Despite all the confusion, the NY Rangers are buying out defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. The buyout won’t be official until the window opens, which is midnight tonight, but multiple beats have confirmed this will happen.
A Shatty buyout will save the Rangers $5.1 million this season. Combined with the ultimate demotions of Matt Beleskey and Brendan Smith, that will be enough to get the Rangers under the cap this season.
The trick here is that Shattenkirk’s buyout cap hit next season is a shade under $6.1 million, so there is virtually no savings next season. This is kicking the can down the road, as the Rangers won’t be in cap hell, but it’ll be an unnecessary cap hit. The two seasons following, Shatty will have a cap hit of $1.43 million.
This is a signing that shows what could have been. Shatty’s knee injury took away all of his effectiveness as an NHLer. He also had no spot on the roster following the trades for Adam Fox and Jacob Trouba. His departure from the Rangers was inevitable, but a buyout was the least palatable method.