State of the Rangers

Rangers’ salary cap issues are mitigated by NHL ready prospects

Much has been made of the Rangers’ salary cap woes with the likes of Mats Zuccarello, Martin St. Louis, Derek Stepan and Carl Hagelin set to be free agents and the ceiling unlikely to increase much in the offseason. However, the emergence of several top prospects has made biting the bullet of letting a key player or two go much easier.

Obviously every franchise wants to retain as much talent as possible, but of course there is only so much money and so many positions to go around. The good news is that the team is well prepared to weather a significant loss.

Anthony Duclair and Pavel Buchnevich are potential replacements for Zuccarello, St. Louis and Hagelin; Brady Skjei will take the Matt Hunwick/John Moore job; and now it looks like even Oscar Lindberg could be useful should the team need to deal Dominic Moore in a penny-saving move.

There will be growing pains for all those prospects for sure, but if each doesn’t succeed immediately, they’re certainly capable of having Kevin Hayes-like growth during the year. By having so many exciting young options, the Blueshirts will have a much easier time deciding which of the free agents they most need to keep, and which they can afford to let go.

That’s the formula for real long-term success in the NHL – the front office must not only decide which key pieces it cannot afford to lose and let the others leave town when they become too pricey, but the real key is to also have NHL-ready young talent to seamlessly fit in and keep the team on track. This is what the Blackhawks are known for, and the Rangers have begun to follow suit.

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  • Timely post, Kevin.

    But please squash, quit, end, desist any notion of dealing Dom Moore.

    Besides being an exemplary gentleman/class act in the style-vein of Adam Graves, Moore is arguably the heart ‘n soul of this tightly knit group. To wit, he checks. Wins battles. Agitates. Motivates his linemates. Never takes a shift off.

    He is to our Blueshirts what Jarret Stoll is to The Kings: a journeymen/blue collar type who truly proves his worth come April-May.

    I expect DM to do so again. And, ergo, Stoll.

  • Hypothetically, if the Rangers were to decline on MSL, or they agree on, say, 2.5 million per year (remember, hypothetically), does the ability thus exist to make Zucc, Hags and Step happy?

  • Good post – There is definitely strong young talent coming (and let’s include McIlrath as well) and that bodes very well for the future.

    I’d hate to lose Moore or Zuke at this point. I LOVE Marty but a business/skill decision must be made when the time is appropriate – and it ain’t right now.

    In the meantime – the cap is going to play havoc with the deadline.

    Bergenheim got moved today for a 6th round pick. He & Dom Moore had some great chemistry during the Lightning run at the East Conference a few years back. Hell – he was their MVP up to the seventh game loss to Boston.

    Is he the missing piece – certainly not – would he be a better fit than Glass – probably – better than Stepniak or one of the kids – who knows.

    But with his past success with Moore in the Stanley’s, it might have been worth doing for the price of a 6th round pick esp. if they could parlay other pieces into something bigger.

    Point is – The NYR Cap is a real constraint at the time of the year when payroll flexibility pays dividends.

  • Just a thought, the next time the NHL, and the union negotiates a new agreement, the players should argue for a MLB type of cap system. I understand that they are trying to keep cost controlled, but even with caps, and floors, on salaries, a new system should be put in place to allow teams to go over the cap, and pay fines if need be.

    I realize that they are trying to protect small market teams, but to punish teams that put out a good product, have a successful developing system in place, and are made to let go of quality players just because they are protecting poorly run teams, just smells to high heaven.

    We as fans are stuck with this garbage because Buttman wants to have parity, and to appease the likes of Jacobs, and Snyder both. Isn’t it ironic, both Boston, and Filthadelphia are struggling to get into the PO’s, and these two clowns are the reason this system is in place, one has to laugh????????????????

    • Which category do the Rangers fit in; a poorly run team or one with a successful development system that puts out a good product?

      My father got to see the Rangers win one Cup in his lifetime. I have serious doubts I will see them win more then one in my lifetime. If the Rangers used their financial advantage wisely before the cap was put in place I’d figure to have seen them win more then one Cup.

      We should be thankful for the cap. It keeps the Rangers from spending stupid money on stupid signings and making stupid deals. Even with the cap in the past 12 months they managed to deal for and sign over-the-hill overpriced players like MSL and Dan Boyle.

      Protect small market teams? The cap saves the Rangers from themselves.

  • As far as MSL is concerned for 2015/16…the Rangers will sign him for a $3 Mill base salary laden wuth bonus incentives.
    Stepan is the key signing…he wants close to $6 Mill/per…I don’t think the Rangers will give him more than the $5 Mill Brass got. I believe he is arbitration eligible. If that is indeed the case and it goes to arb and he wins,,,I guarantee he’ll be traded. It’s a lot of if’s, but the Rangers have a history of not looking to kindly on players who take them to arbitration…no matter who they are.

  • Glen Sather,if at all possible. please, please, please place Tanner Glass on waivers in the next several days.

  • Oscar showed some of what he can do, even in only 8 minutes of playing time. Had a bad giveaway early but then was solid the rest of the way. 2 SOG on 3 attempts and had a nice hit in the O zone to start a big scoring chance for the rangers. He looked good.

    The rangers could conceivably keep all 3 by:

    Zuc – 6 years at $4.5M per.
    Haggy – 1 year at $3.5M.
    MSL – 1 year for $1M base and $3M-$4M bonuses.

    If the cap is at at least $73M then I think with Miller, Fast, Buch, AD, Lindberg, Skjei, and low cost vets, they could fit them all in.

    Does Boyle do the Rangers a favor and retire after this year? That’s $4.5M saved. And getting rid of Glass saves $1.45M. Hmmmm.

  • If the Rangers can’t sign Zucc, they should see if Calgary would take him straight up for Johnny Gaudreau.

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