Predictions: Over the next 15 days, expect a lot to happen with the New York Rangers

LOS ANGELES, CA - JUNE 06: (L-R) Jeff Gorton, Jim Schoenfled, and <a rel=

It has begun for GM, Jeff Gorton and the future of the Blueshirts. The Rangers announced the re-signing of Chris Summers to a two contract to start things off, but this is just a minor plate shift in what is expected to be a seismic summer.

BUYOUT SITUATION

The buyout window has opened and we will now see if the previous reports that the Rangers will not opt to do so with Dan Girardi are true. I’ve said ad nauseam that it financially doesn’t make sense this summer, as the penalty is steep for a long time as per Cap Friendly:

  • 16-17: $1.75 million
  • 17-18: $2.75 million
  • 18-19: $3.75 million
  • 19-20: $3.75 million
  • 20-21: $1.25 million
  • 21-22: $1.25 million
  • 22-23: $1.25 million
  • 23-24: $1.25 million

However, it doesn’t mean that the Rangers won’t speak to Girardi to waive his no move clause this summer. Bottom line is he can be exposed to the expansion draft next summer to Las Vegas, and his no move becomes a limited no trade so he is a goner one way or another.

Should he waive it now, the Rangers may be more willing to help him land in a destination of his choice rather than being picked by Vegas or traded to a less desirable team from his list. The buyout window closes on June 30th but I don’t expect the Rangers to do it.

Prediction: Dan Girardi will waive his clause and be traded for a mid round pick and a low end prospect. The Rangers will also retain 30% of his salary.

TRADES POSSIBILITIES

Nash (AP Photo/Chris O'Meara)

Nash (AP Photo/Chris O’Meara)

Rick Nash WILL BE moved on our before the NHL Draft which begins June 24th. Nash will be asked to submit his list of teams over the next few days, which will send up the red flag that he will be on the move. So be prepared for a potential blockbusterdeal.

The Rangers will also move Kevin Hayes and/or Dylan McIlrath. This depends on how much salary is shed in a Rick Nash deal. If they were to shed all, they may both be retained. Should the Rangers take significant salary in return it could come at the expense of both.

Here’s another shocker that could really open things up for the Rangers. Marc Staal may be persuaded to waive his no move clause and join his brothers in Carolina. Yes, I believe Eric Staal will return to his former team at a special price and that could get Marc to think about an ALL-STAALS Team.

Prediction: Nash is a goner and I expect him to land in either St. Louis or possibly Detroit. He could also be open to a deal to the Toronto Maple Leafs as well. The return is what will be interesting. I’m thinking Shattenkirk from St. Louis is one possibility. I also like a deal with Detroit to get some younger players like a Tomas Tatar or Dylan Larkin. Getting Detroit to depart with those kinds of players will be difficult but worth the try.

Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath are likely goners. Maybe a deal with Edmonton for Nail Yakupov and a pick might make some sense for both parties. As for Marc Staal, if that happens, and I don’t expect to, call me Hockeydamus.

FREE AGENCY

I think the Rangers will make runs at the following players:

F – Loui Eriksson

F – Darren Helm

F- Vernon Fiddler

F- Jamie McGinn

F- Thomas Vanek (if bought out)

F- Alex Burrows (if bought out)

D- Eric Gryba

Yandle (Getty)

Yandle (Getty)

Predictions: Eriksson only comes here if Nash is traded and I still feel he might get more elsewhere. I really think that Helm and or Fiddler are Rangers next season. If Vanek is bought out and Rangers are having trouble replacing Nash he will get strong consideration. Defense is a tough call and I think the Rangers may be stuck with what they have. If they can move Girardi and or Staal then retaining Keith Yandle becomes a high possibility.

July 1st is coming quick, but by that time you will have a clearer picture of what the Rangers will be able to do.

UPDATED: 6/16/15

REPLACING ULF

Some of you have asked about who will replace Ulf as Alain Vigneault’s assistant. With Rick Bowness officially off the table, the logical candidate is Jeff Beukeboom. However, I did note this on twitter awhile back:

PREDICTION: We may learn during the course of the assistant coach search that Leetch was indeed interested and spoken to, but I think it will be Beukeboom.

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