Will New York Rangers opt to buyout a veteran?
The first NHL Buyout buyout window is open and is there a possibility the New York Rangers could use it?
As it stands, the Blueshirts have just under $12 million in cap space with only 14 players signed. Even if they opt to go with a 21-man roster next season, they’ll still need to sign or bring up a total of 7 players. A large portion of that available money will go into re-signing RFA’s Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller.
President and general manager Chris Drury will be extremely challenged to put forth a competitive roster this summer.
When we talk about buyouts, some fans have taken to pointing a finger at the team’s highest paid player for recent playoff failures. Artemi Panarin has three years left on his deal with an AAV of $11.6M. He also has a full no-move clause and even if he were to waive it, the Rangers would likely need to eat a sizable portion of his contract and that’s unlikely to happen.
So what about a Panarin buyout? Per CapFriendly, the savings would only be $666,667 for three seasons. Simply not worth deleting your best offensive player off the roster.
Forever Blueshirts has reviewed all the top veterans for potential buyouts. The following three candidates are the only ones that make any sort of sense from a financial perspective.
Barclay Goodrow Buyout
Deal: $3.64M AAV (modified no-trade / 4 years remaining)
Buyout Savings: $3.841M (2023-24), $3.7M (2024-25), $2.491M (2025-26)
Buyout Penalty: $8K (2026-27), $1,258,333 (following 4 seasons)
Goodrow, 30, registered 11 goals and 20 assists for 31 points in 82 games last season. The versatile and gritty forward is actually more of what the Rangers need, not less. However, he is the most logical player to buyout if you can’t get someone to take on his entire salary in a trade. New York could use the cap savings to sign lower-cost UFAs like Tyler Motte and Nick Bjugstad.
Jacob Trouba Buyout
Deal: $8M AAV (full no-move this season / 3 years remaining)
Buyout Savings: $5.7M (2023-24), $3.7M (2024-25), $3.7M (2025-26)
Buyout Penalty: $2.2M (2026-27), $2.2M (2027-28), $2.2M (2028-29)
Trouba, 29, registered 8 goals and 22 assists for 30 points in 82 games last season. If the Rangers opt to buy him out, they will get the most bang for their buck heading into the summer. Of course, they would be losing on his game-changing physical play and leadership. Plus, his full no-move clause becomes a modified no-trade next season. There will definitely be a trade market for the big defenseman.
Chris Kreider Buyout
Deal: $6.5M AAV (full no-move this season / 4 years remaining)
Buyout Savings: $1.5M (2023-24), $3.5M (2024-25), $3.5M (2025-26), $2.5M (2026-27)
Buyout Penalty: $1.4M (for 4 seasons starting in 2027-28)
Of the three candidates, the 32 year-old forward makes the most sense from a lineup perspective. He’s the oldest, and it would open up more ice time for Alexis Lafreniere. Unfortunately, you aren’t getting much of a savings for next season and his full no-move clause becomes modified in the summer of 2024. Let’s not forget, you’d be vanquishing a forward that’s scored 36 and 52 goals the last two years on Broadway.
At the end of the day, Goodrow continues to come up as Drury best pressure release valve this cap-crunched summer.
Note: All Contract and Buyout via CapFriendly