The All-Star/Bye-Week Break could not have come at the worst time for Filip Chytil. Chytil has been playing his best hockey as a New York Ranger and has been scoring goals, which is great to see as a fan. We have all been waiting for Chytil to have this breakout and while he did show great signs during the playoffs, he is playing at the top of his game right now. The big question now for both the team and the player is what will his next contract look like this summer. If Chytil keeps playing like this, he could be playing himself out of New York.
Chytil currently has 29 points in 49 games and has scored a career-high 16 goals and counting this season. In his last 11 games played, Chytil has scored 8 goals and is looking to finish this season with career highs in each offensive category. He is well on his way to accomplishing that and it just happens t one contract year for him. He is coming off a 2-year, $2.3 million per year deal and will be looking for a raise in the offseason. Due to the likeliness of the salary cap not raising more than one million, the Rangers are going to have a problem trying to keep this player on the team.
The Rangers’ core group of players are all locked up for the foreseeable future and many of them have trade protections that allow them to control where they want to go if the Rangers wanted to trade them. They also have trade protections that allow them to not be traded at all. With the majority of the cap locked up, the Rangers also have other players to sign this summer. Both Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller will also need new contracts and could be a higher priority to the Rangers over Chytil. If that is the case, Chytil could be a trade piece this summer as the team could trade his rights to a team that can sign him, similar to Pavel Buchnevich.
While that would be a tough decision to make, the Rangers will simply not have enough money to sign all three players unless a major move is made. Reports over the past few weeks have stated that Chytil could be looking at a new deal for over $4 million per season. If the Rangers could fit that on their books, they would. The likely hood of that happening is very slim. Giving up on Chytil while he is truly starting to find his game would be hard to see, but management has its core and they are not going anywhere.
If Chytil takes less on a new deal, it would be a glorious day as it would allow the Rangers more flexibility. Hockey is a business and his agent is going to try to get the most money out of the Rangers or any team that signs him. When the Rangers return from the break, keep your eyes on Chytil. If he keeps playing at this level, it could be the last we see of him as a New York Ranger due to the salary cap.