When the New York Rangers inked restricted free-agent Pavel Buchnevich to a two-year deal Friday, the Rangers also opened up a 48-hour buyout window starting Monday in which the team could opt to buy out one of their defenseman, including Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith and Marc Staal. While the Rangers did not buy any players out earlier this summer, things have changed after the team paid out $19.65MM AAV combined for Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba in the last month.
And while there is no evidence as to what New York intends to do, the New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes wholeheartedly that Shattenkirk will be bought out and will not be a Ranger by Wednesday evening. Considering that the Rangers traded for two right-handed defensemen this offseason, it should make it obvious the team is ready to move on from the veteran, who the team signed to a four-year deal two summers ago at $6.65MM AAV.
After signing Buchnevich for two years at $3.25MM per season, New York is projected to be $4.16MM over the cap (assuming that the team buries Brendan Smith and Matt Beleskey and both restricted free agents Anthony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux sign for their qualifying offers) and will be forced to make a cost-cutting move. While it’s already been discussed that the team is under no obligation to buy out one of their defenseman as they have a couple of players they could trade including Chris Kreider and Vladislav Namestnikov to get back under the cap, the scribe believes that Shattenkirk’s contract makes the most sense to buyout.
2019-20: $1.48MM (savings of $5.17MM)
2020-21: $6.08MM (savings of $567K)
The buyout would give the Rangers a little over $1.1MM to work with after that and wouldn’t require the team to trade off Kreider just to save the team some money, one of the top wingers on the team who will be an unrestricted free agents next offseason. Trying to trade one of your best players when you are over the cap isn’t exactly the best bargaining position. Of course, the Rangers would have to assume 90 percent of Shattenkirk’s contract next season if the team does choose to buy him out, which really will make things challenging for New York next season.
The Rangers, however, can do nothing until Monday and there is no sign that they are currently committed to buying out Shattenkirk.