How will the Rangers handle the RFA situation?
Photo Credits: Getty Images/Mike Stobe/Dan Riedlhuber
There is no denying that the Rangers have a busy couple of weeks ahead of them. With the NHL Draft coming up, and free agency on July 1st, Rangers fans will be on the edge of their seats watching some of their favorites get traded away. Keith Yandle’s UFA rights have already headed to the Panthers for a 6th round pick (2016), and a conditional 4th rounder (2017) if he signs with Florida. That wasn’t a fairly big move for the Rangers because they don’t have the cap space to resign Yandle. The Rangers still have many choices to make on younger players who could be a huge impact to the team for years to come.
The Rangers have some big decisions to make on their 4 RFA’s
With Keith Yandle, Eric Staal, Dan Boyle, Dominic Moore, and Viktor Stalberg all officially off the books, the Rangers would be able to resign all of their RFA’s easily. The question is should they sign all of them?
The answer is yes.
Chris Kreider and Kevin Hayes are coming off of a down season which means the Rangers will be able to retain both of them with cap friendly contracts. Kreider turned on the jets late in the season but Rangers management will have a strong case if they happen to go to arbitration hearings with either of the two.
The Rangers should resign McIlrath immediately. He is a guy who would sell his soul for his teammates, and he has shown he belongs at the NHL level. McIlrath is a young defenseman and would come extremely cheap, the only issue is that he often finds himself in Vigneaults dog house (For no real reason).
The only Ranger on this list who commands a large raise is Miller. Miller had a breakout season this year, and the man deserves to be paid. He is a great two way forward and the Rangers are going to need those players until they can find some consistent defense on the back end. The Rangers would be able to resign all 4 of these players above for an estimated cap hit of $11 Million.
- Kreider: $4 Million
- Miller: $3 Million
- Hayes: $2.5 Million
- Mcilrath: $1.5 Million
If the Rangers want to get younger they should hang on to all of these young players and let them continue to develop as teammates. The Rangers trade away their young prospects for older veteran players very often, but that is the cost of making deep runs in the playoffs. The time to get younger is now, and that starts with resigning these key RFA’s.