Will the Rangers buyout Kevin Shattenkirk? Simple math says no!

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The Rangers offseason is in overdrive and we haven’t even gotten out of May yet! The draft isn’t for over a month and NHL free agency starts July 1st. Yet there is no shortage of news, rumors and speculation from everyone.

Beat writers like Larry Brooks, NHL insiders like Elliotte Friedman, bloggers like yours truly, to fans in every recess of the internet have been nonstop on the Blueshirts Blitz. Since “winning” the draft lottery, Sather’s pending retirement, and the buzz in the rumor mill, this has been a very busy month plus.

One topic that keeps coming up is the fact that if the Rangers really want to make some free agent noise they will need to make just a little more cap space via trades and/or buyout.

We’ve done plenty on these topics but in the past week or so, one Rangers’ name keeps coming up in the buyout conversation and it needs to stop. So let me say it again.


Jeff Gorton will certainly be busy wheeling and dealing this summer. 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. Those two names are either Marc Staal or Brendan Smith, not 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.

Buyout Chart (ForeverBlueshirts)

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.

Bottom line, Shattenkirk is a right handed defenseman who can QB the power play. If Jeff Gorton can buyout Smith and find a way to get Staal to waive his no trade clause, #22 becomes the Rangers senior blue-liner.

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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