5:27PM: Apparently the Rangers buyout window does not OPEN until 12:01AM on Thursday.
(ii) For Clubs who have Club or Player elected Salary Arbitration filings pursuant to Article 12, within the forty-eight (48) hour period beginning on the third day following the later of: (i) the Club’s receipt of its last salary arbitration award; or (ii) settlement of its last case (provided such award was received or such settlement occurred prior to 7:00 p.m. New York time; awards or settlements that occurred or were received at or after 7:00 p.m. New York time will be deemed to have occurred or received the following business day for purposes of this provision).
5:18PM: The Rangers buyout window has ended with no activity
The 48-hour buyout window the Rangers had because of Jacob Trouba and Pavel Buchnevich’s arbitration filing has closed without any activity. Kevin Shattenkirk, Brendan Smith, Marc Staal and Vlad Namestnikov were all possible buyouts and would have added the following cap hits if they were bought out: The Rangers remain $3.25 million over the $81.5 million salary cap with a 22 player roster that still has to sign Brendan Lemieux and Tony DeAngelo. Chris Kreider’s name is reportedly “everywhere” in trade talks as he enters the final year of his contract. Namestnikov ($4 million and a UFA to be) and Ryan Strome ($3.1 million and an RFA to be) are forwards that could possibly be moved to clear space. According to the CBA the Rangers have until “the day following the last day of Training Camp” to be in compliance with the salary cap. Adam Rotter: Now, officially, we can close the book on potential buyouts for this summer and know for sure that the Rangers will be making trades to get under the cap. Am I surprised the Rangers didn’t buy anyone out? Yes and no. Part of the reason the Rangers are in this salary cap bind is because of their previous buyout of Dan Girardi and because the salary cap hasn’t risen as high as the league, or anyone, hoped. The hope was that the increase in the cap from year to year would be somewhat of a wash with the dead space they had. No one is expecting a big cap increase next summer and with uncertainty around what the next CBA will bring, the Rangers didn’t seem interested in adding the extra years to their cap that a buyout would. I thought there was a benefit to buying out Namestnikov because it would have been big savings this year and only $1.3 million against the cap next year, but the Rangers must feel they can move him in some sort of deal. They will almost surely have to retain salary to make a deal happen but that would only be for this season. Kevin Shattenkirk is going to start the season with the Rangers and likely play more minutes than many want him to. The Rangers will give him a chance to play in the top-four and see some PP time with the hope that he can build up his trade value. The Rangers could also sit Shattenkirk for stretches and see him ask for a trade but my guess is that the Rangers won’t go that route unless he struggles mightily or Adam Fox and/or Tony DeAngelo prove they are ready for bigger roles. With Shattenkirk, it won’t be so much of where he starts the season but more of where he finishes it. Brendan Smith is likely ticketed to Hartford and possibly a buyout next summer when it will be cheaper and only cost the Rangers $783,000 in dead space for 2021-22. Injuries or players like Libor Hajek or Adam Fox needing time in Hartford could see Smith with the Rangers at times, but his time with the Rangers in a regular role is likely over. Ryan Strome could be moved but I think the Rangers would prefer he center the second line and be a veteran in the middle of possibly two rookies. That really just leaves Chris Kreider and the belief that his time with the Rangers is over. They can move him for some futures, nearly any deal the Rangers make will have to be for futures because they can’t add any cap space, and move on knowing that, while losing Kreider is tough, they are ultimately a better team because of the moves they made.