Rangers waive good guy Tanner Glass goodbye, what happens next
The Rangers have placed Tanner Glass on waivers today and he will most likely go unclaimed and sent to AHL affiliate Hartford.
Just to be clear: Tanner Glass has not been sent to AHL. If he clears waivers tomorrow #Rangers would have that option, if they choose.
— Seth Rothman (@RothmanHockey) October 20, 2015
I don’t see the Rangers recalling any forwards from the AHL. In fact, even with Glass’ removal, the Rangers are still comfortable with 13 forwards on the roster (1 scratch per game, probably alternating between Etem & Stoll). So the notion of making room for a minor-league forward like Brian Gibbons or Jayson Megna doesn’t strike a logical chord with me short of injuries on the big club. In fact, the two NHL-ready players in Hartford are probably Brady Skjei and Rafael Diaz. The only problem? While the Rangers now find themselves with a comfortable salary cap cushion, the fact remains that the team still maintains 7 healthy defenseman. Would the Rangers really be calling up an 8th blueliner just because of the newly-availed cap space and roster spot? Again, short of injury, I don’t see it happening.
So this move can only leave us with a few vague, highly-speculative ideas:
The Rangers tried desperately to trade Glass for several months before submitting him to waivers, where he can be lost for free. Now, while his contract was certainly overpriced and his potential return value as virtually non-existant, a trade would be for cap reasons. Specifically, A) The Rangers would shed $1.45 million in a trade versus the $0.95 million in burying him. That, and/or B) Glass’ contract, during its back nine, was friendly to teams like Arizona or Florida, whom worry about the salary cap floor in the same way that teams like New York or Chicago worry about the cap ceiling. That is to say the remaining 20 months of his contract had an actual-salary vs cap hit ratio of 69 cents to the dollar. In the same vein as Arizona acquiring Chris Pronger’s contract, or Florida that of Marc Savard, a potential Glass trade could be about packing cap hit onto the roster at a discounted actual cost.
The Rangers are preparing for a trade unrelated to that of dealing Glass, and clearing roughly $1 million of cap space on the roster is essential to the trade going through. Who or what trade? Who knows. But in terms of any transaction, the Rangers have more flexibility without Glass than they do with him, for both cap reasons and being able to free up the 23rd roster spot. The only players that would stick in my mind for a non-Glass trade would be Emerson Etem or Dylan McIlrath, as they seem to be “stuck” on the outskirts of playing time, and perhaps other NHL teams would be interested in one or both as using them more than once-in-a-while.
The Rangers do not have a “step two” to this instance, they just wanted to clear cap space for future possiblities down the road. Particularly, setting themselves up to be active at the trade deadline, where now they are on pace to have much more space than before. This seems the likeliest, as I have not heard any news on the grapevine towards a specific or impending trade of any type. Simply put: the Rangers are doing this is October as to procure more freedom and options come February. And if nothing else, as preperation against a wave of injuries that could come down the season stretch, causing the Rangers to dip into the minors for recalls while being comfortably cap-compliant.
#NYR cap space today: $167,222 – If Glass clears waivers/buried tomorrow: $1,118,206 – If Glass is claimed off waivers tomorrow: $1,618,206
— HockeyStatMiner (@HockeyStatMiner) October 20, 2015