Shed more cap space
Every season it seems as though we’re having this conversation about the cap-strapped New York Rangers. The beginning stages of this offseason’s salary shedding has already begun with the news of longtime fan-favorite Dan Girardi’s buyout. The next step would be the confirmation of Kevin Klein’s retiring to potentially extend his career overseas.
However, in order for GM Jeff Gorton to stay competitive in today’s NHL free-agency, the Rangers must continue to make room on the roster. Unfortunately, the early rumors have indicated that assistant captain, first-line center Derek Stepan may be among the first casualties.
Stepan’s contract value at $6.5-million over the next four seasons may be attractive enough to fetch a trade similar to Mika Zibanejad trade last summer. Other names such as Rick Nash and Marc Staal will surely be tossed around as the draft comes and goes.
No matter who it may be, if Gorton and the Rangers intend to improve their defense, they must make it financially possible first.