New York Rangers salary cap boasts plenty of trade protection clauses

The New York Rangers salary cap series continues with a look at trade protection. Going forward, the Blueshirts will be experiencing what most contenders go through each season– the salary cap squeeze.

Long gone are the days of massive cap space. The Rangers really benefited from that last year when they were able to bring in Frank Vatrano, Andrew Copp, Tyler Motte, and Justin Braun at the trade deadline. This year will be a little harder as they only have around $1 million in cap space heading into the upcoming season.

The cap is tracked daily, so in essence the Rangers current space could be equivalent to bringing in a contract worth around $4.5 million at the trade deadline.

Usually, teams find cap space by shedding salary via trade. That won’t be easy for the Rangers as some of their biggest contracts have trade protection.

Understanding trade protection clauses

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Jan 24, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers left wing Artemi Panarin (10) celebrates the game tying goal by New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) against the Los Angeles King during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Dennis Schneidler-USA TODAY Sports

First, let’s understand what the most common trade protections are based on the CBA.

Full No Move Cause (NMC): This is the most restrictive and gives the player serious control. In essence, a player can’t be traded, be placed on waivers or sent down without his agreement to such a transaction. The team can opt to buyout or terminate the contract if it’s too restrictive.

No-Trade Clause (NTC): This gives the players some control but not as much as a NMC. The player can only be traded if they agree to the deal. However, the player can be placed on waivers and sent down without requiring approval.

Modified No-Trade Clause: This is the least restrictive clause for a team as it requires the player to submit a list of teams they can or can’t be traded to. The player can also be placed on waivers and sent down without needing his permission.

New York Rangers with trade protection

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Nov 13, 2021; Columbus, Ohio, USA; New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) celebrates with defenseman Jacob Trouba (8) after scoring against Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Elvis Merzlikins (90) at Nationwide Arena. Mandatory Credit: Gaelen Morse-USA TODAY Sports

Going into the 2022-23 season the New York Rangers have 7 players with trade protection:

  • Artemi Panarin (NMC)
  • Mika Zibanejad (NMC)
  • Chris Kreider (NMC)
  • Vincent Trocheck (NMC)
  • Jacob Trouba (NMC)
  • Jaroslav Halak (NMC)
  • Barclay Goodrow (M-NTC)

In looking at data on CapFriendly, the Rangers are right around the NHL average (6.59) for contracts with trade protection. Believe it or not, the Seattle Kraken have the most with 12 contracts having some form of protection, while the Buffalo Sabres only have 2.

The Rangers currently have two players under contract that will have no-trade protection kick in soon.

Igor Shesterkin will have a M-NTC take hold in two years starting in 2023-24. Adam Fox will have a full NMC clause for two years starting in 2025-26 and a M-NTC for the final two years of his deal beginning in 2027-28.

It’s important to note that both Trouba and Kreider will see their full NMC turn into M-NTC for the 2024-25 campaign.

With the Rangers needing to sign so many of their key young players starting next summer (i.e. Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, Filip Chytil), it’s important to understand who can and can’t be early moved.

Note: Data for this article from CapFriendly and PuckPedia

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