The NY Rangers will not be in the offer sheet game this offseason

As key RFAs like Mat Barzal, Ryan Pulock, and others remain unsigned, rumors begin to swirl about offer sheets. A very bad rumormongering site, I’m not linking to it, said the Rangers were going to offer sheet Mat Barzal. It was good for a laugh. But let’s make one thing clear, the NY Rangers will not be signing offer sheets this offseason.

Draft Pick Compensation

Everyone loves an offer sheet until we talk about draft pick compensation. The easiest way to show the Rangers aren’t going to be involved is by showing what they’d have to give up in an offer sheet. Remember, the Rangers traded next year’s 2nd round pick to get rid of Marc Staal’s contract.

Without their second round pick, the Rangers are left with very few options. They can offer sheet someone for only three ranges:

  • Up to $1.4 million, which is no compensation required
  • $1.4 million to $2.1 million, which costs a 3rd round pick
  • $4.3 million to $6.5 million, which costs 1st and 3rd round picks
  • $10.9 million or more, which costs four 1st round picks

If we assume the Rangers aren’t going to bother with the first two options, then they are limited to the last two. Let’s also assume there will be a fan uproar if the Rangers give up four first round picks. That leaves us in the $4.3 million to $6.5 million range.

Based on Evolving-Hockey’s contract projections, only Mikhail Sergachev, Ryan Pulock, and Anthony Cirelli fit into that range and are worth the money. Both Tampa and the Isles will immediately match unless you drastically overpay.

Following the Staal trade, the Rangers can’t drastically overpay without getting into that four 1st round pick compensation range. They, of course, can be creative with the contract. It does open more options, but it still isn’t happening.

Cap Space

Offer sheet cap space is a little tricky, as it’s not just the AAV of the contract. It’s the AAV of the full contract amount over five years. Using Barzal as the example, if the Rangers sign him to seven years at $8 million a season (he won’t sign that), then the cap space is only $8 million. But the cap hit for offer sheet purposes is $56 million over 5 years, which is $11.2 million, costing the four 1st round picks.

This actually opens up options for the Rangers, but not many. If anything, it puts them at a bigger risk for long term contracts at a much higher dollar amount than they want. Seven years is a long commitment, and the Rangers already have three players signed to long term deals like that.

In addition, the Rangers simply don’t have cap space at the moment. They’d have to trade Brendan Smith and at least one other big contract to make the space for a deal like this. Doable? Sure. Likely? No. It’s safe to assume the NY Rangers will not be in the offer sheet game this offseason.

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  • I think the compensation is designed to limit the likelihood of an offer sheet being made, which could be a good thing, or not, depending on which side of the deal the team is on. It pretty much means that the player involved has to be a difference maker AND that the offering team has plenty of resources.

  • Spot on. And I would think the Rangers would’ve found a way to sign Fast ahead of any offer sheet at any level.

  • Let’s hope cooler heads prevail, and no offer sheet is offered. I would hate to give up a load of picks, and then open up a can of worms, and have someone else do the same thing to us a year, or two down the road.

    If we didn’t have all that deap cap space, we would have been in a position to trade for a player to upgrade any position, but that can’t be done due to the idiotic contracts signed in the past!!!!!!!!!

  • Even if they could (cap space and pick assets), it’s not their style any more. I can’t see JD going that route.

    This is not the 90s, when there was no cap, and the Rangers tried to financially bully teams.

  • I wouldn’t rule out any offer sheets. Tampa has yet to free up any cap space and still needs to sign their 3 rfa’s. Plus they would still need to add 2 more players to roster. All with less than 3 mil in cap space. If Rangers considered Cirelli an upgrade over Strome, they’d be smart to either trade Strome or just walk away from arb settlement (assuming it’s over 4.5m) If you’re Cirelli, and you’re stuck at 3C and Tampa isn’t offering much of a raise, why wouldn’t you accept an offer For around 5m? And if you’re Tampa, do you really want to pay that much for a 3C? If they match, they’re now over cap and risk losing Sergachev to an offer sheet too. (Can only go 10% over cap in offseason)

    • EXACTLY!
      A 5 year deal @ $5 mill per season for Cirelli and Tampa would NOT be able to match and keep Sergachev! What GM has the balls to make the offer? I wish this would happen!

  • After having a huge amount of talent infused into their lineup with first round picks recently (with the exception of the Anderson pick), I doubt the Rangers have any appetite for making an offer sheet offer. Yeah Cirelli is better than Strome, but he is not a huge upgrade at such a cost. I see them staying the course and likely signing Strome short term unless they somehow manage a trade.

    • Peter

      With the vast majority of the dead cap coming off of the books at the end of next season, I could see them going after a real 2C in the way of a trade. Everyone mentioned Jack Eichel before, I’m against it, but that sort of a move would be more in line with the JD-JG style, and move!!!!!!!!!!!

      • Eichel would be great if he did not cost so much that the trade hurt in other areas. But, both Buffalo’s management and Eichel say that he is not going anywhere.

        • Peter

          I’m not advocating that trade, but only mentioned it as an example of they types of moves that can be made, with the additional cap space!!!!!!!!!

  • The Rangers don’t have the cap room to offer sheet any teams player. Not only that, it would start a shooting war. Other teams could declare open season and pick off the Rangers young players. The hunter will become the hunted.

  • Galchenyuk and Granlund are still out there. I would how much, if any, their asking price is? If they are desperate–could they be willing to sign for around 2 to 2.5 for one year? If yes, a team could sign both for around or less than what a player like Strome would ask.

    I have no idea how worried UFAs without a contract yet, are. Could be an interesting route/gamble.

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