By trading Marc Staal, the NY Rangers opened up $5.7 million in cap space this season. Assuming the Rangers also buyout Henirk Lundqvist, that’s another $3 million in cap space. All told, the Rangers will likely have $23 million in cap space this coming season. Almost immediately following the trade, armchair GMs across the interwebs locked in the NY Rangers’ RFAs to long term contracts.
Given what we know about contract expectations, they are both going to be expensive. Even more so if they are given long term deals. Is this the proper environment to commit long term to two players who each had 1.5 good seasons? Probably not. That said, there is a case for bringing back both on short term deals.
Where does David Quinn envision DeAngelo playing next season and beyond? Is it on the third pair as an offensive/powerplay specialist? Will they consider moving him to the left side, something we’ve spent almost a year advocating for? This is the biggest decision for the Rangers, and it impacts the contract they *should* give DeAngelo.
If Quinn’s expectation is the former, then committing long-term for big dollars to a specialist does not make fiscal sense. If it’s the latter, then committing some term is ok. Emphasis on some.
Even before the offseason began, there were questions on Ryan Strome’s future with the Rangers. Rumblings are the Rangers don’t view him as a viable solution to the 2C hole. If this is the case, then committing any money to him beyond short term is fiscally irresponsibly.
We haven’t heard anything on Strome beyond that he’s on TSN’s trade bait list. Strome is likely headlining the RFAs that appear to be on the outside looking in.
This is a tricky one. The Rangers will have a decent chunk of cap space that may need to be allocated to ELC bonuses. The contracts come with under $1 million in base salary, but some could get upwards of $3 million in bonuses. Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox, Igor Shesterkin, and Alexis Lafreniere could all see some bonuses hit.
Spending to the top of the cap ceiling would mean these bonuses carry over to next year. There’s a cap on how much can carry over as well (I think – keep me honest in the comments). So the Rangers will need cap space to account for this.
It seems weird, as Ranger fans, to not spend to the cap ceiling every season. The Rangers are primed to take advantage of pandemic induced internal budget casualties, but will do so responsibly. This thinking applies to their RFAs as well. Spending wildly on irresponsible RFA contracts can doom the NY Rangers. Spending responsibly is key.