Rangers Roundup: Zibanejad arbitration, Marc Staal buyout, and trade winds blowing?

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Larry Brooks released his latest edition of Slap Shots and brought up some interesting info.

Zibanejad Arbitration

While Zibanejad’s “ask” is unknown at this time, Brooks appears to reaffirm what I was told…it’s high. The numbers are due to come out some time today. Brooks ultimately believes that Mika will land somewhere around the 5.25M mark, and if Tomas Tatar’s (5.3Mx4Y) recent contract is any indication, that seems about right.

The Rangers current cap space per CapFriendly is $7,608,056.

Marc Staal Buyout?

The second buyout window will close 48 hours after Zibanejad’s arbitration/contract is settled. Buying out Staal gives the Rangers 3.75M in additional cap space, which seems like a great idea when you look at the young ready for primetime defenseman the Blueshirts have.

Anthony Deangelo, Neal Pionk, and Alexei Bereglazov may be ready to lock up spots on the bottom pair. However after buying out Dan Girardi, an additional buyout of Staal would mean the Rangers would be operating with less cap space until 2025.

Here’s a detailed view of how much dead cap space the Rangers would carry.


As you can see that’s 4.7M in dead space this year with 3 staggering deficits of 5.7M, 6.7m, and 5M until 2021. As a new CBA approaches in 2020 with a potential amnesty buyout, it would behoove the Rangers to wait.

Trade Winds Blowing

The Rangers as Brooks’ pointed out have a plethora of blue liners. It is highly unlikely they take them all into opening night. So a deal of some sort is imminent. The talks swirling around Tyler Bozak “have cooled” per Brooks. However, one of our own recently was told by a “clued in” source a deal would be coming soon.

Note: Since this tweet, random unverified “insiders” have been posting that a deal is in place, or even what the deal is. None of that info is confirmed.

It is important to understand that the Zibanejad domino needs to fall in order to see where the Rangers stand with cap space. Bozak makes 4.25M and the Blueshirts need to leave some cap room to accommodate for emergency call ups.

Bottom line, the Rangers need another center and have been interested in Bozak for years. He is a UFA at season’s end and the Leafs may not be interested in retaining him. There is definite smoke here.

Tyler Bozak also got married yesterday and some photos have popped up from teammates at the wedding. Here’s his beautiful bride with Sydney Esiason (instragram). Congrats to the newlyweds.




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

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