After much talk about teams potentially swooping in and offering a huge offer sheet to defenseman Ryan McDonagh, the Rangers have locked him up for the next 6 years. This is a huge deal for the Rangers. When McDonagh came over to New York in a trade for Scott Gomez, he looked like just your average every-day defenseman. But he has evolved into one of the league’s best, and he has played a vital role in helping New York succeed.
The news broke this morning on Twitter, where everything seems to happen these days. According to the NY Post, the new deal has McDonagh getting paid $28.2 million over the next 6 years. Which is about $4.7 m per year. This is a really smart deal for the NYR. They didn’t overpay him, but they didn’t underpay either. It is a solid deal that will really help out the Rangers long-term.
But, the continuing struggle for the team is cap issues. Coming into this offseason, they had about $14 m in cap space to work with. Now with the re-signing of McD, Glen Sather has only $6,555,833 to work with, according to capgeek.com.
With McDonagh taken care of, the only RFA’s that remain are Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, and Carl Hagelin. In my opinion, I think that the Rangers will take care of Stepan first, considering that he has turned into the team’s number one center. Even ahead of Brad Richards, who will be remaining with the Rangers for this season after the organization decided not to buy him out.
So, if the Rangers actually go ahead and re-sign Step, that means Zuccarello and Hagelin will have to be let go because there will simply be no more money to sign them with. Those will be two heavy losses for New York, but if Sather can potentially salvage a trade that includes either Michael Del Zotto or Brian Boyle, he might be able to get some good depth forwards in return for those two losses.
Keep your eyes peeled over the next few weeks and even months. It’s going to get very interesting real soon in Ranger country.