According to Pierre LeBrun, the Florida Panthers were also interested in acquiring Brady Skjei before yesterday’s deadline. (The Athletic)
LeBrun says that the issue between the Panthers and Rangers was that Florida wanted the Rangers to take a contract back that would have evened out the salaries and cap hits. (The Athletic)
As LeBrun notes, that didn’t work for a “Rangers team that was only dealing Skjei away for salary cap reasons after signing Chris Kreider to an extension and looking ahead to offseason, cap-related decisions.” (The Athletic)
As part of the talks, LeBrun thinks that the Panthers offered Mike Matheson, a 25-year old left shot defenseman that is in the second-year of an eight-year contract that has a cap hit of $4.875 million.
While speaking about trading Skjei, Jeff Gorton cited cap flexibility, a strong draft and the teams strength on defense organizationally as reasons for the move.
Adam Rotter: Since this was a salary dump, the Rangers weren’t going to take on any money, or at least any money that would have stayed on the cap past this season. Everything about the trade, down to the fact that they are getting the lower of Carolina’s two first-round picks, screams salary dump and a desire from the Rangers to go into the offseason without Skjei on the roster. Maybe Skjei could have been part of a bigger deal at the draft that netted the Rangers other assets than a first round pick, but the Rangers didn’t want to hold onto him and run the risk of injury, more inconsistent play or that hypothetical deal not materializing and Skjei still being on the roster come July 1. In the end, the Rangers were able to move Skjei, not retain any of his salary and get the first round pick they would have gotten had they traded Chris Kreider.