New York Rangers: A Henrik Lundqvist buyout scenario

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Henrik Lundqvist #30 of the New York Rangers (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

How the New York Rangers could get out from Lundqvist’s salary cap hit

With all of the talk about the flat salary cap and with teams planning for next season, buyouts are becoming more of an option. It’s getting more and more apparent that Henrik Lundqvist will be be bought out. With an $8.5 million cap hit, the New York  Rangers simply cannot afford to keep him.

With about $13.5 million in cap space next season the team will be hard pressed to sign Ryan Strome, Tony DeAngelo, Brendan Lemieux and Alexandar Georgiev. their four Restricted Free Agents (RFA’s). , All four are eligible for arbitration and with DeAngelo and Strome coming off career years, they will be looking at big paydays.  It’s not unreasonable to imagine them asking for and getting north of $5 million each next season, leaving the team with very little flexibility.

Buyouts are a bad idea.  Next season, the Rangers already have $7.5 million in dead cap space, mostly due to the $6.1 million that they are paying Kevin Shattenkirk.  It’s scary to think that they are still paying Dan Girardi over a million dollars as part of his buyout over three years ago.

Add in $5.5 million for Lundqvist and the team would have $13 million in dead cap space next season. That’s 16% of the total $81.5 million cap hit.  Those are crazy numbers and the lone consolation is that number would drop to “only” $4 million in 2021-22.

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