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The financial fallout from the Rick Nash trade

On top of avoiding surrendering prized young players like Derek Stepan and Michael Del Zotto in yesterday’s blockbuster trade, GM Glen Sather also did an effective job of keeping the Rangers in good shape with the salary cap.

The Rangers are now on the hook for the remaining six-years, $46.8 million of the eight-year, $62.4 million contract Rick Nash inked with Columbus in 2009, but they still have plenty of room to operate.

Some thoughts on the financial impact of the deal:

  • Nash’s $7.8 million salary cap hit is actually eclipsed by the combined hits of Brandon Dubinsky, Artem Anisimov and Tim Erixon, who will count $7.825 million against the cap in 2012-2013. Of course, Columbus is getting three players for that figure whereas the Rangers will have to find bodies to replace their departed soldiers, but New York still has nearly $13.4 million available in relation to the $70.2 million summer cap figure.
  • Sather noted that Anisimov is set to be a restricted free agent next summer and will surely command a raise.  So far Anisimov has been unable to put it all together, but if he breaks 50 points this season he could double his salary.  That’s down the road, but Nash could end up being significantly cheaper than Dubinsky and Anisimov.
  • Nash’s $7.8 million cap hit is currently the fifth highest in the league behind only Alex Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby and Eric Staal.  While few would argue that he’s actually one of the top-five talents in the NHL, there’s no doubt that he would have garnered one of the 10+ year contracts worth around $100 million signed by Sidney Crosby, Ryan Suter, Zach Parise and Shea Weber this summer if he was a free agent.  It’s definitely preferable to pay a player a few hundred thousand dollars more a year than it is to save that cash and be married to that player for the next 13 years.
  • The $7.8 million cap hit is a massive chunk of the pie no matter how you slice it and we won’t really know where New York stands financially until the new CBA is negotiated.  Right now the Blueshirts appear to be in solid shape going forward, but if the salary cap is lowered to somewhere around $55 million, then New York may face problems in the near future.
  • That’s because Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin and Ryan McDonagh are scheduled to be restricted free agents next summer while Marian Gaborik, Ryan Callahan, Brian Boyle, Chris Kreider, Dan Girardi and Henrik Lundqvist are on track to hit the market in 2014.  Many of those players could be in position for hefty raises, meaning things could get a little sticky.
  • It’s particularly noteworthy that Gaborik will be an unrestricted free agent in 2014.  The Rangers may not have the luxury of choosing whether to re-sign him or not depending on the new CBA and the salary increases of homegrown players over the next two seasons.  However, Gaborik will be 32-years-old by 2014 and the Blueshirts may already be expecting to cut ties with the oft-injured Slovakian once his current contract expires.  By 2014, Kreider will hopefully have developed into a dynamic scoring option and the Rangers may be comfortable moving forward with Nash and Kreider as their top scoring threats, in addition to some of the offensively gifted prospects in the pipeline.
  • The Blueshirts are getting Nash for what should be the full duration of his prime.  The 28-year-old is locked up until he turns 33, meaning the Rangers will actually be in position to control a player for his best years and then decide whether or not to keep him around as he enters the twilight of his career.
  • The Rangers still have plenty of cash left to make other moves.  The team has yet to re-sign Michael Del Zotto and Anton Stralman and we know that they’re still in pursuit of Shane Doan.  They still have the cash to make all that happen, but the acquisition of Nash may limit New York’s ability to give Doan a deal more than two years long because of the anticipated costs of their own free agents in 2013 and 2014.


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  • Doan fits perfectly with this team. The relationships are there, cup contention is there, best city in the world etc 2 yrs 8-9 mill otherwise walk away and get arnott a year and give a shot to to youth on the cusp of the big leagues. One thing we r seeing is the rangers are becoming faceoff machines with halpern and Nash. Will be very important in close games for puck possession in both zones and PP.

  • I dont think his contract is a problem because of the Gaborik situation. If Gaborik still wants top dollars, he could be gone. His money can be used for all the players that need raises. At that point the Rangers can reevaluate the needs by looking at the growth of the youth. If Doan is more then 2 years, that is where I feel the problem could lie money wise.

    The deal was a steal for us, but Columbus got a decent return. If im them and the trade deadline looks the way it did this year, they could get a solid return to improve their rebuild. Paul Guadstad got a first last season, I think he could get more. Nash allows Kreider to go through the growing pains. I can wait for the cba to be worked out and the season to start.

  • The fact that the cap hit was even, and there is plenty of space for us to sign the players like MDZ, and Anton, and still have plenty left over is amazing!

    Slats did a great job on this transaction, and he should be given credit for it. Personally, I believe that Miller should get a long look at, he would be a nice 4th liner, while he continues his developement. I have stated that Doan would be a nice fit, but not for more than 2 years, and with this signing, he now has an opportunity to win a cup, but he has to give up something in return. It will be interesting to see what he does.

    How many times have we heard the same BS, it’s not the money, it’s a chance at the cup, well Doan, here is your chance, and don’t tell me it’s not the money!

    • I’m a Doan fan, he plays every minute like Callahan. However when your 35, it could be about the contract. He doesn’t have to sell the “Ranch” in Arizona, but Sather could offer him a 2 year contract for $15M, with the cap space we have, and save the money for raises down the road.

      One thing is for certain. No other team in the league could offer a better opportunity than the Rangers! Play in the biggest city, under the brightest lights on Broadway, original six team, MSG, #1 team in the East, best goalie in the league, coaches you’ve played for …. how do you turn down a solid chance to WIN the Stanley Cup….unless it is only about the money.

      • Well with teams like the Penguins and Red Wings out there we’re not the only ones with good points to sell and a contending or semi-contending team that he could play for. Though, I do agree the Rangers are in a unique position of being true extended stanley cup contenders for the first time in a very very long time…. perhaps for the first time ever.

  • I think the Rangers need to now take a serious look at acquiring Semin (if they havent already). Now, Im not a fan of Semin, personally, but the risk is way too low and the reward way too high to not toss a 1yr $4m contract at him.

    If he comes out with something to prove, he is an incredibly skilled asset to the team and you either roll with him through the playoffs then let him walk next summer or trade him at the deadline for a decent return.

    Worst case scenario, he doesnt work out, you bench him and bring up another youngster and dump him at the deadline on the cheap or let him walk as UFA.

    If he works out and you keep him through the playoffs, great!

    If you trade him at the deadline (for any reason), any return you get for him will essentially be a way of replacing the assets we ‘lost’ in the Nash trade. And considering how well Sather did there, thatd just be an added bonus.

    Even if you dont trade him and let him walk at the end of next season, you wasted what? $4m in cap space in a year where we have plenty to work with.

    Seems like a no-brainer to me.

    • I think Doan should be our first priority, but if Semin can be had for as cheap as people are hoping on a one year deal (as time gets closer to training camp and he remains unsigned) we should sign him. Guys do change sometimes when they realize that their careers are on the line, but i also agree that anytime words like “enigmatic” are attached to a player we should probably steer clear. He also could go to the KHL so who knows. I do think that trading for Rick Nash does improve our chances at landing Doan though.

      • We certainly don’t ‘need’ Semin, at all, and while he may be looking for upwards of $7m for multi-year, there are reasons no one has given that to him yet. All of the issues you mentioned, being the reason(s).

        However, Im not so concerned about the ‘locker room cancer’ label nearly as much as the on-ice issues.

        I’d wager that Torts/Cally/Richards/LQ/Rupp etc will have a much tigher grip on his potential locker-room issues than say, Boudreau/Hunter/Ovie/Backstrom ever did.

        I’d much rather have Doan, but he has a lot more leverage than Semin does in contract negotiations and will almost certainly garner a multi-year deal.

        The Rangers have a lot less to lose by gambling 1yr on Semin (if he will take a 1yr deal) than they do by signing Doan to a multi-year deal.

  • Yea Semin is a non starter now. Already looking for 7 million a year and we got nash. We dont need semin now.

    Doan is the person I am hoping we can get. I think doan wants a 4 year deal, but only way rangers should bring him in is on a 2 year deal. In 2 years, the bulk of our contracts come up and we need all the cap space we can get. I mean if the goal is to win a cup then i dont really see how Doan wouldnt want to come. And as some people have stated he plays our style of hockey.

    However, i am not sure what veteran defenseman are available, but given the continued uncertainty of Sauer, I would vote for getting a more grizzly vet for our defensive core. We finally addressed my concern of a pure scorer. Right now we have Mcd, Staal, Girardi, Sauer and Bickel Signed. I dont think sauer will be back anytime soon and i dont trust bickel at all. Then MDZ will be surely signed so that is 4 guys i can trust. I also think we will bring by strallmen so thats 5. I think signing a veteran and keeping bickel as our 7th is our best play.

    Then if sauer returns we could potentially look to move bickel or strallmen. We now have forward depth, but we cannot go into the playoffs playing our top 3 defenseman like we did last year

  • They will look for a vet defenseman but for now having Bickel in the lineup is ok. He did fairly well in the regular season. He could not keep up in the playoffs but how many first timers do? If they don’t get someone now they will at the trade deadline for playoffs. IT would be terrific if DZ can start really playing the point on the PP well. That would complete the team.

  • I would be shocked if any NHL team gives Semin $7m. He’s coming off two 54 pt season at $6m & $6.7m.

    He should get a correction downward. If anything, he might want only a 1 yr deal at the lower $$ to then resign at a higher $$ after a better season than 54 pts.

  • So would it be fair to say that this current group’s main ‘core’ has a window of 2 years?

    As stated above, Gabby is prob gone after the the 2013-14 season, and with the amount of guys who will be UFAs, you may not get the whole gang back together.

    The beauty of what Sather and the front office have been building is that they have young talent coming up who, in theory, could fill in for FA losses. They could also be used as trade pieces as well, obvs.

  • Semin could sign for a 1 year deal if he wanted to. He might have to, just to prove he is worthy of a NHL deal. If not he will get big money in the KHL, and play Russian hockey at home.

    He is NOT a Tort’s type player. Yes he can score, but if he wanted to win a cup he would listen to the Rangers offer, but I doubt he gets one.

  • The Rangers need to think “what if” and realize that including MDZ and Stralman that they only have 6 NHL defensemen (5.5 if Tortorella does not have confidence in Bickel)
    Right now you have to think Sauer at best won’t return until 2013 if at all and McIlrath because of his injury is out 1/2 season but will not be NHL ready.

    That leaves the NYR with Mike Vernace (22 NHL games), Steven Delisle (0 NHL), Logan Pyett (0 NHL), and Sean Collins (21 NHL games) as your replacements unless hell will freeze over and Wade Redden makes the NYR.

    Now who does not want to see the NYR sign a defender?

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