6:23PM: Larry Brooks writes that he expects the Rangers to buy out Shattenkirk before the buyout window ends. (NY Post)
He adds that the Rangers are not currently shopping Chris Kreider but they also haven’t had any discussions with him about a contract extension. (NY Post)
8:14AM:Following the Rangers signing of Pavel Buchnevich, to a two-year deal worth $3.25 million per season, the Rangers are $1.481 million over the salary cap with a 20 player roster that includes Matt Beleskey, Brendan Smith and Boo Nieves in Hartford.
The Rangers still have Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux as RFAs.
The Rangers will have a 48-hour buyout window that begins on Monday (7/29) and ends at 5PM on Wednesday (7/31).
The potential buyout cap hits for certain Rangers are:
Adam Rotter: All we know for sure is that the Rangers have to make moves and that players currently on the roster won’t be there come training camp. Who, whether it’s Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith, Vlad Namestnikov, Ryan Strome or Chris Kreider, or how, trade or buyout, we don’t yet know but we will likely have some answers in the next few days. We will know for sure whether anyone is being bought out by Wednesday but if the Rangers don’t go that route then they won’t be up against a deadline until they need to be under the cap to start the season.
In terms of ranking the players most likely not to be with the Rangers this season, I think it goes Brendan Smith, Vlad Namestnikov, Chris Kreider, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Strome and Marc Staal.
Smith and Namestnikov just don’t have spots on the Rangers at their current cap hits. Both could be veteran type guys and depth players but expensive depth players are the first ones to go when you are in a cap crunch like this. I think both could have value in trades with the Rangers retaining money but there just aren’t a lot of potential trade partners right now. With few trade partners and a need to clear some money the buyout route, despite the dead money on the cap, might be the easiest way for the Rangers to get out of this jam.
As I’ve said before, I think that the Rangers fully intended to keep and re-sign Chris Kreider when they held onto him at the deadline but that Kaapo Kakko and Artemi Panarin threw a wrench into that. Kreider is almost certain to be dealt prior to training camp unless he leaves significant money on the table to stay with the Rangers. There is no need to bring a rental like Kreider to training camp and go through the same situation that they went through with Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello last year. They won’t get the same kind of package they would have gotten at last year’s deadline, and things may be limited by Kreider’s no-trade clause, but it will be better than another potential post-trade deadline swoon or letting him go for nothing.
Kevin Shattenkirk doesn’t exactly have a spot on the roster either, with Jacob Trouba, Adam Fox and Tony DeAngelo, but a buyout and sticking $6 million in dead cap space on the roster for next season just pushes the potential cap problems of this season into next season. It’s no lock that he stays with the Rangers for this season but I’d say that the odds are in his favor.