The Rangers are looking great for the next couple of years. In 2013, they will have McDonagh, Girardi, Step and Anisimov hit free agency, but given their age, I expect them to sign the same contracts Girardi, Dubi and Cally signed a couple of years ago at the same age.
And next year is lining up beatifully. The expected UFAs are:
1. Wolski (the Rangers won't give him a qualifying offer, so he'll become a UFA);
6. Maybe MZA who is an RFA, so the Rangers would have to give him a qualifying offer.
The guy I definitely want re-signed is Prust. I have hope for MZA and think he'll have a good season. WW? Who knows.
But even if worst comes to worst, the team will not suffer any crippling losses next summer, nor will anyone get a massive pay raise in the next two seasons.
If anything, we will have more cap space because:
1. Drury's remaining cap hit will come off in two years. This frees up $3.7+.
2. Wolski will either be gone or sign for less money. Instead of having over $5.5 tied up in WW and MZA, I expect one of them to be re-signed for $2.5 to $3, depending on the season they have. (Or maybe both will be let go, but I hope one of them is good.) This frees up $2.5-$3.
4. If the salary cap goes down, look for salaries to also go down one way or another.
The Rangers should have a minimum of $6 on hand next year, and if they fail to sign either MZA or WW, that's over $9. That's enough money to acquire a superstar, should one become available as a free agent or in a trade.
I do not think that #3 is true, and your source for it is a wikipedia link that says "citation needed" for that point. Nowhere else have I seen it indicated that the CBA will be automatically extended if a new CBA is worked out.
My understanding is, once the CBA expires, there is simply no CBA in place, so the players will not have that leverage.
dont forget that even the little guys who signed for cheap who are expiring like EC(1mm per), Avery (2mm per), Feds (1.5mm per), MZA (1.75mm per)
Just letting EC and Avery go this offseason would open up another $3mm in capspace. which i believe will definatly happen bc they are expensive spare forwards. Then there are the possibilities that Feds and MZA arent resigned bc Thomas, Krieder and other youngsters are moving up ready to come in. that could make another 3m. we could have around 11m in capspace.
The dating is a bit off. Girardi becomes a UFA the summer of 2014. AA & Stepan become RFA's the summer of 2013. Boyle, Cally, Gaborik become UFA's the summer of 2014 (along with Girardi). Utilize capgeek for reference:
If Prust continues the same effectiveness, I expect him to get between $1-1.25M in an extension. He doesn't put up a lot of points (13 goals aren't bad), but he does a lot of little things for this team.
I do look forward to next offseason with a lot of this team's unnecessary & overpriced players (excluding Prust) heading for free agency. Sather really has the potential to put the finishing touches on what could be a masterpiece (sans Redden).
This team still needs one more elite player (possibly LW) and some type of shooter on the PP. At this point, it is too early to tell whether either of those pieces can be found within or outside the organization. As evidenced by this off season, star players become available all the time. It is just about jumping on them when the time is right. I think Sather did a great job of that with Gabs and BR.
My guess Rangers are going to hold some youth back this year. Guys like Hagelin, Zuccarello, Vtank, & Kundratek are going to be pushed back to Hartford while Vets like Feds, Girardi, Wolski, etc still run the show in NY. The guys in Hartford will only get their callups when injuries happen or if someone shows a complete ineptitude.
Come next year is when, the guys we want to see this year, will get their shot and the Rangers will have the funds to either deal with the crunch from a shrinking cap due to the new CBA or they'll have the dollars to go after another big fish to add towards their cup push. Either way, this team is in good cap shape for the next couple of years.
Originally Posted by turcotte8
We did for Gaborik, someone will for Hemsky. Hopefully not us.
I wouldn't be surprised if we did and I wouldn't be surprised if it were to resign him after we acquire him at the TD.
not sure I agree with all the conclusions on players
Prust puts it all on the line every night. My only complaint about him is that he plays when he is so injured that NY team play suffers. I realize that Brandon knows he has to lace them up or face becoming marginalized again. Its a tough situation, so I suppose I would rather have him not firing on all cylinders on occasion and have his pit bull style when he is healthy. I just wish he had more points in that pop gun of his. Until he can put up some numbers I think he is 4th line material. Welcome none the less...
Fedotenko is a NHL gypsy. He is not a core member of the team and his play/contract should relatively easily be replaced. Hopefully with a hard working player from the AHL who has displayed his wares enough to impress the brass.
Christenson see Fedontenko.
MZA is a fan favorite but he has yet to show this fan that he can score. Until that time he is at best an undersized forward with upside.
Wolski on the other hand has scored plenty of goals in the NHL. Yes his game is missing something, so either he will pull it together like Boyle did or he won't. That is on W2. So he either stays in NY as a top 6 guy with 60 point seasons or he is bound for the wood pile.
Avery is a player I have lost patience with. Find a way to send him to the leafs so he can play in Ontario and hopefully revive his career there. His cap hit is better spent elsewhere.
my hope is that a guy like Thomas or Kreider improves enough to become a top 6 guy so NY doesn't have to spend big cap rich hit deals any more.
I also think that at some point there is going to be a log jam on the blueline and someone is going to get their ticket punched out of town. My guess is that guy is Girardi because I think he is miscast as a top pairing guy. Rather he is the perfect 2nd pairing shut down guy ideally playing with a del zotto or other offensive rush type dman. As such I think he has value in the NHL so I think NY will trade someone from the perspective of depth in one area to address a weakness in another. Just to be clear I am not saying I want him traded, just that he is guy most likely to be voted off the island.
Prust must be brought back
WW has to earn his next contract or bye bye.
Same for MZA
Christianson if he takes a cut and is happy as a spare player. Dont want to use young player who needs minutes for the Whale as a spare.
Biron I bring back at a bump
1. Wolski...likely not qualified regardless of this yrs stats.
2. Prust... great energy guy, surprising he is so good on PK, back
3. Feds....Hagelin takes his place next yr
4. Christ... no pt to bring him back, cya
5. Avery....also no pt, thanks for the memories
6. MZA ...I could see as a deadline chip
7. DZ back for sure in my books
8- Biron, would resign him, good team guy
Drury's remaining cap hit will come off in two years. This frees up $3.7+. But save 2 million in comparison to this yr next yr
This team is in phenomenal shape cap-wise going forward - for a minimum of three years. 5 of our top 6 forwards, 3 of our bottom 6 forwards, ALL of defensive core and our #1 goalie are all under contract or are RFAs through that period. And that doesn't count kids coming up through the system who could slot into the remaining spots (nor does it give effect to the status of Wolski or MZA, who are also RFAs, but whom I believe will not be back at their QOs). The only issue of any significance during that period is acquiring a top 6 LW. That's it. (And again, that's assuming that none of the kids in the pipeline, Wolski or MZA steps up to fill the role.) I don't think I've ever seen such stability and rational distribution of payroll (on the Rangers, anyway) since the advent of the salary cap.
I did this in the Callahan thread on a back-of-the-envelope basis, but here's a more detailed analysis of the team's cap situation and options to improve going forward as I see it:
In 2012 you've got 1 top 6 forward, 3 bottom 6 forwards, 1 3rd pair defenseman and a backup goalie to replace. According to CapGeek, you've got a minimum of $15MM to do it with. I'm not giving effect to A) any increase in the cap due to revenues or B) effects of the new CBA, which could include possible forgiveness of Drury's $1.667MM buyout penalty, salary roll-backs and of course a decrease in the cap. (Honestly, regardless of the exact changes to the cap, I expect the team's available space on a relative basis to be about the same and possibly better.) So we start with...
Cap space remaining: $15.04MM
Let's start from the back and move forward. For the backup goalie, there's no way you should be paying more than $1MM. In fact, if you look around the league you can get a perfectly serviceable backup for $600-800K. Heck, there are still some name-brand netminders like Nabokov, Gerber, Turco and others who are without jobs right now. But let's assume the Rangers want a quality guy to back up Hank - potentially Biron again, at a raise. So...
Backup goalie: $1MM
Cap space remaining: $14.04MM
As to defensemen, unless things go very wrong (or at least completely off script), the team is looking at a bottom pair of Erixon plus one of Del Zotto or Valentenko, with an outside shot of Kundratek. If it's Kundratek, he's locked in for another year, so you'd actually only have to pay him a little over $800K. But let's say it's either MDZ or VTank who takes over and wins the 6th slot next year.
This past year, we saw 2 RFAs sign their second contract with the Rangers, Sauer at 2 years for $1.25MM and Anisimov for 2 years at $1.875MM. The year before that, we saw Dubinsky sign for 2 years at $1.85MM. Note that Sauer played his previous year in the AHL, whereas both Dubi and AA had played their previous years in the NHL. So, given the importance of Dubi and AA going into their second contracts, and given that whoever gets the 6th defenseman's spot will be a player that spent 2010-2011 in the minors, I think it's safe to say that even if the kid steps up and becomes an absolute stud, there's no way he's getting more than $1.75MM in AAV on his contract (it'd likely be less, but let's be conservative). So...
6th Defenseman: $1.75MM
Cap space remaining: $12.29MM
This brings us on to the forwards, beginning with the lower lines. With Torts, you never know who's going to play where, but we do know that the players to be replaced/re-signed are three of Avery, MZA, Feds, Christensen and Prust. Personally, I think that Avery, Feds and Christensen are goners - at this point they're placeholders to keep seats warm until the kids in the pipeline step up. That leaves MZA and Prust to potentially be retained, plus one spot to be filled from outside the current group. In my opinion, there's very little chance that MZA is retained at his QO, which I believe would be just shy of $2MM. (If he is, it's great news, because it means he really stepped up this year and likely proved himself worthy of a top 6, rather than bottom 6 role.)
My guess is therefore that of all of the above, only Prust is brought back. Now, I absolutely love his game and want him on this team as much as any of you. But when it comes to projecting his cap hit, let's be honest - he is a 4th line energy guy and there's a ceiling to how much you should pay for that. Right now he's making $800K. Let's say he gets a healthy raise of 50% to $1.2MM.
That leaves two bottom 6 spots. I fully expect a kid to step up and take at least one, if not both of them going into next season. My guess is that you're talking about Hagelin ($875K AAV) and Thomas ($1MM AAV). It could also very easily be Kreider, who would be more expensive if you look at the contracts of the players drafted around him and what they gave Erixon, but I think there's a decent shot that they may want him to at least start out in the AHL to get his feet wet in pro hockey, like they did with McDonagh. It's also possible that something out of the blue happens like JT Miller arriving early or Tommy Grant stepping up or, alternatively, we see less progression than we had hoped, only one kid makes it, and the team signs a journeyman to a one year deal like they did with Feds this year. In any of these situations, you're talking about variations of less than a million in either direction. For my purposes, I'm going to go with what I think is the most likely scenario which, as I said, is Hagelin and Thomas to break camp in 2012-2013. So...
3 Bottom 6 forwards (total): $3.075MM
Cap space remaining: $9.215MM
Now, let's say you want to again carry a 7th defenseman. There's no way you should pay (much) more than we're paying Eminger this year. And you always want to maintain at least $500K in flexibility for in-season call-ups and the like. Let's show a little extra generosity to Eminger for being loyal and perhaps stow away a little above the standard $500K since Kreider could be a more expensive call-up. So...
Odds and ends: $1.515MM
Cap space remaining: $7.7MM
That's everything taken care of (potentially through 2014) and $7.7MM to fill the remaining LW spot. If the team's relative cap position stays the same (due to some combination of revenue increase in 2011-2012 plus any negotiated decrease of the cap and/or salary roll-backs in the new CBA), but you simply get Drury's contract off the books when the new agreement kicks in, that goes up to $9.367MM. Obviously, if the cap goes up for any reason, that's gravy on top.
Net result? The Rangers are ABSOLUTELY in play for Parise (or Semin or any other UFA, but I think Parise would be the target). Alternatively, they could fill that top 6 LW with a less expensive player (say, for example, Kreider at around $1.75MM) and the remaining space could be used to upgrade elsewhere (e.g. trade Girardi, MDZ/Valentenko, Miller and a 1st for Doughty, promote whichever of Valentenko/MDZ remains and pay Doughty the $7MM+ AAV deal he wants).