This summer is extremely painful for the New York Rangers. With several major holes in the lineup and no clear way to fill them due to the cap constraints pressed against the roster, there are a lot of issues moving money around to address the holes that exist on this roster. With several major pieces needing new deals through restricted free agency and others having the ability to walk into the unrestricted free agent market, it’s a difficult summer.
Currently, the salary cap is projected to be at $83.5 million next season. New York has a projected $11 million in space according to CapFriendly. This is without a backup goalie, two defensemen, and several forwards. Considering that Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller are going to be restricted free agents, it’s going to be a difficult fit to build this roster ahead of next season.
I’ve already talked about the rumors swirling around the head of Barclay Goodrow and that really isn’t his fault. This organization is in such a hole when it comes to creating space because all of the major money earners are either too good to move, like Adam Fox, or have no move clauses, like literally everybody else. Goodrow isn’t the worst deal on the team and he’s likely the one that is going to have to go to make room for the Rangers moving forward.
Panarin makes $11,642,857 a year, Zibanejad makes $8.5 million, Kreider makes $6.5 million, and Trocheck makes $5.625 million. All four have no-movement clauses meaning the Rangers cannot move any of these players without the player signing off on it. Seeing as the odds of that happening are slim to none, that is $32,267,857 against the cap in just four guys. That’s not that bad for the points totals they put up.
On the back end, Adam Fox makes $9.5 million and that is more than justified. Jacob Trouba makes $8 million and that really is the problem contract. Ryan Lindgren makes $3 million and Schneider is still on his entry-level deal. If they had that extra 8 million to move around the roster, you can’t help but feel this would be a better place for the Blueshirts management but Trouba’s no-movement clause means that isn’t happening.
This cap crunch was inflicted by the previous management core. Gorton signed that Trouba deal and most of the other ones, Trocheck aside. It means that Drury has been left in a really difficult situation in terms of filling out the rest of the roster and it isn’t his fault. Drury gets a lot of flack, but he’s actually done a good job given the hurdles that were left for him when he arrived.