Musings

Thoughts on the Kevin Shattenkirk Buyout

Shortly after 5:00 PM last night, confusion reigned on Rangers Twitter. The buyout window closed (didn’t it?), then it hadn’t actually opened yet, and then a few minutes later, Brett Cyrgalis reported that the Kevin Shattenkirk era had come to an end. It was a lot, and it all seemed to happen at once.

Though nothing has been made official, Cyrgalis’ report has since been confirmed by multiple outlets. The Rangers will buy out the remainder of Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract, thus ending the defenseman’s frustrating and unlucky tenure with his hometown team. Even though I’m not Dave, I’ll use his line: as per usual, I have some thoughts.

  1. This move gives the Rangers the immediate cap relief that they desperately needed. It was the most direct route to clear money from the books, and likely enables them to keep Chris Kreider for this season. With this savings (roughly $5.16M), the Rangers are now about $1M under the cap. They still need to sign RFA’s Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux, whose contracts will likely put them back above the $81.5M limit. The Rangers will definitely need to make another move or two, but they can likely wait until the end of training camp to do so.
  2. However, there are two main issues with this decision, in spite of the cap relief that it provides:
    1. All Jeff Gorton did was kick the can down the road. Next season, $6,083,333 – over 90% of Shattenkirk’s full cap hit – will sit on the Rangers’ books. This will cause another cap crunch going into a year that the Rangers might reasonably expect to be moving into the early part of their next window of contention. Not ideal!
    2. This is the first move the Rangers have made this offseason that makes the team worse going into 2019-20. Yes, Shattenkirk underwhelmed in his two seasons, but he is definitely (and provably) a better defenseman than both Brendan Smith and Marc Staal. Period.
  3. I have no idea (and likely neither does anyone else outside the Rangers’ organization) what other options the Rangers were considering, but it’s impossible to ignore that there were other paths to cap relief. The Rangers could have bought out Ryan Strome in the first buyout window. They could have bought out Marc Staal or Brendan Smith instead. They could have pursued a trade of Strome, Vlad Namestnikov or Chris Kreider. Some of these moves would have been preferable (trading Strome and buying out of one of Staal or Smith, for example), others not so much (trading Kreider), but they were all out there.
  4. Another popular armchair GM idea: trading Shattenkirk and retaining up to 50% of his salary. Unfortunately, every other GM in the NHL knew the situation the Rangers were in. Why give up assets in a trade for Shattenkirk when he was likely to become a free agent with severely reduced market value anyway?
  5. Hot take alert: Shattenkirk will be signed rather quickly, and I’d expect a lot of angry tweets this winter when he puts together a bounce-back season, assuming he’s cast in the right role and given ample time on the power play.
  6. The Rangers are going to depend really heavily on some unproven players this year, huh? Good luck Adam Fox!
  7. Lastly and most importantly: the Rangers ability to evaluate defensemen and build a well-rounded, capable corps remains this organization’s achilles heel. They have repeatedly backed themselves into a corner through a combination of bad contracts (Redden, Staal, Girardi) and bad timing (Dan Boyle), with a bit of bad luck (Shattenkirk) sprinkled in as well. In a salary cap league, this is a killer. Don’t forget, part of the Rangers current cap situation is attributable to Dan Girardi’s contract: $3.6M of his buyout sits on the 2019-2020 salary cap.

What’s done is done. The Rangers got the short-term fix they needed, but the road ahead remains perilous. Leave your thoughts on the Shattenkirk buyout and the Rangers’ defense as a whole in the comments below.

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88 Comments

  1. I’m not a fan of this move. I generally agree with your assessment, but in point 7, it’s not so much their inability to evaluate defense men as it’s their willingness to give big contracts to aging veterans, I think there is Brad Richards money still in the books. Next years Shatty cap hit will most likely force them to trade Kreider. That’s a tough call because of what he brings to the table. But when you look at the Shatty buyout do we want to give Kreider $7 mill for 7? More importantly, can we even afford it? This should be a lesson to management. And hopefully with JD in the fold we’ll be more prudent in the future.

    1. Regardless if we like this move or not, this move was the only one that allowed Rangers to become cap complaint without additional moves. If there is no trade partners, and once the buy-out window closes, team would face severe penalties come the start of the season. Would anyone who does not like this buy-out be bold enough to wait until the start of the season in hopes of a trade?

      1. In regards to next year’s cap hit, I’ll take it a step further, if Shattenkirk wasn’t moved, his salary would exceed the hit by $500,000. Then is this move good or bad? Well since this guy was providing slightly above replacement level production I think Fox (on his ELC) mitigates this powerfully… so yeah probably good.

        We don’t know what was going on in the FO, I’m not about to knock this, I can live with it.

      2. exactly. buying out staal only saves 2.8m this year AND leaves 3.7 in dead money next year. facts before feelings ppl.

      1. How can you like someone that sucks? You said, We had to deal with AV’s non-sense when it came to playing vets over kids, and now under this coach, whom I like, we see the same thing.
        It must be a Fast thing.

  2. Starting to look like the best we can hope for is another NHL Strike, and a more flexible cap situation, along with the new NHL TV Contract coming up.

  3. Yeah, the biggest issue is the Rangers’ ability to evaluate D men. Spot on. But, hopefully, that’s in the past.

    I don’t like this move at all. You play your best roster and with Staal on it, then the Rangers are not accomplishing this goal.

    A Staal buyout also made more sense financially, for this year, and going forward.

    Keeping Shatty, hopefully he plays better, improves his trade value, and he gets dealt at this trade deadline with only one more year on his contract, that actually would have very little of actual salary to pay.

    In the grand scheme of things, this is a bad single move, but it does not keep the Rangers from improving going forward, inclusive of signing CK. Signing CK can still be done. And again, if CK is traded, then it’s because he insists on 7 years.

    1. Tony

      You hit the nail on the head with this post, will we ever learn not to sign these guys to huge sums, and long terms? Once this lesson is learned we will be better off for it!!!!!!

      Now the subject of playing your best players, wow, what a novel concept. We had to deal with AV’s non-sense when it came to playing vets over kids, and now under this coach, whom I like, we see the same thing. Management didn’t make the right move, as much as I wanted Shatty gone, Staal is worse. The Rangers will never trade Marc because of their loyalty to the player. This would be a great trait except to the organization that plays a slow, blind in one eye, stay at home type of player who can’t skate player, will be hurt. He may be a good locker room guy, and is a home grown player, so they are making an exception for him???

      As for Shatty, he’s gone, and I’m glad that lousy contract is off the books until next year. I’ll be interested to see if anyone signs him, and for how much!!!!!!!

      1. Really, in the grand scheme of things, the Shatty buyout really doesn’t change anything going forward.

        More moves (trades) are coming, whether those trades include CK or not is yet to be determined. CK may start the year with the Rangers without an extension in hand and either play his way into an extension or not.

        I love Staal the person, not the player. I mean how much of the “locker room” stuff translates into WINS?

        The fact of the matter is that Tanner Glass was loved by the Ranger players, and they actually wanted him in the line up. The problem is that he was a very bad hockey player and compounded it by making ill timed hits that the crowd went crazy for, but often resulted in the opponents going the other way and creating high quality scoring chances, because Tanner took himself out of the play, with those hits.

        It’s a business and it’s about winning. Marc will take comfort in making almost $6M per and he did not deserve it based on his play on the ice. The Rangers can hire him as an employee that will not hurt their roster or cap.

        1. Pal I couldnt believe what I read in the other place……truly a lot of people who have no clue…or don’t watch hockey

          1. I’ll ask again,

            What’s the point of complaining about the “other” site here? Is there a point?

          2. Hey pal, everyone has their opinions, we all have them like a-holes, lol.

            We’re all God’s children.

          3. Seriously. He has some obsession with what people on another site say. If you don’t like it comment on here or others that you do like.

        2. I will bet against you here and suggest the Rangers are mostly done for now. Yes, they need to fill out the coaching staff at Hartford, resign Kreider and maybe tie ADA down with a two year deal, but I don’t expect player movement. Maybe another signing of a relatively cheap player as insurance, but for the most part, I think we can see the team that will begin the season.

          On left defense, I think the Rangers need to figure out where they are going long term. And what means is looking at Lindgren, Rykov, Day, Reuanen, Keane and figuring exactly what they have there. See how they respond to the new coaches and project where they will end up. Until they do this, they really won’t know whether they should be buyers or sellers on the left side OR how quickly they should phase out Staal and Smith.

          There is a similar story at forward — will Chityl, Andersson, Howden actually be useful NHLers and how soon? And how quickly will Kravtsov be ready?

          If I am Ranger GM, I want to learn more about what I have before I make my next move.

          1. I agree Ray – There is finally some depth and I think they would want get them all into camp and see what they have. Everyone hits the ice with a clean slate – let the chips fall where they may.

            I really think Igor challenging the King for his throne will be one of the more interesting battles.

          2. I think that you misunderstood Raymond. The moves will come in the form of subtraction, not addition.

            The Rangers will try to subtract more cap space for this year.

            The only addition I see is for someone like Reaves, to get some toughness on the 4th line.

          3. No, I understood what you said. My point was precisely that I expected no further subtraction. Especially there will not be subtraction for subtraction’s sake. With Shattenkirk’s departure, they are already down to seven defensemen. My top 13 forwards are Panarin, Zib, Kreider, Kakko, Buch, Strome, Names, Lemieux, Chityl, Howden, Fast, McKegg, Nieves – and I am suspicious of Howden and who can be thrilled by the last two. I do not want to go any further down the list and so want to keep Names and Strome. [I don’t see Kravtsov ready day one and I don’t see Andersson ready for years]

            I believe management understands the situation, made a move that means further moves are unnecessary, and will begin the season with the best set of forwards possible, i.e., all of them currently in the organization.

            To be clear, while I disagree with most here concerning the readiness of Kravtsov at the season start and the level of play we can expect from Howden and Chityl, I wholly agree with the notion that the ultimate success of this year’s team depends on how good Kakko, Howden, Chityl, and Kravtsov will be in February – and the optimist in me looks for two top six guys and two quality third liners.

          4. I expect at least one of Names or Strome to be dealt.

            I also can see Fast being dealt as he has just one more year left here and I do not see him here after that. Especially if the Rangers do indeed get Reaves.

            I honestly would not be surprised if Krav outproduces Kakko this year.

          5. Regarding Names and Strome, we shall see who is right.

            As for Fast, I want to keep him. Quality bottom six players are valuable — BUT of course, he needs to be paid like a bottom six player (as he is now). If he wants to cash in like Brian Boyle did and won’t resign for a reasonable contract, yes, he goes.

      2. I always say loyalty is a stupid reason to keep someone. It back fires a lot more then it doesn’t. You and I have disagreed on Shattenkirk (that’s putting it mildly) but I think he can still be a productive player.

        1. In 2 years with us there was zero evidence of that….took him 3/4 of last season to take the PP job away from Pionk….6.9 mil for that? Hell no

          1. Year 1- Plenty of evidence prior to his injury and shutdown.

            Year 2- It’s Kevin Shattenkirk’s fault that Dan Quinn thought Neal Pionk was good?

            But alas. Your mind is made up and closed, so have a wonderful day.

          2. Yeah, I think the expectations for Kevin were way too high, in general.

            Kevin was never really a top pair D man, ever, and he certainly was not paid like one when he signed with the Rangers.

            He’s a 3/4 D man and I think that he started playing that way towards the end of last season. That knee injury really set him back, which was compounded by the Rangers by playing him.

          3. I don’t know Richter – Trouba just got $8M to be a top pair D-man. Shatty got $6.65M two years ago. That ain’t chump change and they are pretty comparable given the time gap.

            The problem to me is what you touched on yesterday – talent evaluation. Sather’s gone and I don’t think the new sheriff is going to let that be a problem any longer.

          4. Hey pal, when Shatty signed, the market was for at least 6/7 years, Shatty signed for 4 to be here.

            He may not have taken much of a haircut on the annual cap hit, but he certainly took less years to be here.

          5. Agreed – he gifted us the term but not the value.

            And think where we might be cap-wise if he had gotten 6 or 7 years…

  4. someone is salty over this move. how do you know they didn’t try to trade anyone? how do you know what teams were or werent offering? also its likely they didn’t want to have to make multiple significant moves to accomplish the task. retaining 50% gives you …. dead cap space for this year and next.. im not seeing how that is nec more preferable. and prob costs you assets.

    1. I suspect that no team was offering a thing to acquire him, or else we have a very stupid front office buying him out!!!!

      Obviously you like the guy, but not many teams liked him enough to trade for him. Wonder who’s wrong???????

      1. Teams might have wanted him and played the waiting game to see if he got bought out. They knew the Rangers needed cap relief. Now all you have to give up to get Shattenkirk is cap space.

        1. Just responding to your post about what teams were offering! If there were any serious teams interested, they would have traded for him, and not take a chance on someone else getting him first.
          Time will tell…………..

        2. Great point James, and where i think the Rangers failed here. They had to know there was the possibility to sign both Trouba AND Panarin. If that was the case you don’t wait to unload players to get CAP compliant. Teams get wise to this, and won’t work with you. Why should they? This needed to happen prior to the draft.

        3. If I were to say, it would be that Shatty knew that he was being bought out and his agent started leaking the info to teams to start creating a market for his client.

      2. There is another possibility. Suppose you have two choices: (A) Buy out Shattenkirk; (B) trade Shattenkirk for a 4th round draft pick with 50% salary retained. We are assuming that (B) is the correct choice and the Rangers only opted for (A) because (B) is a fantasy. However, while the long term cap implications are better under option (B), (A) completely solves the 2019-2020 problem while (B) does not. The 2020-2021 dead cap space under option (A) LOOKS really bad, but actually that cap will not be so hard to manage as young players mature to replace Strome and Names while the Giradi dead space declines.

        I may be wrong, but I believe at this point that the Rangers failed to trade Shattenkirk at half retained because they did not want to. Sure the trade would have been a no-brainer if the compensation were significant or if the retained salary was noticeably lower, but that was likely not an option.

  5. I have a feeling that when the Shattenkirk buyout statement becomes official there will be another transaction announcement, a trade possibly. Just a hunch.

  6. I honestly don’t get it. They obviously want Fox starting the season at the NHL level otherwise they should have taken a chance that Shatt’s value could increase to at least a 50% salary retain at some stage this season. This now means one of two things: 1) other Kreider is a goner at the trade deadline this season, or 2) the front office will have no choice but to replace Name and Strome’s salary the following season with rookies or AAAA players. Sorry, I guess there is a 3rd option and that is trading one or both now and fill them in with $780k salaried players. They must have a very high opinion of 1-2 forwards (as 3/4th liners) that us fans have written off or aren’t thinking of.

  7. Shattenkirk was done when the Blues put him on the market…..Trotz said he was no good….Someone in the FO should have been held accountable for signing him….prob another Sather Cigar Man influence. As soon as Shattenkirk hit the ice for us and you saw a slow mediocre effort guy…..awful

    1. Part of the problem was that many here thought / expected Shattenkirk to be a #1 RD. He wasn’t nor was he ever. He was a #3 RD in St Louis and Washington while being the 2nd best RD on those teams. Once they realized he wasn’t a #1 but he was an elite PP QB, you drop him to the 3rd pairing to ensure he’s not gassed for your PP.

      I agree with Rob’s point #5. I expected he’d bounce back this year because it sometimes takes a year to fully recover from knee surgery. Wherever Shattenkirk lands, there will be people here saying we should have kept him because of his production. They will probably also incorrectly suggest he would have been a #1 RD.

      I suspect the Rangers will deal Kreider at the deadline this year unless they are making a strong playoff push (meaning 1st or 2nd place in the Metro). That means that I’m expecting Kreider to get traded. Hopefully he will be the top player at the deadline and bring in a huge haul.

      1. In his final year + in St Louis, Kevin Shattenkirk played the 3rd most TOI at 5×5 of Blue defenders. In Washington, with a small sample size, he was 4th.

        So unless the “3rd Pair” is playing more than the Top-4, or we’re using some sort of inverse algebraic equation…..

  8. Like I posted yesterday, I have mixed emotions with this deal. First of all anger that we even signed Shatty in the first place. Given his history, he himself was also always professionally candid about the disappointment in his performance while playing for the Rangers, why would we chase after him with big money, and 4 years? He may have been called a fourth forward instead of a defensman, because as everyone on this good earth who is objective, will tell you, he stunk up the place when trying to defend.

    The team is better off with him gone, but the cap hit will sting for years to come. For the record, I don’t dislike the man, I hate his game. Obviously the team did too. They went out and got not one, not two, but three right d-men, all with offensive skills, and better games. The writing was on the wall, we we disappointed with the deal as soon as the ink dried. I just hope under this new management, we will never repeat these type of deals again, EVER!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. “The team is better off with him gone, but the cap hit will sting for years to come.”

      One year Walt, 2020-21.

      1. The big hit is next year, but we still carry a hit for a few years after that. Bottom line he will be hurting us long after he is gone!!!!!!!

        1. It’s a small hit after 20-21, like under $1.5M per for a couple of more years.

          It’s not an issue, not even for 20-21.

  9. Morning all,

    Now that this is done. Can we look forward to how it impacts us for next off season? I know a lot will happen over the next year with player movement but with Chytil, Anderson coming off their entry level deals and then if Lemieux and ADA only do one year deals, Kreider, Names, Fast, Georgiev and Strome FA and they are all in for raises. Where do we make the necessary cuts to keep them all together. Seems we will be in a bigger cap crunch next off season than this one? What other spare parts do we have to move? Another buyout of Smith or Staal next year? Seems we will need to do a lot of roster dancing this season. With this and still paying Girardi we have around 7.5 mil in dead space.

  10. It’s true, not knowing the Rangers’ options, it is difficult to say they made a bad move with Shattenkirk. Although, the Shattenkirk buyout “appears” on the face of it, less then a good move. Maybe it’s the 6M dead space. I still believe adding Lindgren to some salary consumption could have made sense. There had to be a team like the Wild who bites on the package. The Rangers’ defensive prospect stockpile surely could allow the trade of Lindgren. Funny, many didn’t see Shattenkirk signing as a bad move, especially with the home town discount. So without the discount, what would the Rangers be on hook for next year?

    However, if Kreider’s contract becomes a distraction, and/or they lose him with nothing of value, then the absurdity of that situation should be made loud and clear. They should either resign him ASAP to a contract that make sense, or publicize Kreider’s unacceptable demands and ship him to Ottawa in a clown outfit.

  11. I am speculating, but it may have been that the rest of the league would not talk to the Rangers not only about Shattenkirk, but also about Namestnikov, Smith, Strome, etc. I would not put it past the rest of the league to not want to help the Rangers out of their cap misery. Now, to me the logical choice was to buy out Staal, but the Rangers seem to love the guy (and he is a good guy) and probably wanted his veteran presence among the defensemen.

    All is not lost, because right now they can keep Kreider, who has been acting as their leader on the ice for a while now and who brings net presence and other qualities to the team. I don’t like to think about it, but if Hank has another season like he did last year, then he might be retirement bound after the season, which would free up a lot of cap next year and offset the big ca[t hit from Shatty’s buyout.

    1. Peter, Shattenkirk is redundant (Trouba, DeAngelo, Fox can all bring offense to the backend) )… Staal less so at this moment in time. Besides a Staal buyout only gives us $2.8M cap savings this year when we need it most. Overall the Shattenkirk buyout saves about 500K more over the course of the next 4 years.

      1. Tanto, all good points and I do not disagree.

        I did think that there was a combination of moves that could have been made along with a Staal buyout that would have given them room, but that is neither here nor there now. Yes, Shatty became redundant. Despite the large pile of dead cap space that ensues from the buyout I am quite glad that they still have Kreider and all of their kids. Staal and Smith will eventually ride off into the sunset and will be replaced by younger and more capable players.

        Now, they will decide who will be on the team out of camp. But it will be quite an exciting camp!

        1. If you look at the forwards corps realistically, you see the problem. Capfriendly lists fifteen forwards on the main roster and Kravtsov, diGuiseppi on the minors lists, that is 17 guys in all. Beleskey is ticketed for Hartford, so really 16. Nieves and McKegg are marginal and perhaps diGuiseppi rises to that level, but we are not eager to see any of that trio. So that leaves thirteen – including the five kids Kakko, Kravtsov, Chityl, Howden, and Andersson. Kakko should be fine, but Kravtsov likely needs half a season at Hartford and the other three were frankly awful last year. To expect all three to step up is crazy. Bottom line: the Rangers really need Strome and Namestnikov (and Kreider). So it really was incumbent on the Rangers to do this with moves only affecting the defense — and that greatly limited the options.

      2. Yes, Staal is less redundant as we have few that are as terrible at hockey as he is. 😉

  12. I wrote the following yesterday and unlike a presidential candidate I still stand by what I said:

    “People need to chill. SURE it would have been better to trade him, even at 50% retained … but this is the right move given the glutted landscape. Next year that $6M hit is offset by Girardi’s declining hit by $2.5M plus the expiration of Belesky’s contract along with the increase is the salary cap. We also have expiring contracts for Namestnikov, Fast and Strome PLUS we have just 1 year left on both the Smith and Staal contracts making them easier to trade at 50% retained salary (if we don’t do that by the deadline). We are FINE, just peachy.

    Lastly re: the signing of Shatty in the first place, I’m also of the belief that his knee injury has made him a worse player than he really is — and yes I know, he was never that good defensively … but you can see how his offensive game was easily superseded by DeAngelo and Pionk last season … and now Trouba and soon Fox.

    Now Hajek can challenge for the 2nd pairing on the left side, we can move Staal back to the 3rd pair and have Smith be the guy who challenges every defenseman for some playing time — as well as challenge the 3rd and 4th line forwards.

    If there are injuries on d’ we also now have the space to reward the d’men in Hartford.”

    Everything is fine, the sky isn’t falling … we’re flush with cheap prospects and don’t need a whole lot of cap space for a couple of years. Now it’s time to make a decision on Kreider and moving forward beyond this season.

    1. I agree with your post and to add, there is another move coming, everyone needs to be a little patient. Albeit, i hate this buyout or any buyout. The Rangers do need to stop giving bottom 6 and bottom pairing d men big contracts: Sather=Girardi, Shattenkirk and Staal, Gorton=Smith, Spooner

      Hopefully, this is the final lesson and their objective now is to have the young players take the roster spots and become the new core while the big contracts and buyout are gone in about two seasons. Remember in two years, Hanks’ 8.7 million per is gone, Staal’s 5.7 million will be gone. Staal has one more year at least here in NY, maybe 1.5 seasons.

  13. Sometimes things just don’t work out. Very easy to second guess. Shatty move originally made some sense but he was basically hurt for 2 years and offered little. While he may be better than Staal and Smith they are better fits and offer less immediate cap relief.

    Very unlucky that a trade market did not develop. I think if the Devils didn’t make the Subban trade they would have been in on KS, with 50% retained which would have benefited the Rangers vs. the buyout.

    Wouldn’t be surprised if KS bounces back. I suspect he will land somewhere on a $3 mil show me 1 year contract.

  14. Pretty much no on everything. First of all, the Rangers do not have to make further moves. They are $1M under the cap and if they sign ADA, Lemieux to their qualifying offers and demote Beleskey, Andersson to Hartford to get down to the usual 13 forwards, they will be about $1.2M to the good. They can even perhaps save additional money by demoting Nieves or McKegg, going down to a 21 man roster taking advantage of Smith’s versatility. This even leaves open the possibility of a two year contract for ADA at something above his qualifying offer.

    Do the math before you make your assertions. And in the same vein, the problems for next year are just not very problematic at all. Gorton did not kick the can down the road. As for making the team worse, that is both unclear and necessary. In order to be cap-compliant, teams simply must take actions which decrease their talent pool, either sacrificing truly useful players or players who provide additional options. Be that player Kreider or Namestnikov or Staal or Shattenkirk, the departure is a loss, but one that was forced by the Panarin and Trouba acquisitions. The wonder of this move is that is one of only two possibilities under consideration that solved the problem with one move (the other being a Kreider trade).

    As for whether it really hurts, it all depends. The Rangers simply do not need and cannot even properly utilize four puck-moving RH defensemen. Sure, if ADA and Fox can’t shoulder the burden this year, Shatty will be missed. But winning the Cup in 2020 was always drawing to an inside straight. Honestly, in all scenarios where the players don’t fall apart, losing Names or Strome would have hurt the Rangers. If Fox and ADA step up, this move does not hurt at all.

    No, Shattenkirk is not provably better than Staal or Smith – at least not by my standards of proof. As long as you use metrics that consistently tell you that puck movers are better than stay at home types, the metrics don’t prove much at all. But it hardly matters. Jettisoning Smith or Staal alone would not have solved the problem. Plus, they are more valuable TO THE RANGERS. Staal plays the left side and Smith can play both sides and the forward position. Long term, the Rangers have many more LH defensemen, but that is simply not expected for the upcoming season.

    And as to point 7, it is just your narrative and that of most here. Keith Yandle left the Rangers to join a first place team – a team that never made the playoffs again. So it is not that the stat darlings are any better. As for Redden and Shattenkirk, they were comparable to many flashy forward signings over the years. it isn’t that the team can’t evaluate dmen, they are just too obsessed with magic bullets sometimes.

    In the end, if you give all the credit to the people who score the goals and blame the goals against on the defensemen, you will always have a bad defense.

    1. Yep, Smith is considerably more valuable to this team than Staal or Shattenkirk, while that’s not saying a lot, he does provide a safety net to Fox. He also provides 4th line help. But IMO, he still gets demoted to the AHL, and will return from time to time for emergency help if needed. Passing through waivers will never be a problem and if he’s claimed…. YAY!

    2. “Do the math before you make your assertions.”

      Ummm, you forgot performance bonuses for the youngsters. A transaction involving Strome or Name is still required.

      1. So enlighten me. What is the effect of performance bonuses? Must the Rangers deal with this before the season? Does it matter if the bonuses are actually given or just in the contracts? No one else seems to be concerned. For the record, the only big performance bonuses can be earned by Kakko (likely I would imagine) and Shestyorkin (not so likely). Hajek has no bonuses, Chityl a tiny one, and Andersson, Fox, Kravtsov under $1M each.

        1. Not totally sure but it has been mentioned a few times by authors and posters. SB Nation has an article on it but it may require an auditor to appreciate what gets counted and when. As for the Bonus cushion that the NHL allows it looks like the Rangers come in underneath that by a $1.1 million. If its that simple then I am not sure if it impacts our current formula. Someone recently thought it would be a $1-2mil hit but the kids bonuses could total $4.8325 mil by year’s end.I can’t see the bonus earned from last season so unable to tell if there is a carryover required that some may be referring to.

          1. As I read it, there is a 7.5% cushion and so as long as the Ranger performance bonuses stay under $6.1M, there is no penalty whatsoever. And I think that if they do go over, it is just a penalty for next year anyway. My belief here is that the people at capfriendly know who they were doing and, if there were a problem, we would see it.

          2. A Belesky buyout and full 23 man roster brings us down to $79,539,799 with $1,960,201 left to sign ADA and Lemieux so something still has to give.

            A Smith buyout saves you another $3,379,167 for this coming season. If another D steps up in camp, he’s gone.

            Via trade: Name is $4,000,000 salary and Strome is $3,100,000 salary.

            Choose your poison!

          3. First of all, you don’t buy out Beleskey. You save more by burying his contract in the minors. Second, the Rangers rarely use a full 23 man roster. 22 is typical, with one spare forward and one spare defenseman. With Smith as the reserve, a 21 man roster is even possible. The only reason the Rangers used 23 last year was because every dman except Pionk was subject to waivers. Third, DeAngelo and Lemieux have no leverage. The Rangers can actually sign both to their qualifying offers and get the pair for under $1.8M, so even your figure is enough.

            They do not have to do anything further. In fact, the extra money from carrying only 22 players can be used to sign ADA to a slightly bigger contract for two years.

          4. No, just demote Belesky and another forward (McKegg perhaps) and you save about $1.7M. We have circa $3M to sign Lemieux and ADA, more than enough. Go with 22 players, Smith is your all-purpose guy, can play LD, RD or F on the 4th line.

          5. Screw Capfriendly, I’ll hang my hat on Ranger management. I have a sneaky suspicion they might have a clue!

    3. If Fox needs seasoning we can always try Keane or Raddysh … or just move Smith over to the right side 3rd pairing.

    4. Names. Strome, and Fast are legit trade candidates.

      You can add Kreider to the list if he insists on 7 years for an extension.

  15. On Shattenkirk: Shatty was never a shut down defenseman. He was a puck mover, a nifty passer and quite a good quarterback on the power play. I was not in favor of signing him, however he had certain talents. But, the Rangers picked him up as he was getting older, and then he injured his knee, then played on a bad leg for much too long. His mobility has been compromised and he isn’t as good as he used to be.

    He is a good guy by all accounts and very much wanted to play with the Rangers so he took less money to come to New York. I think the characterizations of him somehow being at fault for how things turned out are not realistic. I hope things go well for him. My biggest problem with the buyout is the huge cap hit next year, but I believe that things will work out.

  16. Does this buyout mean that Kreider is now a first round pick come the deadline? Does a long term for him mean sacrificing some of the accumulated youth over the next few years?

    1. We can sign him long term with no real issues, the question is whether they want to in terms of price and term. At the trade deadline Kreider nets you a 1st rounder plus a damn good prospect (maybe even a 3rd or 4th rounder thrown in), anything less would be terrible. Kreider is EXACTLY the type of player a team would want for the playoffs — a top 6 player that can push a defense back, plus a guy who can stand in front of the net all night long and take the abuse on the PP.

    1. I don’t think it was an “epic fail” yesterday, the asking prices were way too high for NYY to take, so they passed. Dodgers also made no trades. Houston got Greinke but he never wanted to play in northeast.
      .

  17. I personally felt they should have at least got one good season out of Shattenkirk, especially after the first two underwhelming seasons Shattenkirk provided for his top pairing contract.
    I’ve said it a few times, it takes a full year for recovery following ligament surgery on the knee.

  18. New York Rangers
    @NYRangers
    OFFICIAL: #NYR have bought out the contract of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.

  19. Man. I knew this was coming. Everyone was saying it. Still I had a feeling that Disney was going to swoop in and LA was going to send the Rangers Alex Turcotte and their 2020, 2021 & 2022 1st round picks. JG was going to have his own parade and–and–and…

    I wasn’t quiet that delusional–but still I was thinking–maybe Colorado would give us a 7th for Shatty and the 3rd we got for Vesey. Alas, the buyout is what it is. Not happy but still excited for 2019-2020.

    If they do have a surprising season and look hot for the playoffs–they won’t really have cap space to add a piece but that is probably for the best for where they are at.

  20. You would think the Rangers would have learned with that ridicules wasted long contract we gave to Wade Redden years ago. Everyone knew his game was declining except Sather. A six year contract and he had 26 points his first year and downhill after that. It was one of the worst contracts in Ranger history and sometimes ownerships never learn from past mistakes.

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