Offseason

NHL buyout window opens on September 25

The NHL buyout window will open on September 25. This date was set following the conclusion of the Conference Final last night. The buyout window will run through October 8, which is the day before free agency begins.

Rangers Plans

Rumors swirled earlier this week that the Rangers are going to use a buyout on Henrik Lundqvist. While there are no true confirmations yet, there are legitimate arguments both for and against the buyout. All signs are pointing towards this buyout.

The Rangers also have decisions to make with Marc Staal and Brendan Smith. Neither is really being forced out by younger and –at this point in their careers– better players, but their cap hits represent a problem in a flat cap.

Planning for Beyond This Season

Well run teams plan well beyond the coming season. Something like the flat cap may alter some plans, but shouldn’t alter them too much. Given how Jeff Gorton has run the rebuild thus far, it’s safe to assume he had a plan coming into this offseason.

The flat cap and a pair of lottery winnings may have altered the plans. There’s a case to be made that the flat cap accelerated the rebuild faster than the lottery winnings did. It’s forcing a decision into their hands that they probably knew they had to make, but didn’t want to.

It’s unlikely the Rangers use a buyout the day the NHL buyout window opens. They will likely see how the draft plays out. Negotiations with RFAs and Jesper Fast need to run their course. The market for Alex Georgiev, if there is one, needs to be evaluated. They have time, and will make the best decision possible.

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  • Honestly I don’t want to see any buyouts!

    For Staal I would love for him to waive his NMC. Trade him to Ottawa,maybe Buffalo or Carolina to play with his brothers.

    Smith if we retain some salary I’m sure we can package him, and if we can’t he can be the 7th D.

  • I hate the thought of any buyout. How much do we carry on the books for some very bad deals. I believe it’s in excess of $7 million.

    I would do everything in my power to trade, demote, and or bench any player who will not give the team a chance to move them. No exceptions, because they are being selfish, and in reality don’t give a hoot about the team.

    I could care less what you did before, if you want your number hung in the rafters, work with us to make moves to keep the team cap healthy!!!!!!!!!!

    If Hank wants to become the face of the organization for the rest of his life, RETIRE now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    • I agree that Hank “should” retire … but regarding the buyouts, all buyouts aren’t created equally. That $7M you’re talking about is mostly now made up of one big buyout (Shatty) and almost disappears after next season. So Hank’s $1.5M the following year won’t be a big hit at all. This is just another reason why Dolan is a somewhat OK owner to have — especially now.

      • tanto

        This is where we differ, it’s the principle that counts.

        Why pay a clown like Shatty, or Girardi, or anyone else? I understand it’s the boss’s money, but someone should be held accountable for blowing it in the first place. If I’m the owner, heads would be on the chopping block for throwing my money out the window.

        In the future we don’t sign these ridiculously long term deals that handcuffs us later in the future. We no longer sign these stupid NTC, NMC, deals except for outstanding players, and at that I’d be reluctant.

        You’ll now see teams trade, discard, non-tender contracts to players that would help them because of tight money. I can’t be cavalier with someone else’s money, so I’m of the opinion that you don’t want to work with me, I’ll embarrass you by sitting the entire season!!!!!!!!!!!! This will get them right in their ego…………

        • Which is why I almost always say no to NMCs and/or prohibitive NTCs —- but this is the reality of the situation and what you suggest should be done can easily create bad vibes in the lockerroom depending on the player. It isn’t that I like buyouts, but we have to do what we have to do.

          • tanto

            Let Hank sulk if that’s the case. He has a choice, and like I said he can walk away with head held high, or sit until he gets splinters in the can!!!!!!!!!!

          • Walt, I would love to play HARDBALL with some of these guys … but I don’t think Hank is the guy to do that with — because of what he has meant to this franchise. I think there are other factors involved here that are not 100% hockey related. We agreed on a contract and he’s entitled to all the rights guaranteed within and based on the CBA … sitting him on a bench for a year sulking wouldn’t be good for the team. It’s a tough decision.

            Of course I agree with you that he should retire, pick his job in the organization (aside from GM or head coach) and hold his head up high as one of the great goalies of the modern era … but who among us is 100% sure that they would leave $5.5M on the table? That’s a lot of fancy clothes, fast cars, charitable contributions, etc. to forego. Besides, he may legitimately believe he has some premium gas left in his tank.

          • tanto

            “Besides, he may legitimately believe he has some premium gas left in his tank.”

            All the man has to do is look at his stats on the next thread, and absorb them, and consider the implications to the team. I’ve said this for at least the last two years, be the team ambassador, and he’ll more than make up the loss of the $5.5M that he leaves on the table. Where else will he have a lifetime contract? Nowhere, so why not just walk and be done with it!!!!!!!!!!!! Is his ego that friggin big????????????

          • The answer to your question is: YES!!!

            The first time I ever got a little miffed with Hank is when I saw him in the dressing room after a game a few years ago and he wasn’t wearing a Rangers’ hat, but one of his own “branded” hats. It just seemed odd.

            Walt, athletes die hard … not easy. Hank thinks he can still do the job. 90% of the time they retire too late, it’s the rare athlete that knows when it’s time to bow out gracefully.

    • More dead cap space… No thank you, but if JD is clearly visioning an Igor/Georgiev goalie tandem…. then we might possibly see a buyout……

  • Lundqvist buyout was inevitable when the Rangers signed Kreider to a long term 6 million plus deal. The fast skating power winger should of been moved at the trade deadline along with Fast for some younger cost control players.

    Trading Skjei was a salary dump that was required. But it left the Rangers with a hole to fill on the Blue line. They do have some talented dmen in the pipeline but they are not ready for the NHL. Staal and Smitty have one year left on their deals and it looks like one more season in a Rangers uniform.

  • Yep, Staal, unfortunately, is going nowhere. Smith might be traded but I believe he’s a placeholder for K’Andre. I’m hopeful Miller arrives midway through the season and Smith then replicates his 7D/13F role.

    If Miller doesn’t come here next season who’s playing LD? Hajek? We are going to see both Staal and Smith quite a bit next season. We’ll have to accept it.

    • Yep Staal and Smith are placeholders indeed. Which is why the Rangers should not make a move for a left handed dman right now. Why lockup another expensive defenseman like they did with Troubadour, when they have young cost controlled talented dmen that are only a year or two away. Libor can fill for now and if Miller is ready half way through the season all the better.

  • Might as well let Staal and Smith sit or play out the last year on their contracts. Maybe Buffalo is a place Marc would go to in order to play a year with his brother Eric. If the Rangers retained 50% of his contract, it may be worth trading Staal for an AHL or even an ECHL player. Wouldn’t even mind if the Sabres wanted Georgiev with 50% of Staal for Jake McCabe. I’m just spit balling but Marc is probably going to want another contract before he hangs up his skates. Maybe playing a larger role elsewhere would be the better way for him to showcase himself.

  • I am more asking a question, but if we traded hank somewhere say, Ottawa and we retain half his salary, could Ottawa in turn trade him to say, Colorado and retain half of the $4.25 mill cap hit? That’s one way to trade him and lower his cap hit. Maybe costly for us to facilitate.

    • Andy

      The answer is yes. Isn’t that what we did in the Strome trade, where the Oilers traded Spooner, we still have his cap hit today!!!!!!!

      • I was thinking they could and also thinking maybe they’re working on something like that instead of a buyout. It would certainly be a better option. It opens more cap space $4.25 vs. $3 mill with a buyout and no penalty next year. Just a matter of cost with the other teams involved.

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