Rangers could have almost 30 million in cap space next season
Going into the summer the Rangers have only $50,049,444 committed to 13 players. If the cap were to stay around the same they’d have around 25 million to re-sign RFA’s and fill out the roster to about 23. Yesterday, Gary Bettman announced he expects the cap to go up.
Projected 2018-19 Cap
The NHL is projecting a salary cap between $78M and $82M for next season.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) May 28, 2018
Most experts feel the cap will settle in at around $80 million giving the Rangers a ton of room to play. If it lands there it gives the Rangers $29,950,556 to work with in what could be a seismic shift from rebuild to retool starting at the draft. (Numbers via CapFriendly)
Current State of the Roster
Here are the key RFA’s the Rangers should re-sign and likely would be on the roster to impact the cap:
- Kevin Hayes
- Brady Skjei
- Jimmy Vesey
- Vlad Namesnitkov
- Ryan Spooner
- John Gilmour
Here are a few other notable RFA’s the Rangers could sign but would likely stay in Hartford, thus not impacting the cap:
- Boo Nievies
- Adam Tambellini
- Rob O’Gara
- Ryan Sproul
I project the cost to keep all 6 RFA’s above will cost the Rangers about 15 million. That gives the Rangers around 15 million to add at least 3 to 4 players.
Adding a Big Piece or Pieces
The Rangers can fill up their backup goalie spot by keeping Alex Georgiev here. Also making Filip Chytil and Lias Andersson permanent roster players is a given. Those moves will only cost the Rangers $2.5M leaving them almost $13 million to reshape the lineup.
This means the Rangers can have flexibility at the draft to possibly trade for a star like Erik Karlsson for example. Currently the Senators star defenseman has a cap hit of 6.5M and would be looking for a 5-7 year deal at around 9M to 10M per. Of course, we have no idea what other players may become available this summer as teams reassess their lineup and cap situation.
If the Rangers go the UFA route, they would have plenty to sign John Tavares should he go to free agency. Ilya Kovalchuk may be pricing himself out of the Rangers picture at $6M per, but he isn’t ruled out. Also trying to add 2 big pieces isn’t mathematically possible unless the Rangers shed some salary in trades.
Bottom line is this, the Rangers have significant flexibility this offseason to expedite this rebuild. In the ever changing landscape of today’s NHL, the Blueshirts could go from out of the Cup picture to in it this summer.