Four questions for this week’s mailbag. As always, use the mailbag feature on the right to send us questions throughout the week.
Q: What do you think Derek Stepan is worth? What will he actually get?
I had to trim this question down a bit, since the email had about five paragraphs. I think Stepan is worth that $7 million number that seems to scare everyone. If you think about this in percent of cap, that’s 10% of the cap. I certainly think Stepan is worth that. As cap inflation, which is a real thing, rises, then the percent of that hit goes down. It may not go down much, but the alternative is to trade him? For what? This team is in win-now mode for good reason, and Stepan-Brassard-Hayes-Moore is a lot better than Brassard-Hayes-Lindberg-Moore.
In the end, I think he gets $6 million for his last two RFA years, matching what Ryan O’Reilly got in his last two RFA years, then an average of $7 million for the last four years. That averages out to $6.67 million per year. Well worth it for a 25 year old center, and the contract expires when he’s 31 years old.
Q: Realistically, what do you think happens with Glass?
Realistically, he’s not going anywhere. He will come to camp and compete for a roster spot. He’s not getting sent to the AHL, since the Rangers don’t like having dead cap space (sending him down only clears $955,000 of his $1.45 million cap hit). He will probably be the 13F, subbing in for injured players.
He may get traded next year to a floor team, as his actual salary is $1 million, compared to his $1.45 million cap hit. I don’t think he gets moved this season though. But based off of Gorton’s work this summer, it appears he was a Glen Sather signing. So you never know.
Q: Do you think Klein will get moved for cap space?
Considering Jeff Gorton’s wizardry this offseason, the Rangers don’t actually need to clear cap space right now. The club will head to training camp with all six starters returning and Raphael Diaz as the 7D. Dylan McIlrath and Brady Skjei will compete for spots. If one proves they belong, then we might see a defenseman moved.
Kevin Klein is the most likely player to get traded, since his contract is the most friendly. Ryan McDonagh and Keith Yandle aren’t getting moved. Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, and Dan Boyle all have no move clauses. Thus, Klein is the easy answer.
Q: What are those graphs you retweet on Twitter?
Those are part of Josh’s salary cap project, which will debut soon. To sum it up, he took every player in the league, by position, and bunched them into salary tiers. He then took the relevant stats for each player and compared them to each tier, to see if a player is meeting expectations. It’s a great project, and I can’t wait to see the results.