Rangers get great news with talk of huge salary cap bump, how to use the cash

News out of Florida has the NHL believing next year’s salary cap could be between $84 and $88 million which is much higher than the originally projected $83M. Cap pressed team’s like the Rangers will now have even more flexibility this summer to not only lock up their RFA’s but maybe even dabble in the free agent market.

Taking care of the house

Heading into the offseason the Rangers have a lot of work to do, primarily dealing with their RFA’s. This summer they need to make decisions on Alexandar Georgiev, Tony DeAngelo, Ryan Strome, and Brendan Lemieux. They will have about $16M (@84) to $20M (@88) to take care of those key players.

Strome (Getty Images)

Looking at Cap Friendly the Rangers have 15 players under contract for next season (8F, 5D, 2G) for $67.1M including $7.5 in dead cap space (Shattenkirk, Girardi, Spooner). At $16M the Rangers can work out 2 year bridge deals with all 4 RFAs. I can see both Strome and DeAngelo combining for about $7M, Lemieux and Georgiev for about $5M bringing the total to $12M.

Once you bring up Kravtsov and maybe a defenseman on an ELC the Rangers would have about $2.5M to add 2 more forwards (12th, and an extra). Of course if the cap is 88 that jumps to 6M, and enough to keep Jesper Fast at about $3M AAV.

Trade or Free Agency Players

Hard decisions will need to be made if the Rangers want to be players at the draft or free agency and it starts with Henrik Lundqvist. Should he retire that would give the Rangers 8.5 back to the cap and increase that number to between 11-15.5M. If it is a Hank Trade that drops to about $7M-11M. A buyout of Brendan Smith would be your next likely scenario and that gives them another 1.5M this season. A Marc Staal waive and trade with a 50% retain, makes it an additional 2.6M.

While a Hank retirement and the other two scenarios being unlikely to happen at once, it would give the Rangers $15-20 to play with this off-season (at worse 10-15). Mind-blowing when you think about it and definitely music to Jeff Gorton’s ears no matter how you slice it.