trade him and Nash out as rentals at dead line cash in with a few 1st rounders. Let them come back in September and resign!

  2. tanto says:

    I’ll go as far as $3.5 mill per for 3 years (hopefully less money) — Grabner is a SPECIMEN, he’ll be effective into his late 30’s … and although he might not be scoring 25-30 goals by the end of the term, he’ll still be a highly effective and valuable player. Besides, he’s the first Ranger who can actually score empty net goals consistently in a long long time — and each empty net goal relieves both the team and the goalies from a lot of unnecessary late game stress.

    • Lace says:

      Total agreement here. Foot Speed is one of the first attributes to go with age but Grabner has Speed to lose and still be fast. I think he will be an effective middle 6 forward for at least the next 5 years.

  3. Monty says:

    I think he doesn’t care what I’m willing to spend on him! He’s earning much more than I do so I guess even if I try it won’t make him stay 🙂

  4. Jerry says:

    I’d trade him while his value is high.

  5. Stevem says:

    2 years 6.4 mil

  6. jrrangersdad says:

    He will get a 3yr contract from someone. The further away it is from $3mil per, the less chance its the Rangers. I think he gets $3.50-3.75mil deal somewhere.

  7. John B says:


    A $2 million raise for empty net goals?

    • dfinn0773 says:

      Plus the penalty kill he brings. His speed and hustle outclasses almost everyone we have.

  8. avsucks says:

    he is a dynamic player who hustles, wish some of our “stars” played like him.

  9. Jack Johnson says:

    In the NHL 3 mil for a guy with the speed of Grabner is a steal. He’s a solid player who kills penalties n keeps opponents on their toes every time he’s out on the ice. No one thought he would have the year he had last year n most would not have thought he’d be where he is today in terms of goals. The goals r a bonus and a 4 year deal at 3 mil per is fair for Grabs. Just saying: he’s got more goals than McDavid, more than Stamkos, more than Giroux, and more than Crosby. That being said he’s no where near that talent but it does show you how tough it is to score that many goals at this point in the season whether they be open net or not. How many times in the past did you see the Rangers up by 1 n blow it in the last minute? I feel comfortable with him out there late in any game!

  10. Richter1994 says:

    Grabner – can’t trade him he’s too valuable to the Rangers.
    Nash – if he takes half then you can’t trade him he’s too valuable to the Rangers.
    Miller – can’t trade him he’s too valuable to the Rangers.
    Hayes – can’t trade him he’s too valuable to the Rangers.
    Skjei – can’t trade him he’s too valuable to the Rangers.

    Before you know it, we have the same team as this year. lol.

    Ok, we can trade Holden and Staal, lol.

    • Jack Johnson says:

      Richter has a good point. U can’t keep everyone. But I’m keeping Grabner. I’d say see ya Hayes!!!!

      • Richter1994 says:

        Hayes is valuable only because he’s a center which we have none of. You trade him for another center then that’s different.

  11. James Carr says:

    Brendan Smith playing his way out of the lineup

  12. bernmeister says:

    They should trade Grabner and Nash NOW for future assets

    Nash probably not re-signed. 1 yr at a time for 1.5ish which he won’t take.
    I thank him for effort and good 2 way play, but we need to go younger/cheaper for what he does.

    Grabner otoh, still has juice in the tank.
    Must take high return for rental now.
    Hope he returns cause NY has appeal.

    The issue w/Grabner is not if his game is limited in dimension. It is not yet age.
    The issue is risk of quick debilitation.

    I go measured. 1 yr most $, 2 yrs 3.75 per; volume discount 10m for 3 yrs.

    Under no circumstances more than 3 yrs