With Tampa Bay’s win over Montreal on Wednesday the 2020-21 NHL season is officially over.
The NHL’s Critical Dates calendar includes:
- The first buyout period begins: July 9
- The Seattle Expansion Draft: July 21
- NHL Draft: July 23, 24
- Free Agency: July 28
Tony DeAngelo will be bought out by the Rangers during the first buyout period.
The buyout will save the Rangers $4.4 million in cap space but create dead cap hits for the next two seasons of (CapFriendly):
- 2021-22: $383,333
- 2022-23: $883,333
One of Brett Howden, Julien Gauthier, Colin Blackwell or Kevin Rooney will be the seventh of seven protected forwards with the other three being left unprotected and eligible to be selected by Seattle. Anthony Bitetto and Keith Kinkaid are also expected to be unprotected.
The Rangers will have the 15th overall pick and then picks in the third round (2), fourth round (3) and fifth, sixth and seventh rounds.
The Rangers, as of now, are slated to have $23.7 million in cap space with the following unsigned players:
- RFA: Pavel Buchnevich, Julien Gauthier, Brett Howden, Filip Chytil, Libor Hajek and Igor Shesterkin
- UFA: Phil Di Giuseppe, Brendan Smith
The cap space number should jump to just over $27 million after DeAngelo is bought out.
Adam Rotter: It has been about two months since the Rangers season ended, a few weeks since Gerard Gallant was hired and still no real indication what direction the Rangers will take this offseason. That should begin change in the coming days and certainly coming weeks as the big events of the offseason get underway.
Vladimir Tarasenko of St. Louis has requested a trade and the Rangers have been mentioned as a possible destination, but that seems far fetched. The Rangers have enough scoring and enough wingers and he doesn’t really fill a need, especially as someone coming off multiple surgeries and with a big cap hit.
Jack Eichel will remain a possibility as long as he remains a Sabre, but the feeling continues to be that he will next suit up for a team in the West.
A lot has been made of some pending UFAs that just competed for the Stanley Cup: Montreal center Phillip Danault and Tampa Bay’s Barclay Goodrow and Blake Coleman. All would fit the Rangers need to become more experienced and tougher to play against, but pretty much every team in the league will be after those guys and I’m not sure the Rangers are going to ante up to sign them. Corey Perry, who has played for the loser in the past two Stanley Cup Finals would be an interesting choice as a physical bottom-six veteran, but I imagine he will look to join a team closer to contention.
So where will the changes come for the Rangers? Via trade. Chris Drury has a wealth of assets from the 15th overall pick this year to prospects and young players. Which assets, prospects or players will be moved and for who? That is what we will soon find out.