Certain roster decisions by Rangers could project a powerful lineup next season
The New York Rangers organization will be busy this offseason, as they grapple with big time decisions that will shape the future direction of this team for many years to come. The different combinations of moves that can be made are plenty, but there is one clear goal in mind: to build a Stanley Cup contender. It should go without saying, but a professional hockey team can in no way, build a contender comprised of twenty $1 million players. In simplest terms, high caliber players get paid.
So many decisions
The Rangers are presented with an interesting set of circumstances when looking ahead to this coming offseason. While their salary cap issues will still loom over the 20-21 season, they are actually in good shape once the following offseason rolls around. It can be difficult for fans to look into what seems like the distant future, but the salary cap relief will be here before we know it. This leads to the ultimate question: What moves can the Rangers make now that will ensure that they do not lose valuable assets for the team’s future?
With projections of my own using tools by CapFriendly, I have put together a starting roster for the 2020-2021 season that assumes a salary cap of $82.5 million and sheds light on fans’ most burning questions regarding notable RFA’s and what to do with those big contracts currently weighing on the team’s cap.
Projected 2020-2021 NYR
2020-2021 Total Projected Cap hit: $79,702,968
Projected Cap Space: $2,797,032
Roster Size: 22/23
Forwards: Projected total salary hit: $42,300,857
Kreider: 7mil (projected)
Strome: 5.5mil (projected)
Fast: 2.5mil (projected)
Lemieux: 2mil (projected)
Defensemen: Projected total salary hit: $16,917,000
DeAngelo: 4.5mil (projected)
Goalies: Total salary hit: $9,424,000
Extra spending : Projected total salary hit: $11,061,111
Shattenkirk- 6.08mil (buyout)
Girardi: 1.11mil (buyout)
Spooner- 300K (retainment)
Marc Staal buyout breakdown: (Capfriendly.com)
Savings (20-21): $2,133,333
Notable moves: Skjei, Smith, and Georgiev are traded.
How did I get here
With this projected roster, it is important to remember that the Rangers will get a huge salary relief after next season, as Lundqvist’s contract comes off the books and both Shattenkirk and Staal buyouts decrease to roughly $1 million each towards the cap. With all the above players already signed to deals, the Rangers would only be left to pay the following: Shesterkin, Hajek, Lindgren, Chytil, Howden, and Buchnevich. Besides Buchnevich, all other players will be coming off Entry Level Contracts with no arbitration rights. In reality, none of these players will make more than $1.5-3 million apiece.
When it comes down to it, every contract has its potential upside and potential risk. It’s about choosing which players management feels are worth that risk moving forward. President John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton, were brought in to make these types of big decisions. One thing is certain, the Rangers front office will be busy this offseason and I wouldn’t mind watching this projected lineup take the ice on opening night come October.