As we have hit the off-season, it’s time to look at potential moves that the team may/may not/need to make.
This morning opens up the Buy-out period…which ends the day before Free Agency begins. Isn’t the off-season a wonderful time? 🙂
The biggest elephant in the room is obviously Brad Richards and the buyout. The way he has played this year, he has earned every dollar of his $6.7m contract. The bigger question becomes, is he worth that much money for the foreseeable future? Probably not, but I would NOT buy him out, and hang on to him, to give the long-term leadership that this team can use up front.
Other forwards already signed for next year – Rick Nash, Martin St. Louis, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Derek Dorsett and Jesper Fast.
Defensemen signed for next year – Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Marc Staal and Kevin Klein.
Goalies signed for next year – Henrik Lundqvist and Cam Talbot.
The biggest priority will be the resigning of the Restricted Free Agents, with Chris Kreider and Mats Zuccarello, and even John Moore, topping that list, and after that focusing on players like Derek Brassard and Justin Falk.
Our Unrestricted Free Agents, that I think may get some attention from the Rangers are Benoit Pouliot and Dominic Moore.
Expect to see Brian Boyle disappear the same way Prust did.
Anton Stralman, while he is a great player, will demand, and rightly so, Top 3 Defense $$. And on a team loaded with Top Defensemen, the Rangers would be dumb to throw that money at him…although they have been known to do it in the past…and it would be awfully nice to see him on the roster next year.
Daniel Carcillo and Raphael Diaz are both Unrestricted Free Agents, and likely won’t play in the Blueshirt again.
As for the Big C on the chest….
It comes down to Marc Staal and his pending contract extension. With 1yr/3.975m left on his deal, the Rangers are going to need him to commit to this team in the long term (in a deal similar to what Dan Girardi or McD received recently). If he does sign that deal, expect him to be Captain next year.
If he doesn’t resign, I wouldn’t be at all surprised to see Ryan McDonagh as the next Captain of the New York Rangers.
One final thought on Staal. If he isn’t extended this off-season, I fully expect him to be traded before the deadline next year, for a minimal of top draft picks and a 2nd Line defenseman.
I don’t want to touch on signings of Free-Agents, or trades, as that is a very vast pool to dive into…but reports of Jason Spezza wanting out of Ottawa, would be a nice fit in New York. And completely out of our grasp, is the fact that the rumors are that Eric Staal wants out of Carolina…and I’m sure he wouldn’t mind getting on the same team as Marc.
HERE IS MY CAPGEEK.COM 2014-2015 ROSTER
(Lines were not planned out, focused more on salaries)
CAPGEEK.COM ARMCHAIR GM ROSTER
2015 New York Rangers
Rick Nash ($7.800m) / Brad Richards ($6.667m) / Martin St. Louis ($5.625m)
Carl Hagelin ($2.250m) / Derek Stepan ($3.075m) / Chris Kreider ($2.750m)
Mats Zuccarello ($1.750m) / Derick Brassard ($3.700m) / Derek Dorsett ($1.633m)
Benoit Pouliot ($1.750m) / Dominic Moore ($2.250m) / J.T. Miller ($0.894m)
Dan Girardi ($5.500m) / Ryan McDonagh ($4.700m)
Marc Staal ($3.975m) / Kevin Klein ($2.900m)
John Moore ($1.100m) / Dylan McIlrath ($0.703m)
Henrik Lundqvist ($8.500m)
Cameron Talbot ($0.563m)
Wade Redden ($0.000m)
CAPGEEK.COM TOTALS (follow @capgeek on Twitter)
(estimations for 2014-15)
SALARY CAP: $71,100,000; CAP PAYROLL: $68,085,000; BONUSES: $941,667
CAP SPACE (20-man roster): $3,015,000