As the NHL offseason continues, insight into how teams will manage without revenue is coming to light. The Penguins trade Nick Bjugstad for a conditional pick last night, shedding salary as they are dealing with an internal cap. Many others will follow suit. The NY Rangers, primed with Jim Dolan as owner, are in a position to capitalize on teams with internal caps.
The Rangers are lucky enough to have an owner like Dolan that has deep pockets. He has the money to fund full player salaries and bonuses this coming season, even without the same revenue coming in. That’s just one side of the coin. The Rangers also have cost controlled players that have value, plus players with larger cap hits than salary due. This market provides a unique opportunity to maximize assets at a reduced cost.
Cost Controlled Assets
Brendan Smith is the name I’ve been throwing out there for some time. At a $4.35 million cap hit and only $2.35 million salary left, he’s always had value to a team like Ottawa. Now with other internal budgets coming, there are more teams that could use a player like him. It also helps that he’s a pretty useful defenseman on the bottom pair.
Something else to consider: Marc Staal carries a $5.7 million cap hit but only $3.2 million in salary. He’s not as useful and comes with NMC complications, but food for thought.
You know who becomes even more valuable though? Alex Georgiev. He’s not due much, and teams without much cash that are in need of a goalie now may turn to the Rangers. The market for him may get better now, especially since the free agent market is saturated. The free agents will be expensive, but Georgiev won’t be.
Can Actually Pay Salaries
The fact that Jim Dolan can actually pay salaries is a big deal. That doesn’t mean the Rangers are going to acquire expensive players though. After all, they have a rebuild to finish. However, they can take advantage of teams with an internal cap that can’t afford to re-sign a young player due a big raise.
Vince Dunn is the guy I’ve been hyping up for about a month now, and he’s still the target for me. Not only are the Blues in a precarious cap situation, but they might be one of the teams with an internal cap. The Rangers can throw their wallet around in this manner. When you combine it with the point above, where Smith and the RFAs might have more value now, the cap ceiling doesn’t become an issue.
The NY Rangers are in prime position to take advantage of teams with internal caps. They have multiple avenues to do so too. A creative Jeff Gorton can take this rebuild to the next level with the right moves.