K'Andre Miller contract extension

The NY Rangers cap gymnastics continue to get more complicated. After yesterday’s accidental spitting incident involving K’Andre Miller and Drew Doughty, in which Miller was ejected, there is a possible suspension coming. Other spitting incidents have resulted in 3 game suspensions, but those were purposeful. Miller’s was accidental, and he smoothed things over with Doughty after the fact.

Unfortunately, the NHL’s wheel of justice when it comes to suspensions rarely plays out in the Rangers’ favor. So we should be expecting more Rangers cap gymnastics, it’s just a matter of when they want Kane and how much cap space they need post deadline.

Luckily, the guys at PuckPedia came through again, laying out Rangers cap gymnastics scenarios should Miller be suspended and they need extra bodies in the lineup.

Rangers cap gymnastics option 1: Acquire Kane Wednesday; risk injury replacements

The first option has the Rangers pulling the trigger on the trade on Wednesday. They’d call up Braden Schneider and send Ryan Carpenter back down that day as well to complete the necessary moves.

Naturally, this gets Kane in the lineup immediately, but it opens significant risk should Miller be suspended or Ryan Lindgren be unable to go. Given his arm is no longer in a sling, it does look like Lindgren will suit up on Wednesday.

But with minimal cap space, one more injury means another game with less than 18 skaters in the lineup.

Option 2: Acquire Kane Thursday, ensure lineup for Wednesday is set

The second option involves calling up Schneider and Libor Hajek to ensure 6 defensemen are on the roster in the event Miller is suspended and Lindgren can’t go. Carpenter stays up and dresses for the game, ensuring a cap compliant 12/6/2 lineup.

This is the least appealing of all the options since it involves delaying the Kane trade for a day, dressing another suboptimal lineup, and potentially another round of players dressing but not playing. This is the murky middle ground of the Rangers cap gymnastics.

But it does leave them with more cap space for future injuries and/or load management.

Option 3: Trade for Kane Friday; leave wiggle room for rest and injuries

The last option is the safest option for the Rangers cap gymnastics. Essentially they dress a bunch of league minimum players for Philly and Ottawa, then send everyone down and trade for Kane on Friday. That would be the last possible day for the Rangers to acquire Kane.

This is the safest option for future injuries or load management, but it also means missing out on Kane for the two games this work week. There’s value in the extra cap space, but there’s also value in getting Kane to New York sooner rather than later.

Luckily for the Rangers, they don’t need answers immediately. All of this discussion is meaningless if Miller isn’t suspended and Lindgren is good to go. The soonest we will hear about Kane is Wednesday morning. There’s no reason to rush a decision without all the information presently available.