As we all know, the New York Ranger’s cap situation is dire. With just over $6 million in cap space available with two marquee-restricted free agents to bring back, there could be issues for the Blueshirts moving forward. However, on the opening of free agency, there was a contract signed out in Denver that could have a great impact on the Rangers and help them in a way I think Chris Drury was praying for.
I’m obviously talking about the Bowen Byram extension that was done. If you only follow the Rangers, Bowen Byram is one of the best young defensemen in the NHL. He was selected 4th overall in 2019 and was a core piece on the Colorado Avalanche team that won the Stanley Cup at the end of the 2021-22 season. He’s a year older than K’Andre Miller, but his extension sets the framework for a Miller deal in New York.
Or does it? It seems logical to point at a defenseman of similar quality and think that the Rangers could use him as a benchmark for what they are willing to sign their player for. Except, there’s a problem. In his career, Bowen Byram has recorded 15 goals and 28 assists for 43 points. Last season, K’Andre Miller had 9 goals and 34 assists for 43 points. Miller’s offense is just better than Byrams.
From here, both parties could argue multiple different things. Miller could dictate that his offensive upside means he’s worth more than Byram, or Drury and management could suggest that he’s older than Byram and therefore should be taking less. It’s a really difficult negotiation, and this is only if Miller himself is willing to sign in the short term. If he wants a longer-term deal, that cap hit is going to be much higher for someone of his age and quality.