State of the Rangers

Rangers without much spending money as free agency begins

Ryan McDonagh will likely carry a cap hit between $4 million and $4.5 million

The decision to keep Brad Richards for another season left the New York Rangers without much wiggle room under the salary cap.  Sure, New York is currently $14 million under the $64.3 million cap ceiling, but much of that will go toward retaining restricted free agents: Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello and Justin Falk.

According to Dave’s projections, we can expect McDonagh’s new cap hit to come in around $4 million to $4.5 million and Stepan’s to be between $3.5 million and $4 million.  It’s probably a safe guess that Hagelin, Zuccarello and Falk will eat up a minimum of another $4 million.  So even on the low side of things, the Rangers will need at least $11.5 million to keep their team intact.

That would leave the Blueshirts with somewhere around $2.5 million to do business over the coming weeks.  More could open up if New York deals a depth forward like Darroll Powe, Taylor Pyatt or Arron Asham, but if the Rangers didn’t move any of them during the draft, it seems a little unlikely that they’ll do so now.

Remember that every team likes to keep at least a little cap space open for in-season moves and that the Rangers will have another host of key players to re-sign next summer and it becomes pretty unlikely that New York will be too active on the free agent market.

Deals for Falk and Danny Syvret this week brought the Rangers up to eight serviceable NHL defensemen, with Dylan McIlrath also waiting in the wings.  So if the Rangers are going to spend on anything, it’ll probably be a winger.  The likely absences of Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin to start the season leave the Rangers much shallower than they’d like and presently mean that New York will have to rely too heavily on prospects to fill significant roles out of the gate.

New York has a glut of bottom-six forwards, but most of them are best suited on the fourth line or rotating in and out of the press box.  So if you see the Rangers do anything this weekend, it’ll probably be an attempt to shore up the wings, by signing a savvy veteran on a short deal.

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    1. Nope. I think the writing is on the wall with the report that the Rangers were shopping his rights at the time of the draft.

    2. It sure doesn’t seem likely but I really think it’d be a huge mistake to allow him to walk after sitting through the 1st 2 rounds of the Entry Draft. Watching all the promising talent go 1 by 1 to other teams. Sather gave up too much to let him walk. Then Murphy’s Law comes full circle and he signs in the division and scores 50 points!

  1. The Richards decision is coming back to bite us in the butt. That said, lets hope that McD will sign an agreement where he gets a little less the first year, and it grows in time, so that Slats gets a little wiggle room. This also goes for Step, and I believe they will try to work with the front office to make things happen.

    Placing Powe, Asham, and hopefully Pyatt on waivers, helps some. Pyatt should have been placed before Asham, but what do I know?

    The kids who will play this year are Miller, Kreider, Lindberg for sure. Once Callie, and Hags comes back, I wouldn’t be suprised if that isn’t when Pyatt is waved for good.

    1. Doesn’t matter how little McD makes in the first year, his cap hit is still going to be for the average annual value.

      I think it’s pretty clear that this upcoming season is Richards’ last on Broadway. in 14-15, The Rangers are going to need to re-sign Callahan, Brassard, Girardi and Stralman, as well as MDZ if he isn’t moved before then. Adding to that is Moore and Kreider coming off of their ELCs. This team won’t be able to be kept together, even with the cap going up.

      I’m hoping Richie can bounce back, but either way, the 2013-14 season is going to be his Rangers swan song.

    2. The Rangers have Dorsett. Why do they need Asham too? Just a waste of a mil. Pyatt is 230lbs and is one of the best on the Rangers along the boards. He’s a beast behind the net. Those are the little things that help win games. He’s not a goal scorer per se’ but he’s a solid defensive forward and his size comes in handy come those late season rivalry games and the playoffs where speedy skaters have less room to maneuver. This is where Pyatt is needed. I would’ve kept Powe but Boyle is better on Face Offs and plays a ton on the PK. Powe Kills penalties to but is suspect at the dots!

    3. Why would they ship Pyatt out of town? He doesn’t make much and is real good along the boards and down low. Under the right circumstance he could have a 15 goal season left in him as a 3rd or 4th liner. He’ll be 32 come the start of the season. Got a good year or 2 of his prime years left. You have to keep some defensive forwards for the draws in his zone. AV picks Certain players for defensive zone starts and they get the majority of them. He’s one of those guys.

      1. Because Pyatt skates like a freight train, with lead in his skates. He is not physical, and can’t PK, what good is he? If he is so wonderful, where was he in the play-offs. You keep him, I hate to see the guy on the ice, he just is so damn slow.

    1. Jagr ran out of gas by the end of the 48 game season. How do you expect him to fair during a full 82 games and being a year older?

      1. He is one of the most well conditioned athletes. He will have one more big season. And he a better option than we have right now.

        1. Better than who? At this point in his career, he’s a PP specialist. He can’t log top 6 mins anymore and isn’t able to play the physical bottom 6 game. Jagr was a good PP guy at the right time for the Bruins. It’s not the right time for Sather to possibly waste one of the few more contracts Hes allowed. Most teams like to have a 2 contract buffer in case one more is needed due to injury during the season! Not a good idea.

      2. You forgot to mention that he has played 30+ games back in Europe when the NHL season started. When the play off was over he had more then 110 games in his legs. It’s a lot for one season!

    2. He can still play but whatever he gets for a contract. It’s still 1 of only 50 each team is allowed. There won’t be any flyers this year. No free agent gambles. He was hurt a lot while in Philly.

  2. The new coach needs a trusted veteran in the clubhouse to make sure things don’t go south quickly. I am guessing that is the role Richards will play this year. He will be of more value off the ice than on. Once the new coach establishes himself with the players (every coach has to, regardless of experience), Richards will work something out that frees us from the contract next summer.

  3. Waiting on a Del Zotto to Islanders for Travis Hamonic. Hamonic is a physical, defensive right handed defenseman who would allow McDonough to develop his offensive game.

    Or Rangers could move Staal to Carolina for right handed offensive defenseman Justin Faulk.

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