Now that we know that Brad Richards will be occupying $6,666,667 million of the Rangers’ salary cap next season, the Rangers’ off-season options are severely more limited than they were yesterday morning. Here’s a look at the salary commitments they have at this moment:
(Note: consider this a depth chart, I made no attempt at formulating lines.)
So, they have just over $14 million, with 4 RFAs to sign. How much they sign for will depend on how long they sign for. With Richards in the fold, it would be near impossible to sign both Stepan and McDonagh to long-term contracts. Since Stepan is not arbitration eligible, he’s more likely to receive a two year “bridge deal” which the Rangers usually give to non-arbitration eligible RFAs coming off entry level deals.
– McDonagh signs a $29 million / 6 year deal [$4.833M per] (as I formulated on Wednesday)
– Stepan, Hagelin and Zuccarello all sign 2 year deals.
I added Stu Bickel in. You can picture any other 7th defenseman in if that’s unsettling for you. Bickel is under contract, and that’s why I used him there.
I don’t particularly like the balance in that lineup, so lets:
– Trade Michael Del Zotto and a non-roster asset or two to Anaheim for Bobby Ryan
– Sign Mike Komisarek to a $850,000 / 1 year deal
– Ditch Darroll Powe
– Call up Oscar Lindberg (or possibly J.T. Miller if he wows in training camp)
As you can see, that would push them extremely close to the cap. They could get a little breathing room by not carrying a 13th forward on the roster, or by signing Ryan McDonagh to a shorter deal (which would be less desirable, in my view).
I don’t expect you to agree with everything in this roster I put together, whether you don’t want Bobby Ryan or don’t agree with a salary estimate. This exercise was designed to give a general idea of the types of moves the Rangers can make this summer while still obeying the laws of the salary cap.