NYR Free Agent Frenzy: $23,307,500 Ways To Die

(Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

Rick Nash will be back, but who will he play with? (Photo by Al Bello/Getty Images)

The New York Rangers have 5 forwards locked up for $19,535,000 (Nash, St. Louis, Stepan, Hagelin, Fast). They also have $17,075,000 tied up with 4 defenseman (McDonagh, Girardi, Staal, Klein) to go with $9,062,500 for both Lundqvist and Talbot. That means Sather has $23,307,500 ways to better or hurt this team.

Slats needs to sign at least 8 forwards and 3 defenseman to put forth a roster for next season. 11 players with an average salary of about 2.1 million each. Now we know, that isn’t going to be the case with many.

The signing of our top 4 RFA’s (Zuccarello, Brassard, Kreider, John Moore) will cost NY roughly about 11 million dollars. Simple math now puts us at about 12 million to find 5 forwards and 2 defenseman at about an average salary of 1.7 million.

Now let me ask you a logical question, which UFA on the market today wants to play for the NYR so badly that they will sign for under 2 million a season? NY will need to look inwards first for cheaper options.

JT Miller and Conor Allen are both at the 900K mark. Add them to the lineup and we now have 4 forwards and 1 defenseman left at an average of 2.1 million. I’m still not seeing a huge splash for the Rangers today unless they make a trade.

JT Miller could see a bigger role next year (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

JT Miller could see a bigger role next year (Photo by Scott Levy/NHLI via Getty Images)

We could speculate at names like Girardi, Staal, Stepan all we want, but why would we trade any of them? All are core players on the Rangers. However, a player like Brassard who will be looking at 4.5 million could be used to acquire Joe Thornton.

If the Rangers are going to bring in a PP QB, the math makes it real difficult, yet possible. Dan Boyle would have to take less than what he would get from other teams to sign in NY. That could be done with a 3 or 4 year deal, but do you want Boyle on the blue line at 40? As a win now team, the answer might be yes.

Still, filling out the rest of the roster will be difficult but a lot of 4th line character guys are out there, starting with our very own Dominic Moore who wants a 3 year deal at 1.7 million. Slats should give him 4 at 1.5 if he’ll take it.

Bottom line, Glen Sather will try his best to improve the team today. Last year, he tried to do the same but kept out of it when guys like David Clarkson signed 7 year deals at 5.25 million dollars. Slats won’t do that today.

At noon today, the Free Agent Market opens. I expect the Rangers to be active but responsible. If they can’t make a trade for a center, expect them to start looking at wingers like Heatley and Setoguchi who underperformed. These are the types of players that can fill out a roster and come on the cheap.

$23,000,000 millions ways to die…or get back to the Stanley Cup Final.