Thoughts following Artemi Panarin’s signing

In case you missed it, and based off the website traffic you didn’t, the Rangers inked LW Artemi Panarin to a seven year, $81.5 million deal that comes with a $11.6 million cap hit. As of June 30th when we all went to sleep, Panarin was expected to sign in Brooklyn, although there was a glimmer of hope. By the time we woke up, Panarin was very quickly rumored to be coming to Broadway. As per usual, I have some thoughts.

1. Before addressing his impact to the Rangers, let’s take a minute and celebrate a portion of this signing that was just pure joy for us. And that is that he was headed to Brooklyn less than 12 hours before he signed with the Rangers. It’s not just that the Rangers landed the biggest free agent this year, and probably in the last half decade or so, but that it sounds like they stole him from the Islanders. They didn’t pull a Nets on the big brother organization.

2. On to the contract. It’s a lot. It’s a big risk. It’s 14% of the cap right now, although that is likely to come down over the life of the deal. It puts the Rangers in a precarious position right now, as even with the Jimmy Vesey trade (more on that in a sec), the Rangers don’t have enough cap space to sign all their RFAs (more on that too). However the contract isn’t through Panarin’s late thirties, something we’ve become accustomed to. Panarin is an elite winger with significantly less mileage on his body, and this contract will take him from age 28 to age 34. It’s a calculated risk. It may be a nightmare of a contract in 5 years, but we can cross that bridge when it comes. Also it looks like there was no no-move clause, a bonus.

3. Panarin adds the guaranteed elite scoring winger to a lineup that consists of two potential elite scoring wingers in Vitali Kravtsov and Kaapo Kakko. If KZB remains a thing, then Panarin can be that safety net for Filip Chytil as the 2C as well, giving him a bonafide star to play with. Panarin is the type of guy who can carry two rookies and help them build confidence while producing. He truly accelerates the rebuild and provides the Rangers with a huge boost in primary scoring and powerplay effectiveness. With the other additions the Rangers have already made, his signing may actually give the Blueshirts a shot at a playoff spot.

4. Back to the contract, something else is coming. The Rangers have about $8.7 million left in cap space with Jacob Trouba, Brendan Lemieux, Tony DeAngelo, and Pavel Buchnevich left to sign. I think the safe assumption is that they will need approximately $14 million to sign that quartet, so they need $6 million in cap space on top of what they have today. It’s doable and there are some gimmes here since this includes Matt Beleskey and Brendan Smith, but it’s going to require another trade.

5. Speaking of trades, sending Vesey to Buffalo was a trade that was basically a salary dump, but the Rangers actually cleared themselves of a one-dimensional player. There’s a little addition by subtraction going on here, not as much as with Neal Pionk though. Vesey was horrible without the puck, but he did put in 15 goals a year. Panarin’s signing certainly replaces that offense, and then some. Vesey was not a two-way player and was a disaster without the puck, so this is another solid trade without bringing back salary.

6. The other moves made, adding the three AHL veterans and the two tweeners, shouldn’t be overlooked. They aren’t nearly as exciting as the other moves of the day, but they solidify depth and it is a valid assumption that they were vetted and will be a critical first step in creating a better atmosphere in Hartford. As important as the Panarin signing is, these lower key moves matter too.

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  • Kreider has the most trade value, but if you’re trying to make the playoffs, that’s a hard guy to trade

    Namestnikov has the least value, but centering Panarin might surprise and generate value mid season.

    For roster issues/cap considerations, we might see a lot of waiver exempt players are gonna start in Hartford the 1st month.

    They have plenty of room to sign(and squeeze) everybody over the summer, but Shatty/Staal/Smith ménage a trois has to get figured out over the next 2 months.

    • Bruins are actively looking for a big forward who can go to the net and disrupt a defense. Bs have a Tory Krug problem developing as a one-way offensive D will command too much money. So here is the trade that I’d like to see happen (note: I have always liked Kreider a lot but… business). B’s window is now and slipping fast.

      Trade: Kreider and Shatty (1/2 salary retained) to Boston, which gives them their net crashing/scoring wing and replaces Krug (less offense, but better D since Krug is unable to play any D) within the B’s window.

      Coming back will be Zboral and Syneshun (a D and a forward), a pair of mid-1st picks from a recent draft that have not worked out yet for the Bs, and a 2nd rounder next year (1st if we can get it, but…). It’s a salary dump and space clear on D for the Rangers but also helps fill out the bottom 6. And hang on to either Strome or Namer. Don’t trade both.

  • Ok:
    #1, he was NEVER going to the Isles. NEVER, EVER, EVER. He was using them to get the Rangers to up their offer. He took $1M per LESS to sign with the Rangers instead of the Isles.
    #2, let the cap space blood letting begin. It started with Vesey yesterday.
    #3, Panarin-Zib-Kakko, Kreider-Chyti/Strome-Buch, as your top 6 ladies and gentlemen.
    #4, say goodbye to (probably) Names, Smith, Shatty. Belesky is a given. Trouba ($7.5M), Buch ($3.2M), DeAngelo ($2M), Lemieux ($1.25M), or $14M as David said.
    #5, yes, talent is the rule of thumb now, it should be clear to all the Ranger fans.
    #6, building up Hartford is a priority of JD’s.

      • I actually think that some team may want him for the one year. The Jets need Cs.

        Between Strome and Names, I would keep Names, but I think that the Rangers like Strome better, which is not the right move. Names is a better all around player and the Rangers should not be so enamored by Strome’s shooting % last year, that will not continue.

        • Strome’s shooting % will fall back, but not by a lot.

          His goals came from reading plays properly and supporting the play after the 1st shot.

          If he keeps on doing that(like getting sloppy seconds off of Kakko’s shots) he will clean up.

          • Strome’s metrics are bad, faceoffs are bad and that shooting % isn’t sustainable … and I agree his goals came from reading plays properly and supporting the play after the 1st shot. Unfortunately no player can sustain that type of play. That said, I don’t think he should be the first out the door … or out the door entirely, but they’ll do what they have to do to get our cap hit down.

          • Baloney, players do it all the time; with the lack of hooking & holding makes it even easier.

            You don’t need to be Dave Andrechyuk anymore.

        • Everybody thinks the Penguins going after the wrong Tanev was a joke, and Namestnikov speed at a similar pace and is making half a mil more.

      • Even if it costs a third to unload Names and a third to unload Shattenkirk at half retained, two thirds for Panarin is a lot less than a first for Trouba. Actually though, neither contract is that onerous and, except for Marleau, there have been no trades where the receiving team actually got something for taking a player. Players have been sold for peanuts yes, but not at a loss.

        I still think Shatty at half retained is a plus asset.

    • I’d really hate for them to buy out one of the S’s just so they could fit Panarins contract. Your essentially adding whatever the buyout cap hit to Panarins contract. I would hate the idea of a 14 million cap hit for the guy!

      Unfortunately I don’t see any way to fit him besides trading Kreider.

      • Kreider can be fit very easily, if the Rangers do the right thing in getting rid of bad contracts.

        Term will decide CK’s fate here. If he wants 7 years, then I do not believe that he will be here.

  • Going to have to move contracts. Everyone knows that. What return is the question. Thinking CK gets the biggest return. Shatty and Smith the least. Trust Gorton.

    Putting a top 10 scoring winger on your team is never a bad idea.

  • After having slept over a hectic day like yesterday, I came to the conclusion that we made a very good hockey move, and screwed the Fishsticks. What more can we do but to celebrate the occasion? We screwed the Fishsticks, enough said!!!!!

    Running the numbers, and getting rid of dead wood, the signing of Kreider is doable. The question is how long will he sign for? If Chris really wants here, he signs for 5-6 years at the most, and positions himself to be a lifetime Ranger employee, ala Graves, Gilbert, and others. Don’t forget he was treated very well the last time around with his existing contract. Looking at this roster as it currently is constructed, we can be competitive, and should make the PO’s.

    Now to the point of teaching our kids to play the game right. Kakko, and Kravs look to be very self motivated kids, but with Arty in the line up, they can’t be tailed all game long by defenses, giving them ample room to skate around, getting open, and scoring. In so doing, they start feeling good about themselves, confidence builds, and this becomes contagious to the rest of the team. Buchnevich also benefits, he also get more room to play without a tail on him. Then we come to the third line of maybe Kravs, Andersson, and Strome (or whomever they play), two youngsters get to play, no pressure on them, and the rest is history. Remember the Brass, Zucc, and Pouliot line, this trio could develop into a similar line.

    I still have my reservations, the contract term, and cost is way up there, but I guess it’s the cost of doing business in NYC. The next move has to rid us of at least two of the three S boys, starting with Shatty, and his albatross of a contract!!!!!!!!

    • I don’t like to do things to spite others. I prefer them to help us. The good news with the fish sticks losing out on Panarin hurt them and helped us and so did losing out on Lehner and signing Varlomov to that pretty bad contract…

      I think in the net few weeks we see Namestnikov, Strome(not hating just just his high shooting percentage to add value) and Shatty and/or Smith moved out.

  • Panarin was the class of this free agent season. While putting us in short-term Cap hell, he was the golden ticket and we got him. What moves come next are the important ones. How to clear $7M is not going to be easy. We may have to add an additional player to a trade to make it happen. For example, might have to include Buch in a deal to move Shatty. Not saying there are not options, but let’s understand this is a business and we all love Trouba and Panarin, but something has to give.

    Gorton needs to have an accountant at his side at all times over the next month. Hoping that we can clear the Cap space from the blueline. We need the kids to start having spots on the roster.

    Let’s see what the next 2 weeks bring us.

    • I’m not seeing Buch being traded.

      he’s potential is higher now with these stronger players being injected into his career on the ice, I say BUCH gets 30 goals this or next season.

      nice problem to have though, eh


  • Good morning all. I am glad Panarin is on this team. Seeing what Lee got from the Iles looks like Kreider is do for a 7×7 deal. They are fairly comparable players. I personally think we need to keep him for at least 4-5 years. I do still think Strome has some value to this team. Namestnikov would provide us with solid depth that can be moved around the lineup but hes also only got another year on his deal. I think he’s the contract that whether it be a trade or worst case a buyout the one that gives us the most breathing room cap wise. We are unfortunately stuck with the 3 S’s for at least half this season. Maybe Shatty and Smith can boost trade value for a deadline deal. We will see. Here is to anther year of positive growth and another year closer to being a true contender for another extended stretch. Today is a good day to be a Ranger Fan!! have a safe and happy 4th of July weekend all.

    • Hank will have a comeback year and bring us to the promised land. Shesty needs a year in the AHL and Georgi is a capable backup.

      I am really thinking we move 2 players to make the contract work. Might need to sell high on Strome, even though I would want to keep him. Isn’t Ottawa still near or below the floor of the salary Cap? Oh the moves that will make this work are frightening, but necessary.

      Always thought that by July 4th weekend we would have a very different team, and this is proving true. CK to Colorado still in the news as a possible move.

      • Hank was not very good last season. I hope that he has a comeback year, but at his age I have to be skeptical as to whether it is possible.

        • After Georgiev takes over the starting job from Hank in late January, he becomes the next goaltender in a line of goalies who shouldn’t win you a SC, to do so. The Rangers win their 1st SC and then proceed to win 3 more in Artemi Panarin’s next 6 years with the Rangers, thereby prompting young Ranger fans all over the world to say “Mark Messier? Who?”

          Just kidding, but it’s nice to dream.

    • I hate to say it, but Hank and his almost 9 million a year is more of the albatross at this point in his career then anyone else. Definitely get Krieder signed even if it means losing Strome, Names or both. Although I like both for depth, we have some young guys that could fill in or Gordan could work some magic in a trade for a veteran player to step in. You don’t lose a guy like Krieder with his speed and physical presence!

  • If you look at the 2020 and 2021 UFA class you’ll see why we had to make this move NOW and not wait — and I was for the most part a person who advocated for them to wait for the right time … but when they added Fox and then Trouba, I softened. Now I hope they can take care of the left side —- except I suspect Staal is around for the next 2 years, hopefully in a more limited capacity.

    No doubt, this team should make the playoffs …. now they just have to go out and do it.

      • if tantrums and being pissed with others not playing up to his level are part of the HOF package, bring it on any day…


        love ya bro but, the upside to his entire career can not be summed up those microscopic points buddy…

        Think about it, a healthy Henrik, Motivated by this club, playing at the top of his game…..
        Come on… that’s awesome!

        You cant tell me you don’t feel it… HENRIK. HENRIK. HENRIK.


    • Hank will probably retire a year early and join Ben Alare as a goalie coach.

      Panarin will raise the Cup for us by 2022! Is it too early to plan the parade?

  • Question: Does anyone know of any relatively bad $1M players on one way contracts? If you traded Namestnikov for such a player and sent that player to Hartford, you would clear cap space. The other team, likely more interested in cash than cap space, would only be out $3M, not $4M.

    • If you retained half and buried the new guy, you’d save $2mm, which would help; the other team would get a fairly valued player in return.

      I’m sure Edmonton has plugs like that stacked up like cordwood.

      • And the answers are:

        Joel Persson F
        Tyler Pitlick
        Nate Beaulieu D
        Madison Bowey D
        Brett Richie
        Nate Thompson
        Joakim Norstrom
        Tomas Nosek

        The D are all out as the team is full up.

        Nosek is a no go as Vegas needs to lose salary, not take it on.

        Boston would be a good dance partner as they could turn around, flip him for a half retain, then if *that* team buries him in the minors then(IIRC) the Rangers would only have a $900k cap hit.

  • First time posting here enjoyed reading all the comments. People seem to have forgotten that this year the Rangers have $3.6 million in dead money going to Girardi. Next year it falls to $1.1. That additional $2.5 can be used to resign Kreider if they choose to do so. Make the moves this year to resign all the RFA as next year there are only three RFA Strome, Nieves and Gorgy.

    • Belesky as well comes off the books. The issue is to just get over this summer hump, then cap-wise we’re in decent shape.

  • The Davidson Gorton sandwich around Sather is what the Rangers needed. And hopefully this keeps Kreider on the team.

  • Cap Friendly has the contract details, and Gorton (or Panarin’s agent) gets it.

    Contract is frontloaded and bonused all to Hell:
    Yr1: $13mm bonus, $1mm para 1
    Yr2: $12mm x $1mm
    Yr3: $12mm x $1mm
    Yr4: $11.5mm x $1mm
    Yr5: $10mm x $1mm
    Yr6: $9mm x $1mm
    Yr7: $7mm x $1mm

    Not exactly maxed out to CBA limitations(I guess even MSG has free cash problems at times) but with the NMC it’s not really necessary.

    The back half of the deal will be manageable once the new US TV contracts happen

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