Rangers plan TWO contract buyouts because of “salary-cap hell”

They can’t find a trade partner for them and need to make room!

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The New York Rangers made a splash at the start of the summer, trading for defenseman Jacob Trouba and signing the most coveted free agent forward in Artemi Panarin, however, they have been quiet ever since. 

That’s because things aren’t going so well… 

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports the Rangers still lack sufficient salary-cap space to re-sign Trouba and restricted free agents Pavel Buchnevich, Brendan Lemieux, and Anthony DeAngelo. While they first thought it’d be possible to trade defensemen Kevin Shattenkirk and Brendan Smith, they have yet to find any takers unless they take back an onerous contract in return. They haven’t found a club willing to take Vladislav Namestnikov’s $4 million salary-cap hit either. 

Therfore, Brooks believes the Rangers have no other choice but to consider contracts buyouts. 

That’s right. Plural. No typo here. 

While they would probably prefer to avoid the added dead-cap space in buying out Shattenkirk and Smith, it seems like it might be the only way to shed some money off the cap. But the way Shattenkirk’s contract is structured, they won’t get much cap relief in 2020-21. If a contract buyout is the way to go, Brooks suggest trading Shattenkirk to the Los Angeles Kings for Dustin Brown and buying out the latter. That way, the Rangers would receive more savings from that than they would from a Shattenkirk buyout. However, Brown holds a seven-team  “no-trade” list and why would he waive it to go to a team that will buy him out?!

We would like to think that the Rangers have had a plan all along for this. They probably didn’t just blindly pursue Panarin and acquire Trouba…

However, they better prove us right in the coming weeks…