Avs Cale Makar deal will impact what Rangers do with Adam Fox next contract

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Apr 8, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Adam Fox (23) hits Pittsburgh Penguins center Sidney Crosby (87) during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/Pool Photo-USA TODAY Sports

New York Rangers fans need to keep a close eye on the RFA situation in Colorado with Cale Makar. The 22 year-old dynamic defenseman is up for the Norris Trophy along with Victor Hedman and Adam Fox. More importantly to the future of the Rangers, Makar is a RFA this summer and his next deal will influence what the Rangers do with Fox.

Cale Makar: To Bridge or Not to Bridge, that is the question

The talk around the Avs this summer are their 13 UFA and 6 RFA players. Among the key UFA players are Gabriel Landeskog, Phillip Grubauer, Brandon Saad, and Patrick Nemeth. However, what happens with them will revolve around if they bridge Cale Makar or not.

Makar is an RFA without arbitration rights, which means the Avs are in full control. The popular route is to offer RFA’s a bridge deal in the 2 to 3 year ranges. If Joe Sakic wants to conserve cap space to retain all the key UFA’s mentioned, bridging Makar at around $4 to $5 million is the way to go.

Although, wouldn’t it be wiser to lock up Makar for the full 8 years at say $8 to $8.5 million now. Imagine, Makar’s stats in three year? If he ever gets to unrestricted free agency at 27 years of age, he could command $10+ million on that contract.

According to Elliotte Friedman, it sounds like Sakic is thinking long term on Makar’s next deal. Whatever the Avs decide to do here, it will impact the Rangers.

Adam Fox next contract pivotal for the Rangers

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What a season the 23 year-old from Jericho, LI had. Fox finished second overall in scoring for blue-liners with 47 points. His 42 assists were the most by an NHL defenseman and he was seventh for total ice time. Only Edmonton’s Tyson Barrie had more points playing on a team that boasts both Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl.

Winning the Norris Trophy would be special for Fox. If he were to be selected, he would be just the second defenseman to win it in his sophomore season with the great Bobby Orr being the only other one. However, if he were to win it, Fox would be the first ever to do so without his team qualifying for the playoffs.

Fox just wrapped up the second year of his three-year entry-level deal. The Blueshirts have an entire season to try and decide what to do for his next contract when he becomes an RFA without arbitration rights. Friedman on his latest podcast believes the Rangers will talk to him about an extension as soon as the window opens this summer.

It’s a wise play, especially if he were to win the Norris to go long term. The Rangers could choose to lock him up for 8 years, at probably a little less than Makar’s salary if they do. The extension would not kick in until after his ELC expires in the summer of 2022.

If they could lock up Fox and have an idea of what Mika Zibanejad is looking for it would provide much needed clarity for other moves. Remember they still need to re-sign key RFA’s this offseason in Igor Shesterkin and Pavel Buchnevich.

Having those dollar amounts penciled in may dictate who they could trade and sign via free agency this summer.

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Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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