New York Rangers won’t buyout Patrik Nemeth, what’s next?

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Apr 16, 2022; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers defenseman Patrik Nemeth (12) smiles at fans after a 4-0 win against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Danny Wild-USA TODAY Sports
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The New York Rangers watched the first window pass and opted not to place Patrik Nemeth on waivers for the purpose of a buyout. By doing so, they have sent a clear message that they either have a trade in the works to move out his cap hit, or feel there’s a better option.

For those who may not fully understand the CBA, the Rangers can’t use the second buyout window which can only be triggered after an arbitration case or award is completed. While restricted free agents Tim Gettinger and Austin Rueschhoff are both arbitration eligible, you can only buyout out a contract of a player with a minimum cap hit of $4 million.

Nemeth, 30, has two years remaining on his deal with a cap hit of $2.5 million.

New York Rangers will not buyout Patrik Nemeth

patrik nemeth
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Now that the decision has been made not to buy him out, what will the Rangers do if they can’t trade Nemeth and either all or some of his cap hit away? New York could desperately use some of that money, so why take the chance? Let’s take a closer look at what a buyout would have meant.

Per CapFriendly’s buyout calculator, a Nemeth buyout would add $1.5M this offseason to work with. It’s even bigger in 2023-24, where the full $2.5M is back on the books. That’s just in time for Alexis Lafrenière, K’Andre Miller, and Filip Chytil’s new deals.

Here’s the reason why the Rangers may have opted not to do it. Starting in 2024-25 there’s a penalty of $1 million against the cap for two seasons.

Next season, the Rangers can bury up to $1.125 million of his $2.5M AAV in the AHL with the Wolf Pack. That’s just $375K less than a buyout would have provided. In 2023-24 it goes slightly up to $1.150 million.

Of course, there’s still a good chance that Nemeth will be attractive to a team on the trade market. That also depends on how both sides will work out his modified no-trade clause.

This past year, Nemeth finished with 2 goals and 7 points in 63 games. He had -9 rating but also posted solid numbers in the blocks (102) and hits department (115). The biggest issue was his inability to suppress shots no matter who his partners were as he posted a corsi for percentage of 40.7.

At the end of the day, GM Chris Drury wisely evaluated all his options and he obviously didn’t feel a buyout was the best route to take.

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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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