On the Kevin Shattenkirk buyout, dead cap space, and its impact on Chris Kreider’s future

When the Rangers bought out Kevin Shattenkirk, it’s safe to say we weren’t big fans. I get it though, the Rangers needed the most immediate cap savings, and buying out Shattenkirk is the move that got them the most immediate cap room. It appears that is the only reason behind the move –don’t give me that “too many RD” stuff, you can move someone to the left side– and I guess I’m fine with that. In a season filled with great moves for the future, this is a blip in the grand scheme of things. I don’t like the move at all, and we can argue about Marc Staal/Brendan Smith til the cows come home, but I’ll find a way to convince myself it was the right move.

The biggest concern of that buyout is the cost in Year Two, which is $6.083 million, a savings of just $600k. When looking at planning ahead, Shattenkirk’s buyout was the least palatable in regards to future cost because of the non-existent savings in that year. It’s kind of looks like lack of planning, comparable to having an idea to bring back a wight but no idea how to actually do so, so you decide to “go get one”. Sure it makes immediate sense, but did you really think that one through, Jon?

Which brings me to that impact. Yes, the Rangers will get under the cap by about $1 million after all is said and done. All that takes is demoting Matt Beleskey and Gregg McKegg and signing Brendan Lemieux/Tony DeAngelo to $2.5 million combined. Not ideal, since it kicks the bonus overages can down the road to next season, but doable.

It’s the 2020-2021 season, if it happens, that is the biggest concern. The Rangers will have $7.5 million in dead cap space between three buyouts on the roster. That’s 9% of the $84 million cap ceiling estimate (3% raise). That’s a lot of dead cap space, and we can probably add another $2 million in bonus overages just to be safe. That’s $9 million of $84 million that the Rangers will not be able to use on players next season. That’s with eight forwards and six defensemen signed, not including DeAngelo/Lemieux. That’s about $17 million in cap space to fill out the roster.

*-Bear with me on these estimates, since some of the bonuses can be paid this year if the Rangers have accrued enough cap space by the end of the year, meaning minimal salary added at the trade deadline. Cap space is funky.

All focus is on Chris Kreider’s future in New York, and rightfully so. Kreider is an impact player who drives offense, holds his own defensively, and has a rare combination of speed/strength that should age well. He’s expected to get around $7 million a season in his extension, a raise of close to $3 million. If the Rangers keep him, they have $10 million to fill out the roster. Let’s focus on that $10 million for 4 forwards, 1 defensemen, and a goalie.

How many of those needs are going to be filled by someone who isn’t on a ELC? Maybe one – Jesper Fast, two if for some reason Ryan Strome shoots 20% again. If the Blueshirts keep them both at about $6 million combined, that’s $4 million left for four players. Again back to the ELC discussion, which is how most of these holes will be filled. It’s tight, but it’s doable. The sky isn’t falling. I still dislike the Shattenkirk buyout, but I’m able to reason with myself that it’s not going to crush them next year if they re-sign Kreider. I can live with that.

Here’s the added bonus though: All that dead cap space prevents the Rangers from making the big mistakes they’ve made in the past: Signing middle roster players to long, crippling deals. Those are the deals that crush a rebuild. With no cap space, Jeff Gorton can’t actually make one of those mistakes. If that’s the silver lining, I’ll take it.

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  • I was not a fan of the Shattenkirk signing, I don’t agree with the buyout; but I understand it.

    If trading Kreider gets me Puljujarvi and EDM’s 1st so I get 2 picks in the top 10 in 2020, sign me up.

    • Agree with the first rounder – Puljujarvi has a mere 37 points total playing in 139 games with the likes of McDavid, Draisaitl and Nugent-Hopkins – not sure what we have to offer in terms of talent upgrades to jump start him at this point

    • Reen

      I agree with your post, and will add that he was mishandled by the coaching staff, somewhat like Buch, but he has plenty of upside just the same. One other point, he is Finish, and Kakko needs a countryman to feel comfortable running around NYC!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

      Oh, when he skated with Mc David he did a good job, that tells me he can play the game………….

    • If CK agrees to go to Edmonton. I would be shocked.

      2 picks in the top 10? lol, we’re making the playoffs this year.

    • Shattendrek was the most overpaid player on the team given his production. He was a guy I advocated for. But just beyO thought he would be good and turned out not to be, doesn’t mean that I have to continue to defend his abysmal performance as a Ranger. The Rangers couldn’t give him away for half his contract and a bag of pucks. All the fancy stats in the world won’t change the fact that he just isn’t good anymore. He is a good guy and a big Rangers fan. I wish him nothing but the best wherever he goes. His buy out will hurt next year but that’s the hand that the management dealt themselves and now have to deal with it.

      • “Shattendrek was the most overpaid player on the team given his production.”

        Pal, don’t get nuts, Staal is the annual winner, hands down, with Smith not too far behind.

        You’re too bias when you make a comment like this. Love you anyway, lol.

        • LOL! A little hyperbole there but the reality is all three are extremely overpaid based on their production. Shattendrek doesn’t have the long rope Staal has from the first 2/3 of his career and Smith can be sent down. The drek man gave them the most instant savings this year. Easy decision to get rid of him.

          Love ya too pal!

          • Making Shatty the buyout because of circumstances is a lot different than $$ vs production.

  • The Rangers could also buy out both Smitty and Staal next season. This of course would add more dead capspace the following season thus kicking the can further down the road.

    I don’t believe the Rangers management want to continue to handcuff themselves with even more dead capspace baggage. If Kreds isn’t moved by the end of the summer, he would be very sought after by clubs wanting to make a go for the Stanley Cup come the trade deadline.

  • We had $4M in dead cap space this year without the Shattenkirk buyout, so $7.5M next year doesn’t bother me much at all.

  • Is there really a concern with bonus overages? The Rangers are allowed over $6M and only two players have huge bonuses (2.5-3M), Kakko and Shesty. Will Shesty actually get bonuses from Hartford? Now Fox, Kravtsov, and Andersson have $850K in bonuses, but without a big bonus for Shesty, they would be still well under the limit even if all were achieved. and the remaining bonuses would be small.

    Does anyone know how to find what bonuses are for in specific cases?

    • This is not really an issue. Here’s the list of category B bonuses, the ones that can be up to $2M. I’m not too concerned about any of our rookies earning this bonus. It’s humongos big good news if they do.

      Top 5 finish in balloting for the Hart, Norris, Vezina, Selke, or Richard trophies
      Winning the William Jennings Trophy
      Being named to the official NHL All-Star Team at the conclusion of the season (both 1st team and 2nd team)
      Winning the Conn Smythe Trophy
      Finishing in the top 10 of forwards in the league in goals, assists, points, or points per game
      Finishing in the top 10 of defensemen in the league in goals, assists, points, or points per game
      Finishing in the top 5 of goaltenders in the league in goals against average, save percentage, or wins

  • To me, it’s as simple as “We’d like Panarin and Trouba, but don’t expect both. If that miracle happens, we would have to make a reasonable trade at a disadvantage, or we’d have to buy someone out. Should we go for it?” And the answer is that of course they should have, and I’m so glad they did.

  • Dave you are picking a poor hill to die on…. Shattenkirk was garbage….Fast isnt getting a new contract here

    • Depends on the asking price and the term. I could be totally wrong but I think Fast is the type of loyal guy that will try hard to fit in as best he can and won’t leave for so-called greener pastures, so maybe he takes a $2.5M contract for a couple of years. You can’t measure on a score sheet what he brings to this team — and as I’ve said numerous times in the past, you don’t win the Player’s Player Award 4 years in a row without bringing something important to your team (as voted on by the team).

      He’s an excellent depth player and should be played as one — people need to get over that AV and DQ have used him higher up the food chain where he doesn’t really belong, aside for maybe a couple of games here and there to spell an injury. Quickie has a motor that never stops, he’s the consummate team player that never gives up — yeah he gets knocked down, but he’s always lightning quick to get up and continue fighting for the puck.

  • I am a Kreider fan, especially enjoy his presence and speed on the ice. I looked at his stats and grouped the last 3 years (2016-2017/ 2017-2018/ 2018 2019), then 3 years before (2015-2016/2015-2014/2013-2014) to see his production (not counting his rookie season 2012-2013).

    Games Played: -13 Decrease total over the entire last 3 years.
    Goals: +13 Increase total over the entire last 3 years.
    Assists: +3 Increase total over the entire 3 years.
    +/-: -40 Decrease total over the entire last 3 years.
    Penalty Minutes: -59 Decrease total over the entire last 3 years.
    Power Play Goals: +2 Increase total over the entire last 3 years.
    Power Play Points: +9 Increase total over the entire last 3 years.
    Game winning goals: -2 Decrease total over the entire last 3 years.
    Face Off %: -32% Decrease total over the entire last 3 years.

    Apparently, he is looking for a 7-year contract. Don’t believe his stats the last 3 years are telling the Rangers to give him that kind of term. 7M per year, doubt it. No contact between agent and team? Getting a number 1 pick and a good, reasonably priced player off a NHL roster, and signed for more then one year, sounds ok.

    • With the recent signing of Trouba and Panarin, the Rangers no longer have the luxury of over paying for Kreds. Stick a fork in him…he’s done.

    • I am a big Kreider fan too. 7 years is probably too long. 6 years is pushing it. I would pay him 7+ million if he’d take a 5 year contract. He is the leader of the club in the ice and is valuable beyond his stats.

        • I would say that the players on the team feel a little differently, since they voted for Fast as the “Players’ Player” four years in a row.

  • I was not happy about any buyout and thought Shatty would be the worst of the lot as I can see him having a good 2019-2020. We’ll see. With that said—stepping back—this should be a fun season.


    There is room for trades, letting kids play in Hartford with a real coach and to rotate folks in NYC.
    Hartford could be pretty good this year. Will having two vets on his wing enable Chytil to settle in as center? If not Names and Strome can fill a gap and Chytil can move to wing or get some huge minutes in Hartford (Although this is unlikely).

    There are still multiple decent call up options for middle and bottom 6 forwards if injuries pile up at forward. One or two of Rykov/Hajek-Fox will be Hartford with Smith, Lindgren, Day, Reunanen and Keane. Not to mention Crawley and Raddysh—they have D depth in the AHL. Hartford’s D should be good and Wall & Huska will be fighting to back up Shesterkin. Hartford may be a lock for the playoffs. Where the Rangers will be fun, but the playoffs will be contingent upon a lot of what-ifs/variables going the right way. Neither making the playoffs nor missing the playoffs would surprise me for the Rangers.

    Despite not being crazy about them using a buyout—2019-2020 is going to be fun for Rangers fans—whatever happens.

  • I am a BIG FAN of buying out Kevin Shattenkirk, and just because the guy is an NYR fan and wanted to play here, we can’t ignore how bad he played the last 2 years and the NYR is paying a fortune for another mistake of Glen Sather.

    The fact is that Kevin Shattenkirk is the worst player on the NYR who makes a lot of money. Staal? Staal is a better defensive player than Shattenkirk, Smith? Smith is a more useful player than Shattenkirk while he can play as forwards. Both of them, Staal and Smith, are skating faster than Shattenkirk. Injury or not, what horrific 2 years Shattenkirk played for the NYR, thanks Sather and his 5 Stanley rings, and none of them are from the NYR.

    Despite some sentimental fans screaming about next year’s penalty by buying out Shattenkirk, NYR does save $$$ cap space and there’s a position opened and more playing time for the younger new talents NYR acquired

  • Don’t make CK as the 2nd coming, CK is a 40-50 points player in the NHL, and CK took games off not only in the regular season but also in the playoffs if you watch NYR games like I do. When was the last time, if ever, CK imposing his will to win a playoff game for the NYR? I say NYR should pass to sign CK at 7X7 while the new contact will begin while CK is 29, trade him for a 1st round 2020 pick and maybe some more. BTW, everyone is saying 2020 is a very deep draft.

  • Depending on draft picks before you know who they will be is pure guess work. We lucked out this year with the lottery, but we lost a place last year because of it. Maybe the 2020 draft will be deep, but what will a mid rounder, or worse, be worth?

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