Kevin Shattenkirk going to the New York Rangers this summer seems to make all the sense in the world. But Shattenkirk’s price tag will place a burden on the Rangers cap space for years. The team needs to be creative this off-season with trades to improve their defensive needs.
This offseason the New York Rangers are looking to improve their right side of their defensive core. One of the best right handed, offensive, defensemen is available in Kevin Shattenkirk this summer. The New York Rangers should do everything in their power to get him right? Not exactly.
Shattenkirk will immediately improve the Rangers defensive needs in the short term seeing that he will most likely on the top pairing with Ryan McDonagh. This pairing will be able to produce at even strength, the penalty kill and most importantly the power play.
Shattenkirk has a career Corsi % of 53.7 (Hockey Reference) which will help out the Rangers transition game. With that being said, his off-season price tag will be too much for the Rangers and will hurt their ability to make future transactions.
Shattenkirk’s deal will be the neighborhood of five to seven years and around five to over six million dollars per year.Last year, it was reported Shattenkirk turned down a deal from Tampa Bay. That deal worth $42 million and was for seven years. A deserving price for a player of his caliber. Unfortunately the Rangers cap numbers just do not add up for that kind of deal.
Current Contract Issues
Dan Girardi is signed until 2020 making $5.5 million dollars a year. Marc Staal is signed until 2021 making $5.7 million dollars a year. One of these players has the possibility of being bought out this summer, which will keep the Rangers on the hook for part of their salary.
Even if one is bought out, the Rangers still need to sign restricted free agents like Mika Zibanejad, Oscar Lindberg and Jesper Fast. Not to mention the priority of resigning unrestricted free agent Brandan Smith.
Even if Oscar Lindberg or Jesper Fast is selected to go take their talents to Las Vegas, the Rangers are still looking at minimal cap space for roster improvement. Shattenkirk’s availability, his offensive production, and youth point to what the Rangers are looking for. Despite these factors it is pivotal that the Rangers do not allocate large amount of cap space to a small number of players.
Jeff Gorton Needs to Get Creative
Jeff Gorton has proved in the past that he can make skillful deals with limited cap space and find diamonds in the rough. Thank you for Michael Grabner. This summer’s free agent pool for defensemen, especially right handed defensemen is bare. The best available right handed defensemen who would be at a reasonable price is Michael Stone.
So, in order to improve their defensive this summer, Gorton needs to get creative. Trading assets like Rick Nash or Kevin Hayes should be on the table.
The Rangers need to help McDonagh on the top pair sooner rather than later. It just may not be possible that Shattenkirk financially is the answer to our prayers.