THE CAP AND THE CAPTAIN

Callahan fights through a check.

Callahan fights through a check.

IMPORTANT DECISIONS
If you thought Glen Sather had a busy offseason last summer, as he had to re­-sign key players such as Ryan McDonagh, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, and Mats Zuccarello, then just wait for this offseason. Below is a chart showing all of the Ranger’s free agents, as well as their current cap hit.

Player Current Cap Hit
Ryan Callahan $4,275,000
Derrick Brassard* $3,200,000
Brian Boyle $1,700,000
Benoit Pouliot $1,300,000
Mats Zuccarello* $1,150,000
Dominic Moore $1,000,000
Daniel Carcillo $825,000
Chris Kreider* $800,000
Dan Girardi $3,325,000
Anton Stralman $1,700,000
Justin Falk* $975,000
John Moore* $840,000
Darroll Powe $1,066,667
Arron Asham $1,000,000

* Indicates Restricted Free Agent (per CapGeek.com)

The Rangers will have a little over $29,000,000 in cap space ($35,704,000 should they buy out Brad Richards), which means they have plenty of money to spend this summer. My first question is, how much, if any, of that money will be spent on beloved Rangers’ captain Ryan Callahan?

A CAPTAIN’S WORTH
Ryan Callahan, drafted and home grown by the Rangers, is the heart and soul of this team. He was a perfect fit for John Tortorella’s system but the Rangers’ Brass decided to go a different way, after hiring offensively minded Alain Vigneault. His struggles this season certainly raise concerns, especially his 9 goals through 37 games with only 4 on the PP.

As a nice all­-around player with the leadership qualities Callahan has, you can still expect him to get a pay raise on his next contract. Last offseason, Nathan Horton, and David Clarkson, two players similar to Callahan, earned contracts with cap hits on $5,300,000 and $5,250,000 respectively. They earned that by putting up less than Ryan’s 31 points last year. This is good news for Callahan as he can use that as leverage to earn a multi­year deal with a cap hit in the neighborhood of $6,000,000.

If the Rangers were to sign Captain Cally to a deal with that heavy a cap hit, then that will all but end Brad Richard’s time in New York. Sather would desperately need that money to solidify other holes in the roster. With so many Rangers coming off the books after the season, they finally have the chance for a “clean slate”, the only question is, what will they do with it?

By: Liam Heslin

You can follow Liam on twitter @LiamHeslin16

Editor’s Note:

As per TSN’s Bob McKenzie and Darren Dreger, the Callahan contract talks are not going well. Per their sources he is seeking a deal over 6 million a year for 7 years. This has caused Glen Sather to put out some feelers. Ultimately, I feel an agreement will be reached between both sides before the March 5th deadline. Trading Ryan Callahan is unthinkable, but trading him as a rental and getting next to nothing in return is ludicrous.

On the other side, Dan Girardi is seeking a 5 million a year deal for about 6 years and it seems very likely to get done soon. The cap is expected to go up around 7 million next season which should accommodate for the signings of both players if you buyout Richards.

Lastly, contract negotiations have begun with the Rangers’ little big man, Mats Zuccarello. No one on this team has earned it more. I expect a 2-3 year deal at around 3.5 million a season.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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