In case you missed the news earlier today, the New York Rangers have bought out the contract of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk.
The 30 year old Shattenkirk was one of the most sought after free agents during the 2017 offseason and is now done as a Ranger, just two years into his four year agreement.
While the Rangers save over $5 million in cap space this upcoming season with Shattenkirk’s buyout, they get absolutely HAMMERED next season. Check out this breakdown of the buyout courtesy of CapFriendly:
Ouch… that hurts. Even worse though, the Rangers are STILL over the salary cap and still have unsigned restricted free agents Tony DeAngelo and Brendan Lemieux left to sign. Now, Rangers insider Brett Cyrgalis is reporting that the team could potentially trade 28 year old winger Chris Kreider and his $4.625 million contract as a way of managing the salary cap.
Check out this report from Cyrgalis’ most recent column for The New York Post:
Those start with their most attractive piece, Chris Kreider, entering the final year of his deal with a $4.625 million cap hit. Extending Kreider would probably cost a seven-year deal around $7 million per to reach market value. There could be smaller salary-shedding deals done in moving two other players entering their walk years in Vladislav Namestnikov ($4 million) and Ryan Strome ($3.1 million).
Interesting. For what it’s worth, Kreider will likely receive a ton of interest on the trade market, should Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton elect to go that route. The 6 foot, 3 inch, 220 pound power forward put up a career high 28 goals in 2018-19 and ended the season with 57 points in 79 games. Not bad, not bad at all.
As for suitors, the Columbus Blue Jackets, Philadelphia Flyers, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders all have the cap space to take on Kreider’s contract and could desperately use some size and skill on the wing. Stay tuned.