Making a case for the NY Rangers to trade Patrik Nemeth

NY Rangers, Patrik Nemeth (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NY Rangers, Patrik Nemeth (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The NY Rangers are easily in “win now” mode after a thrilling season that saw them get so close to making a Stanley Cup Finals appearance. Of course, things didn’t turn out the way we all wanted them to but it goes to show the Rangers have the foundation built to continue being a contender over the next few years.

The reality of the situation is for the Rangers to keep at it heading into next season, lots of changes need to be made, especially for salary cap purposes. As per Cap Friendly, the Rangers have about $10.2 million in projected cap space which is pretty tight in the grand scheme of things.

When it comes to free agency, expect to see plenty of rumors going around, especially around several players that were indeed a part of their playoff run last season that might be linked elsewhere. For the Rangers to be players in free agency in order to add a bit more depth to the roster, especially at forward, they should consider trading defenseman Patrik Nemeth.

NY Rangers could clear decent salary cap space by trading Patrik Nemeth

As of right now, trading away Nemeth could clear up a little over $2.5 million in salary cap space and the Rangers wouldn’t really have to worry about what he brought to the table. In 2021, Nemeth averaged about 16:38 average time on ice throughout the regular season and didn’t see any significant minutes in the NHL Playoffs.

Needless to say, he’s a decent veteran to have in the locker room but considering he didn’t do much last season with the Rangers, makes him expendable. He only totaled two goals, five assists, 102 blocks, and 115 hits. The Rangers can easily find another defenseman for depth in the last rounds of the 2022 NHL Draft.

They can use the salary cap relief to either try and re-sign their own upcoming free agents, sign new free agents, or give out some well-deserved contract extensions. It’ll be hard for the Rangers to keep both forward Andrew Copp and right winger Frank Vatrano as they’re both unrestricted free agents so the extra money by trading Nemeth could come in handy to try to keep at least one of these two stars.

Considering that Nemeth’s contract won’t break the bank for opposing teams means he should have some decent interest from other teams interested in acquiring his services. Either way, the Rangers won’t be losing much by trading him away and would get some valuable salary cap space back to work with this offseason.

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Not just any offseason for that matter, one that will keep that window of opportunity open for the Rangers in which hopefully, another NHL Playoff appearance is on the horizon this upcoming season. Moves like this to help free up some salary cap space will undoubtedly help the cause towards back-to-back appearances.