Rangers must closely monitor Seguin and Panarin situations

Seguin (Getty Images)

The Rangers are rebuilding. Unlike other markets or franchises that can’t afford to hit the salary cap ceiling, they don’t have to follow the length process of a traditional rebuild. Next summer, the Rangers could be faced with the possibility of landing one or both of two big unrestricted free agents. Either’s addition, will accelerate the Rangers path to contender.

Latest on Tyler Seguin

The 26 year old scoring center from Dallas is not happy going into the final year of his contract without any talks of an extension.

“Nothing’s really going on. You know, pretty much haven’t been talking much this summer. It’s been a little disappointing,” Seguin said. “I thought I’d have some exciting news to talk about at BioSteel Camp, especially this late in the summer. It’s been disappointing. – TSN

Seguin will be the most coveted UFA next summer, IF he gets there. However, if Dallas continues to stall on contract talks, Seguin could wait to explore the UFA market and cash in John Tavares style.

A player like Seguin signing for the bright lights of Broadway would put the rebuild into overdrive. The cost would exceed 10 million a season for 7 years, but Seguin is more than worth it. The center is coming off a 40 goal and 78 points season and his scoring should only continue climb.

If Seguin makes it to the market, the Rangers must pull a Toronto. That means all the stops and a promo video where a CGI Seguin is hoisting a Cup at center ice at MSG and rolling in a car going down the canyon of heroes.

Latest on Panarin

Getty Images

Although Panarin has been spotted on the beaches of Tampa playing volleyball with several members of the Lightning, the NHL rumor mill has his heart set for playing with the Rangers. According to a recent article in The Athletic, Jeff Gorton doesn’t want to trade assets for him right now, but that could change at the deadline if they can talk contract extension and avoid him going to free agency.

In three NHL seasons, the LW has totaled 233 points in just 243 games. Panarin’s current cap hit is $6 million and he will command a significant increase. If the Rangers miss out on Seguin, they would do very well with Panarin. Seguin’s advantage over Panarin is his position, as centers are valuable assets in today’s NHL.

Interesting Cap Move?

The Rangers have almost $6 million in cap space entering this season, but could have over $15 million next summer. If the Rangers decide to move on from Mats Zuccarello who will be a UFA next summer that will give them just over $10 million.

One of the questions fans should ask themselves is why the Rangers gave Kevin Hayes only a 1 year deal? If the Rangers feel they can upgrade their center position with Seguin, they would be forced to move one of their plethora of centers.

Giving Hayes a one year show me contract is risky, but in a rebuild you have to play the long game. A Blueshirts squad with either Seguin and/or Panarin on it will expedite their path to a championship. Both situations are must watch for Gorton and the organization.

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