The Rangers traded Marc Staal, his $5.7 million cap hit, and a 2021 Second-Round pick to Detroit on Saturday in exchange for Future Considerations.
The Rangers, according to Cap Friendly, have just over $20 million in cap space with Ryan Strome, Phil Di Giuseppe, Brendan Lemieux, Tony DeAngelo and Alex Georgiev as RFAs and Jesper Fast as a pending UFA.
The Draft begins on October 6th and Free Agency begins on October 9th.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers made this move to clear cap space and including a second round pick and not getting an actual return shows that they were very motivated to do it. Why? That we don’t know just yet, but cap space allows for flexibility and the Rangers can use it to go down a few different roads. One thing we can say for pretty sure is that the Rangers won’t use this new cap space to get involved with Alex Pietrangelo, Torey Krug or any high priced defenseman. They have to figure out what they want to do with Tony DeAngelo, keep long-term, keep short-term, one-year deal/arbitration or trade him. DeAngelo could likely shift to the left side but with his defensive struggles on the right side, that may not be appealing. Even with the roster spot opened, likely, for Libor Hajek or K’Andre Miller, the Rangers will almost certainly sign some cheap veteran defensemen for depth.
The offseason is only just beginning for the Rangers and they still have Henrik Lundqvist’s situation to resolve and decisions to make on the future of Ryan Strome. Strome’s new contract will likely cost somewhere close to the amount they just cleared from Staal, but the Rangers need to decide if they want to move forward with Strome or go in another direction at center behind Mika Zibanejad.