Vitali Kravtsov arrival and the Rangers salary cap

Everyone wants Vitali Kravtsov here. Furthermore, everyone wants him to play. As we stated yesterday, the Rangers will have some work to do because once Artemi Panarin is back they will have 23 men on the roster.

They most certainly need to move players to the the taxi squad and that means waivers. As it was pointed out to me when I asked, the team has a lot of moving parts from now until he’s eligible to join the lineup.

No cap concerns for Kravtsov and the Rangers

Moving parts aside, I wanted to make sure that the cap wouldn’t be an issue. Especially since Kravtsov has performance bonus impact. I reached out to our friends at PuckPedia and was given this succinct explanation.

Yesterday was a good day to look at the roster because on a game day the cap space is the smallest. As of yesterday, they have $1.09M of projected cap space. With half the season left, they could add a player with a $2.15M annual cap hit and finish right at the cap. As pointed out, because they’re over the performance bonus, Kravtsov will count as his $925K Cap Hit + $850K potential performance bonus, for a total of $1.775M annually.

So that means even without sending guys down on off-days, they can fit Kravtsov in right now.  If you push it back 14 days from now, they have even more room. Even if they just kept the current roster and didn’t send anyone down on off-days, that $1.09M of Projected Cap Space now (which can fit a $2.15M annual cap hit added today) can fit a $2.81M annual cap hit in 14 days. That will get even bigger if they send guys down on off days.

Kravtsov on his way to New York soon

vitali kravtsov
Jun 22, 2018; Dallas, TX, USA; Vitali Kravtsov puts on a team jersey after being selected as the number nine overall pick to the New York Rangers in the first round of the 2018 NHL Draft at American Airlines Center. Mandatory Credit: Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports

As far as a timetable of when he can get here, the safest estimate would be approximately two weeks from tomorrow. Vitali will need to follow quarantine and COVID protocols before he could even step on the ice for practice. On top of that, I would expect that he would be placed on the taxi squad team to start.

When it comes to making his NHL debut for the Blueshirts, the end of the month is the most likely scenario. There’s also an outside chance of it being closer to the trade deadline.

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