Projecting the Rangers’ 2014-2015 payroll, part three

Going to need a big year from this guy.

Part One, Part Two

One of the major concerns for next year is the payroll. The Rangers have a lot of money tied into a few players, and the club lost a lot of key players in free agency. Another major factor was that the cap ceiling, initially projected to be $71 million, was announced to be just $69 million. Five key players departed via free agency, trade, or buyout (Anton Stralman, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle, Derek Dorsett, Brad Richards), and another three appear all but gone (Justin Falk, Raphael Diaz, Dan Carcillo).

To counter that, the Rangers brought in Dan Boyle, Tanner Glass, and Mike Kostka. There were some other depth players brought in to help fill out the AHL roster as well (and yes, I’m counting Matt Lombardi as an AHL guy for now).

There are three types of players the Rangers are dealing with now: Those that are signed, those that have filed for arbitration, and those that are non-arbitration RFAs. Let’s break them down.

Signed (Cap Hit): Henrik Lundqvist ($8.5m), Rick Nash ($7.8m), Martin St. Louis ($5.625m), Dan Girardi ($5.5m), Ryan McDonagh ($4.7m), Dan Boyle ($4.5m), Marc Staal ($3.975m), Derek Stepan ($3.075m), Kevin Klein($2.9m), Carl Hagelin ($2.25m), Dominic Moore ($1.5m), Tanner Glass ($1.45m), Mike Kostka ($650k), Cam Talbot($562k)

Total: 14 players, $55 million

Arbitration RFAs (Qualifying Offer): Derick Brassard ($3.7m), Mats Zuccarello ($1.15m), Chris Kreider ($850k)

Total: 3 players, $5.6 million in QOs

Non-Arbitration RFAs (Qualifying Offer): John Moore ($850k)

Total: 1 player, $850k

In Parts One and Two, I made some initial projections using Capgeek’s Armchair GM feature. Naturally some of that is outdated, but that’s why there are so many version of this. I also projected deals for Kreider and Zuccarello, so I used those to stay accurate with my predictions and assumptions, and made my roster here. Here are the assumptions I used:

  • I gave Kreider $2.25 million (Hagelin money) and Zuccarello $4 million (what I ballparked him at in the post). I gave John Moore $1.5 million, but that’s a complete estimate without doing any research.
  • The initial projections I made (Parts One and Two) assumed the Rangers would find a way to re-sign some of their UFAs. Clearly that didn’t happen, so I had to blow up that roster. Sometimes my optimism gets the best of me.
  • This roster has 22 players (13 F, 7 D, 2 G). The Rangers will need spares, hence the extra players.
  • I initially didn’t include prospects in the first two projections, but there seems to be no way around this. There are three open spots on the roster and the Rangers need to fill these holes in the cheapest manner possible. ELCs are the best way to effectively fill those holes, if the kids are ready. Jesper Fast appears ready, but the real wild cards are J.T. Miller and Oscar Lindberg. Ryan Bourque has been mentioned as a dark horse to make the club in a fourth line role.
  • This gives the Rangers $630k as a cap cushion, which will grow as the season progresses.

That $69 million cap really stung the Rangers. It didn’t put them in the same position that the Bruins are in, but it stung nonetheless. The club is now banking on the kids making the club. The last time that happened was the lockout shortened 2013 season, where both Kreider and Miller appeared to be overmatched. Hopefully it doesn’t blow up in their face this time around.

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    • What about Hank’s??

      Some of the contracts are way out of line, Girardi is an example of what I mean!!

        • In cap calculations, Lombardi and the kids are basically interchangeable (800K) and we don’t know where he will end up, so it really doesn’t matter how you treat him in this post. However, he is clearly one of the top six Ranger centers and if AV wants to keep Miller at wing, he is top five. At the very least, he is insurance if Lindberg can’t cut it and an important injury replacement. At best, he is this year’s Pouliot.

  • What is the deal with Matt Hunwick? Due to the level of talent his position, he seems to be destined for the AHL, but he does have a lot of NHL experience. Does he have a shot at taking the 7th Dman job from Kostka?

  • I don’t think Sather is going to give Zucc 4million. My guess is 3- 3.25 mil for 3-4 years.

        • True, until the time comes to sh*t or get off the pot! He wants his due, and will let you know it in due time, because he earned it!!

        • Not really, he’s said that he’d rather sign for less money with a playoff contender than more money with a non-contender. But since he took a BIG cut last year to help a team that was in a squeeze, he doesn’t feel it’s his job to do that again this year.

          Google translate can be a bitch sometimes.

          Further, he feels and gets confirmation from the team that he has a major role and are one of the core players that they need/ wants to work with.

          Fact: He was their best player, playing on the third line.

          Thought: With AV instead of Tortilla a the helm those first seasons he’d had his breakout year several seasons ago and signed 6 years/50m this summer….

          Ever since he joined the top league in Norway he has had one top 5 on the roster year one, before dominating the team and leading the league in his second year (both Norway and Sweden). His *first* year in the KHL was a decent one and his *second* would’ve been great (following the previous trend 🙂

          Look for an even better (proper) second season in the NHL in 14/15 from Zucc if he remains with a playoff contender.

  • Since you can’t unload nashs contract at 2.5 million per playoff goal.

    You have to push girardi out or lose the offense depth. Thus relegating our team to a defense first team. Sound familiar?

    • Nash scored 26 in 65 regular season games, guess you forgot that, on a team that wasn’t offensive. The 1 thing that has changed is this team will not be defense first this year, we will see a faster game, we will score 30 more goals this year.

  • Two Things

    CAP makes the rookies making the team a foregone conclusion. It is just a matter of who, but 3 will be on the opening day roster

    Also – Do not discount another deal. Out of Zucc, Kreider and Brassard, I could see Brassard turning into an unhappy camper and being dealt away.

  • Make positive to normally pay yourself first. You should really be placing at least 10% of your pre-tax earnings into a savings account. This is the dollars that is going to maintain you from losing the home during an emergency. Do not skip on it and do not forget about it.

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