1 scratch cost Rangers rookie $82k bonus: report

NHL: Winnipeg Jets at New York Rangers
Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports

Talk about costly decisions.

When the New York Rangers made Will Cuylle a healthy scratch for their March 23 game against the Florida Panthers, it cost the rookie a bonus of $82,500, according to PuckPedia. Cuylle needed to play all 82 games to reach the bonus and that game last month was the only one he missed this season.

A consistent player on the third line all season, it was a surprise when Cuylle was scratched against the Panthers. Coach Peter Laviolette said at the time that with 13 healthy forwards, there would be a rotation of players scratched down the stretch of the regular season. That rotation largely consisted of either Matt Rempe or Jonny Brodzinski, though Jack Roslovic was scratched against the Montreal Canadiens on April 7.

Cuylle played the final 11 games of the season after the Panthers game.


Will Cuylle missed out on bonus after Rangers scratch in March

NHL: New York Islanders at New York Rangers
Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers not only don’t have to pay Cuylle the $82,500, but that amount won’t be part of their salary cap overage that carries to next season. New York is one of 11 NHL teams that will carry over money that will be counted against the 2024-25 salary cap, which is rising to $87.7 million per team.

PuckPedia reports that the Rangers have $512,500 in carryover overage. Add $25k to that total if the Rangers win the Stanley Cup, per a bonus written into the contract of backup goalie Jonathan Quick.

The Florida Panthers don’t have an overage carryover at present. But they’d become the 12th team on the list if they win the Stanley since they’d then owe forward Kyle Okposo a $500,000 bonus.

Cuylle had an excellent rookie season. He led the Rangers and all first-year NHL players with 249 hits. The 22-year-old also scored 13 goals, tied for ninth among NHL rookies.

A second-round pick by the Rangers in the 2020 NHL Draft, Cuylle made his Stanley Cup Playoffs debut Sunday in Game 1 against the Washington Capitals. Cuylle had two shots on goal and two hits in 10 minutes of ice-time.

Jim Cerny is Executive Editor at Forever Blueshirts and Managing Editor at Sportsnaut, with more than 30 years of... More about Jim Cerny

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