As the buyout window opens, there is a simple question on the minds of the New York Rangers fan base. Do they use it? With just two obvious bad deals on the roster at this moment, now would be the time to move one out the door via a buyout if the Rangers can’t find a suitable deal for someone to take on one of the two very expensive contracts for what they provide.
For those that don’t know what a buyout is, it’s quite simple. A team can get cap space by paying 1/3rd of a players remaining cap hit against the cap for double the amount of years remaining on the deal if the player is under the age of 26, or 2/3rds of the deal if they are over 26 but signed their deal before turning 35. There’s been a lot of talk about fans wanting to see a buyout for some cap flexibility.
We have to start with Barclay Goodrow. This is an interesting one because a buyout for Goodrow isn’t essential, but it may be a situation where no team is willing to pay to take on this contract and the Rangers are forced to buy him out of it in order to reclaim some of their cap space. What’s interesting is for the next 2 years, buying Goodrow out will actually help the team more than it hurts.
This is because the Rangers would actually get a cap credit. For those that don’t understand what this means, think of it as a negative cap hit essentially for two seasons. It’s not a lot, it’s $200k in year one and $100k in year two, but after that, it is going to become a little bit more problematic. Because Goodrow has 4 years left, Goodrow’s buyout cap hit will last for 8 years. It becomes problematic in the years after.
It starts in year 3 at $1,150,000. It goes north of $3.5 million in year four and drops below $1.3 million in the final four years. It’s an expensive buyout and it would bank on the cap increasing drastically in the coming seasons to negate the effect of that buyout. While it would make things easier this summer, it could affect things in the summer and that’s never a good thing.
While the Rangers captain is the type of player that every team wishes they had, there is little denying that his contract is completely destroying the team’s ability to ice a competitive roster. This isn’t a statement I make lightly. If he was overpaid by $1 million, you can live with that. The problem is, I’d argue he’s overpaid by as much as $6 million, and with his current cap hit of $8 million in a flat cap world, you can see why it’s a problem.
Trouba’s only got 3 years left so the 6 years of the buyout would be a little more friendly, but they wouldn’t get the cap credit at the beginning of the deal like they would with Goodrow. Instead, Trouba would cost $2,222,222 in years 1, 4, 5, and 6 of the buyout but $4,222,222 in years 2 and 3 and that could still be a major issue for the Blueshirts if they want to clear up cap space. It’s still $4 million more than they have, but it’s not ideal.
In the end, I think it’s fair to say that the Rangers need to consider everything to clear up some cap room. Neither buyout option here is great, but both clear up a little more room for flexibility moving into the summer. Whatever Drury does, there’s a problem. Whether it’s this year or kicking the can down the road, so we’ll have to see when he addresses this issue moving forward.