The New York Rangers have made a number of key improvements to their team with two significant moves that have affected the team’s salary cap situation. The Rangers signed star winger Artemi Panarin to a seven-year, $81.5MM deal on July 1, but also traded for defenseman Jacob Trouba and signed him to a seven-year, $56MM deal. While the team had plenty of cap space, the team now is somewhere between $900K and $1.55MM over the cap and that’s not including a number of restricted free agents left to sign, including Pavel Buchnevich, Brendan Lemieux, Anthony DeAngelo and Vinni Lettieri.
Because of that, The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello (subscription required) writes that with those kinds of cap issues which should only get more challenging in the future, it likely ends the team’s run with forward Chris Kreider. The 28-year-old is in the final year of his contract and would likely seek a deal somewhere around seven years at $7MM per season, something that the Rangers can’t afford for a inconsistent forward who will be 29 years old when the new contract kicks in. It makes more sense that the Rangers will try to unload Kreider now for the most possible return to help with their cap issues.
- In an article looking at three ways to improve the New Jersey Devils roster this offseason, NJ.com’s Chris Ryan writes that in a summer in which general manager Ray Shero has made some savvy moves, including acquiring P.K. Subban from Nashville for practically nothing as well as signing forward Wayne Simmonds to a one-year, $5MM “prove it” deal, the team can still make upgrades. He writes that the team should consider signing free-agent defenseman Jake Gardiner, who remains unsigned, in hopes of bolstering their weak left-side which has just Andy Greene, Will Butcher and Mirco Mueller there. Even Ty Smith, who is left-handed, played on the right side in junior, so there is a realistic opening on the left side and Gardiner might be a good fit there, assuming he’d be willing to come down from his rumored $7MM pricetag.
- With a few key restricted free agent forwards already having signed, the Courier Post’s David Isaac writes in his mailbag piece that he believes that Philadelphia Flyers forward Travis Konecny is likely to sign within the next few weeks, especially now that a couple significant comparables have signed. the scribe writes that with Timo Meier having signed for four years at $6MM with San Jose and Jakub Vrana agreeing to a two-year deal at $3.35MM, it has set a market for Konecny. It’s likely that Konecny will fall somewhere between the two. The 24-year-old has had two straight 24-goal seasons and had a career-high 49 points last season. With the legitimate potential that a breakout season could come soon, it’s much more likely that Konecny opts to sign a short-term bridge deal over a long-term one.