While it may not make headlines this offseason as the Rangers retool, Igor Shesterkin’s next contract is going to come front and center sooner rather than later. Rumors broke last week that Shesterkin’s next contract ask is going to be in the $12 million range, a record for a goalie. He’s certainly earned the money and the title of highest paid goalie, but does that work for the Rangers?

Shesterkin’s next contract is about percentage, not dollar amount

Lost in the $12 million ask, which has some sticker shock associated with it, is this isn’t about the dollars. Shesterkin’s next contract is about the percentage of cap it takes up, and it’s right in line with what Henrik Lundqvist got on his contracts.

Using $12 million as the base value on an $88 million cap ceiling, Shesterkin’s next contract would come in at about 13.5% of the cap ceiling. But that is for the 2024-2025 cap, not the 2025-2026 cap. If we assume the same increase for that season ($4.5 million), then the 25-26 ceiling will be around $92.5 million. Shesterkin’s $12 million is 13% of that number.

Lundqvist’s contracts were slightly higher in terms of cap percentage, but lower in dollar amount. This is how the cap game is played.

Rangers cap situation is fine

Remember, Shesterkin’s next contract wouldn’t start until the 2025-2026 season. Even if the Rangers make no trades heading into this season, this is a non-factor. Assuming a $92.5 million cap, the Rangers have $58.6 million committed to 9 players (Zibanejad, Kreider, Trocheck, Panarin, Chytil, Goodrow, Fox, Trouba, Brodzinski). Remember, this assumes all 9–well 8, Brodzinski doesn’t count here–are still with the Rangers.

But we know all 9 won’t be here in two seasons. It’s likely Goodrow is moved or bought out this summer. Trouba and other members of the core may be moved. There are people talking about Panarin and Kreider as well.

While the numbers may get a little tight, signing Shesterkin to his $12 million ask would leave the Rangers–again assuming no other roster moves–with $20 million or so to fill out the roster. Tough, but doable, even with Ryan Lindgren, Kaapo Kakko, K’Andre Miller, and Alexis Lafreniere hitting arbitration over the next two offseasons. The assumption the Rangers make no moves is also a poor assumption. Something will be done.

Shesterkin’s next contract also won’t be $12 million. Let’s be real, that’s his camp’s ask, and it’s a fair one to be honest. It comes with sticker shock as $12 million is the most any Ranger will have been paid in the cap era. But if that’s his starting point, assume he comes down a bit to the $10 million to $11 million range.

For what it’s worth, Evolving-Hockey’s early contract estimates has Shesterkin’s next contract at 7 years, $9.7 million. This is easily workable.

Unless something changes drastically, it’s hard to imagine the Rangers and Shesterkin not getting this done.


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