November 6, 2020

Rangers highly unlikely to make any further moves including buyouts this offseason

Tony DeAngelo celebrating with Zibanejad (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Rangers have completed signing all of their key RFA’s this offseason. In the last two days the Blueshirts avoided arbitration hearings for both Ryan Strome and Brendan Lemieux.

A quick check of CapFriendly shows the Blueshirts with $4.8 million in cap space. A large chunk of that will need to be kept for performance bonuses for players like Alexis Lafreniere, Kaapo Kakko, Adam Fox, and Igor Shesterkin.

Rangers are done with signings this offseason

The Rangers main focus was getting Alexis Lafreniere signed to his ELC and that was done early. Then they spent their money wisely by going after depth players to assist their PK in Jack Johnson and Kevin Rooney.

What John Davidson and Jeff Gorton wanted to do next was lock up their four key free agents and that was accomplished in full today. Tony DeAngelo, Alex Georgiev, Strome, and Lemieux are in the fold for the next two seasons at great contracts.

new york rangers roster
Quinn must unite Panarin and Kakko (Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports)

Of course getting all this done came in the form of letting Jesper Fast walk, trading Marc Staal and a 2nd round pick in a cap dump, and buying out Henrik Lundqvist.

No Brendan Smith buyout

Brendan Smith has one year left on his deal and will not be bought out during the second buyout window. That is because he will either be the third pair right defenseman if DeAngelo moves to the left side on the top line with Jacob Trouba.

If not, DeAngelo can stay as the third pair with Jack Johnson while Smith can either act as the 7th defenseman or reunite with Trouba as he did towards the end of last season.

A lot will depend on how Libor Hajek and Tarmo Reunanen perform in camp and then if they can handle the pressure when the season starts.

Forecasting the Rangers lineup

While it is still very early, lets take a look at what the 2020-21 Rangers may look like.

  • Kreider-Zibanejad-Buchnevich
  • Panarin-Strome-Kakko
  • Lafreniere-Chytil-Gauthier
  • Lemieux-Howden-Rooney/Di Giuseppe
  • DeAngelo-Trouba
  • Lindgren-Fox
  • Hajek/Johnson – Smith
  • Shesterkin/Georgiev

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