Rangers unlikely to buyout Kevin Shattenkirk

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Larry Brooks’ latest column states that he doesn’t believe Kevin Shattenkirk will be with the Rangers come Wednesday.

The Rangers have made two trades this offseason and both were for right-hand defensemen who play the power play. So what does that tell you about Kevin Shattenkirk’s future on Broadway? That, plus the cap fix into which management willingly leaped by signing Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba for a combined $19.654 million-plus, tells me Shattenkirk’s tenure as Blueshirt will be over by the close of the team’s second buyout window Wednesday at 5 p.m.

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Jeff Gorton will certainly be busy wheeling and dealing in the coming days. He will be scrutinizing the roster and be forced into making hard decisions and one of them will be the buyout of a veteran defenseman. That d-man is Brendan Smith, and not Marc Staal or Kevin Shattenkirk.

Why? Simple basic math. The economics don’t work. While all three players have 2 years remaining on their deals, the cap hit in year 2 of the buyout on Shattenkirk is absolutely ridiculous. See for yourself.

While the Rangers would get a great benefit in year one of the buyout versus either Staal or Smith of approximately 2 million more, the hit in year two would cost them almost an additional 3 million in cap space. Furthermore, the Rangers would be losing a hair more space in years three and four. If the cap ceiling doesn’t go up for 2020-2021, Gorton could be forced into a move he doesn’t want to make next summer.

The best buyout candidate for several reasons both financially and roster wise is Brendan Smith. While Staal is older, his play last year was admirable all things considered. Smith will give you a better savings in year one, and the difference in year two is nominal between he and Staal.

Let’s also not forget that David Quinn is a fan of Shattenkirk’s game, he came into camp off major knee surgery and notched the bulk of his 28 points in the 2nd half of the season.

Brooks Confirms Our Earlier Reports on Kreider

Another big take away from Brooks’ article was this update on Chris Kreider.

There is, I should tell you, no evidence (admissible, anecdotal or otherwise via hearsay) to indicate the Rangers have been shopping Chris Kreider after halfheartedly dangling the winger at the draft. With the club under cap stress and therefore dealing from a place of weakness rather than strength, moving Kreider within the next few days seems an entirely unrealistic proposition. You should also know there still has yet to be a conversation between general manager Jeff Gorton and Kreider’s representative, Matt Keator, about what it would take to get the 28-year-old under a long-term contract. Not a number has been exchanged.

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On July 3rd, we noted that even though the Rangers attempted a deal with Colorado at the draft, they are looking to keep him this season.

John Davidson and Jeff Gorton know just how valuable Kreider can be on the 2nd line. Especially, if they are going to give Vitali Kravtsov a chance to center it. Even if they roll with Filip Chytil there, a veteran presence would be beneficial. Should the Rangers and their rookies gel and catch fire, they could opt to hold onto Kreider at the deadline and hope to extend him next summer. If not, and the playoffs are in doubt, they can be a seller and move Kreider for a coveted 1st round pick as a rental. It’s just good asset management all around.

Forever Blueshirts

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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