Following the Rangers signings yesterday, CapFriendly says that the Rangers have $6.1 million in cap space.
The roster CapFriendly is using has all of the players signed yesterday, except Brouillard.
The Rangers still have to sign Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller.
Adam Rotter: The roster is just about set and Chris Drury went about filling out all the depth and bottom six roles with a bunch of low-risk signings that all came in under $1 million.
Blake Wheeler and Nick Bonino are the only forwards signed yesterday that are basically guaranteed a spot and the rest of Pitlick, Belzile and Riley Nash will likely battle to be the 12th/13th forward. We saw at the trade deadline how every single dollar mattered, but there isn’t a major difference in cap hits between those three forwards and Will Cuylle and Brennan Othmann. Cuylle and Othmann will push for spots in training camp or during the season and could offset some of the veteran additions with some more youth.
Zac Jones only makes a little bit more than Connor Mackie as Jones will likely battle newly signed Erik Gustafsson, and/or Ben Harpur for the spot next to Braden Schneider.
Now the question is how long and for how much K’Andre Miller and Alexis Lafreniere sign for. The Rangers should have enough space to get both signed without any issues or any other moves. With Miller, Bowen Byram signed a two-year deal worth $3.85 million with Colorado and the Oilers are planning to bridge Evan Bouchard, so a bridge is likely the route that they will go with Miller. I’d guess that it will come in at somewhere in the neighborhood of two-years and between $3.5 million and $4 million. Alexis Lafreniere will come in somewhere between $2.2 and $2.5 million on a two-year deal and, based upon the exact construction of which depth players are on the roster then the Rangers should get in under the cap.
But there likely won’t be much money under the cap to make any other move. Tyler Motte is almost certainly not going to return and the Rangers prized short-term deals worth under $1 million rather than tying up more than $1 million on a likely multi-year deal. But maybe Motte only signs another one-year deal somewhere at the end of the summer and the Rangers can just bring him back at the trade deadline….again. There is also a question of whether adding Nick Bonino and that trio of depth players makes Barclay Goodrow either available or expendable to a degree to free up more space. My guess is that the Rangers want Goodrow around and that he fits the “work” mentality that Peter Laviolette is trying to instill. Goodrow can also, like Wheeler, swing up and down the lineup to fill in different spots. And it would seem that the only reason to free up that space would be to have it available and ready to use in the fall when Patrick Kane is ready to sign a deal and return.