If the Habs decide to deal Subban, Detroit, Philadelphia and the Rangers will make a push.
Naturally, throwing the Rangers out there is par for the course with pretty much all rumors, especially one that involves a soon-to-be star. But this one appears to be a little too much when looking at Subban’s contract demands:
As reported last week, Subban wants a five-year, $27.5-million deal at $5.5 million per season. Sources say Bergevin used Florida D Dmitry Kulikov (two years, $5 million) and New York D Michael Del Zotto (two years, $5.1 million) as comparisons.
The middle ground between the ask price and the counter is about $4 million per season, or five years, $20 million. This would make Subban the highest paid Ranger defenseman. But that wouldn’t necessarily be an issue. The issue is that $4 million price tag, especially heading into next season and the season after. This season, the Rangers would be able to handle that cap hit, as they can place Michael Sauer on LTIR, giving the $1.25 million extra in cap room to work with.
Looking at next season, the Rangers have 16 players under contract with roughly $11 million in cap space. That does not include the expiring contracts of Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, and Carl Hagelin. We tackled the issue of getting the Rangers to the proposed $60 million cap hit prior to the end of the lockout. Without rehashing the entire post, the Rangers would struggle to hit the $60 million cap hit. By adding Subban and the $4 million cap hit (proposed), they would essentially need to do the same thing, but with 17 players under contract instead of the 16 currently locked up.
Getting to $64.3 million with Subban, especially considering the fact that a trade would reduce that number, isn’t an impossible task. However, the cap is supposed to dip to roughly $62 million for the 2014-2015 season. Complicating this is that the Rangers have just three players (Henrik Lundqvist, Brad Richards, Marc Staal) under contract for that season. That gives the Rangers roughly $46 million to get an entire team under contract. With Subban and the $4 million cap hit, it would give the Rangers $42 million to get 19 players under contract. Considering the players that would need to be re-upped, that would be extremely difficult.
While the Rangers would be a great fit for Subban, and Subban would give the Rangers the best blue line in the league, the timing of this just doesn’t work out for the Rangers. They need to see how much they have committed to Stepan, Hagelin, and McDonagh before they can commit more money to a player like Subban. It’s a nice rumor, but the timing doesn’t work out.