Over the weekend, news broke that the salary cap for next season might hit as high as $82 million, with a low of $78 million. This is mostly due to the success in Vegas, which no one is sure is sustainable, but for now impacts the salary cap in a positive manner.
For the Rangers, their offseason look is interesting. They have a bunch of key RFAs they will need to re-sign (Miller, Hayes, Vesey, Nieves, Skjei). Vesey and Nieves likely won’t command more than $3 million combined, but the trio of Miller, Hayes, and Skjei could get pricey fast.
What makes things interesting isn’t so much the need to re-sign the RFAs, but the potential need to re-sign Rick Nash and Michael Grabner. Nash won’t command his $7.8 million salary, but should likely get $4 million. He’s well worth that price. As for Grabner, his next contract is very tough to predict.
The Blueshirts will get some relief with Nash’s deal, with the full value or close to $4 million. They also get some breathing room with David Desharnais’ and Nick Holden’s deals coming off the books. In total, that’s anywhere from $6.5 to $10.5 million (roughly) coming off the books.
Regardless of how the Rangers move forward with Nash and Grabner, they will likely need that entire $10.5 million, probably a little more, to re-sign the RFA quintet. Then you add in the need to either re-sign or replace Grabner and Nash, and the Rangers need every penny they can get.
Assuming the actual cap number is at the lower end of the estimate, the extra $3 million goes a long way to keeping the core of the team intact while surrounding them with solid offensive pieces. The interesting thing here is that the $3 million certainly helps, but is not necessarily a “much needed” $3 million, like prior seasons. The Blueshirts are actually in a good spot regarding the cap at the moment.