As the urge to have a massive roster shakeup becomes a focal point, at least among fans, buyouts have been a secondary discussion point to accomplish this. With a strong free agent class, the Rangers would need to clear cap space somehow. There aren’t many 2024 Rangers buyout candidates, but there are three players that seem to jump to the top of the discussion.

There are really only two potential 2024 Rangers buyouts: Barclay Goodrow and Jacob Trouba. There has been some angry discussion around Mika Zibanejad, but not only is that simply not happening, the buyout just isn’t worth it.

Barclay Goodrow’s buyout makes cap sense

Despite his strong playoffs, there are still some calls for Goodrow to be bought out. His $3.64 million contract is pretty bloated given his production, and his on-ice skills are not only easily replaced, but at that dollar amount can be improved upon pretty quickly. There’s still a chance the Rangers can trade him, but if they need to retain or include a prospect to do so, then the buyout is their best option.

Buying out Goodrow actually gives the Ranger $3.8 million in cap space next season, which is somewhat rare that a buyout gives more cap space than the original cap hit. The concern would be in 2026-2027 when his cap hit would be $3.5 million, with just $140k in savings, but that may not matter given the current contracts the Rangers have. If the idea is to go all in next year, then the $3.8 million matters more than the $140k in 3 years.

Jacob Trouba’s buyout is manageable, but not ideal

On exit day, it was made public that Jacob Trouba had a broken ankle before the deadline. While the Rangers have been adamant that he was healthy and cleared, you can’t tell me that his ankle wasn’t hampering his skating ability. He may have been healed, but healed and pain free are two completely different things. That said, his play before the injury was suspect at worst and inconsistent at best.

Trouba’s buyout immediately saves $4 million the next two seasons, with $2 million in dead cap space the following two years. For some, this is a no brainer. For others, this brings pause because there’s still some hope that moving Trouba down in the lineup would be beneficial, especially since the team was very clear he’s the captain.

Goodrow’s buyout is likely if they can’t find a trade. I can’t imagine Trouba being a realistic option though.

2024 Rangers buyout candidates should not include Mika Zibanejad

Meanwhile, there have been a vocal few wanting to buyout Mika Zibanejad. Aside from the fact that we know it’s not happening, the buyout doesn’t make any sense. Zibanejad’s contract is buyout proof, and his $8.5 million cap hit is likely here to stay.

Zibanejad’s buyout would last so long, we can’t even fit it on one screen. It would go through 2035-2036, with only $666,667 in savings through 2029-2030 and a $333,333 cap hit for the following 5 years or so. That’s not worth it. The Rangers are better off moving him around the lineup and hoping he can re-find that magic with some easier 5v5 matchups.

Of the 2024 Rangers buyout discussions, only Goodrow and Trouba make sense, but only if the Rangers can’t find a trade that doesn’t include another significant piece just to dump the contract. In theory, both have some trade value, but teams aren’t stupid. They know those contracts aren’t great, and will try to fleece the Rangers if they try to dump the contract(s).

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