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Rangers in curious cap situation after re-signing Brassard

Jul 28, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

Glen Sather, Jim Dolan Getty Images

The New York Rangers perked up a few eyebrows on Sunday when they re-signed restricted free agent forward Derick Brassard to a five-year, $25 million deal.

While he was a great contributor to the Rangers’ Stanley Cup Final run last season on the third line, some have wondered if he’s worth that kind of pay out. That debate is there to be had, but the effect it has on the Rangers’ salary cap is what may have fans stressing out all season.

The Rangers have one more restricted free agent left to re-sign — defenseman John Moore. Larry Brooks of the New York Post said if he comes in at around $1 million, the Rangers could be looking at around $1.3 million in cap space. That would happen if Chris Mueller and Matt Hunwick start the season in the AHL. As it is right now, according to CapGeek.com, they have $1.33 million in cap space to get Moore signed.

Walking that kind of salary tightrope means GM Glen Sather will have to be shrewd with call-ups. It also puts some of the other signings this summer under the microscope. Tanner Glassthree-year, $4.35 million deal with a $1.45 million cap hit stands out especially since he’s likely going to play the fourth line or not at all.

If there’s a bright side here it’s that the players battling for the final spots on the roster all come in with similar cap numbers.

Jesper Fast ($805K), J.T. Miller ($894,167), and Mueller ($600K) will battle up front while Mike Kostka ($650K) and Hunwick ($600K) will fight for the seventh defenseman job. That means coach Alain Vigneault can pick and choose out of this bunch without stressing too much about what it’ll do to the cap. Still, the Rangers are pushing the limit and not having that flexibility can cause problems if/when injuries arise.

  1. raleighcaniac - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:19 AM

    No cap space = screwed come playoff time to offset injuries with quality rent-a-players.

    • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:29 AM

      They didn’t have any cap space last year – it didn’t seem to get in their way.

      • thesportsjudge - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:46 AM

        Maybe(I don’t follow NYR that closely) but they had the “Get out of (cap) jail ‘free” card which they used.

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:55 AM

        If you mean the buyout of Richards – they used that because they were concerned Richards would retire before the end of his contract. That would have been a massive cap hit.

      • 950003cups - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:20 AM

        At some point, rags fans gotta start pointing to that $8.5 cap hit for Lundqvist.

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:43 AM

        Price of doing business. Lundqvist is an elite goalie and he got paid for that.

        The problem isn’t Lundqvist – it’s that the Rangers have a lot of very good, young talent that all came up at the same time and has all gotten expensive at the same time.

      • maddo305 - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:45 AM

        Rangers did what they needed to do in the offseason…they will win the Metropolitan Division and be among the final 4 in my view. Talk about regretting a bad contract, look for Devils to be out it by December and still lamenting the Kovi contract that kicked their franchise and Captain (Parise) to the curb…

    • lightning79 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:14 PM

      The team trading the “rent-a-player” Can always hold some salaries in trades…. With the new CBA anything is possible with just a little imagination lol

  2. goodolejr - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:24 AM

    I can’t help but laugh every time I see Sather with that cigar hanging out of his mouth. He looks like someone’s grandpa who spends most of his time frightening his grand children with war stories.

    I’m ignoring the issue at hand because as a Flyers fan, being in cap hell is normal and, well, I’m glad other teams in our division are hurting as well. (though arguably not as bad as us)

    • esracerx46 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:54 AM

      He’s not smoking it cuz you can’t anymore. Just chewing on it, which is even more disgusting.

      • goodolejr - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:39 AM

        Yeah, my grandfather does that. He’ll smoke it until he goes somewhere that he can’t and will just keep it in his mouth. Old guys just don’t give a damn haha

  3. chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:28 AM

    The cap situation is what it is – but given how light the Rangers are up the middle throughout the organization the Brassard deal had to happen. If he had hit the open market after this season it would have cost more to re-sign him going forward.

    It does make me wonder if maybe the Rangers are going to trade John Moore before the season starts and use someone like Connor Allen or Dylan McIlrath on the third pair with Kevin Klein.

    • geejon - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:51 AM

      Absolutely no reason to trade a guy like John Moore. He’s a steady 3rd pair d-man and his cap hit this year will only be a couple hundred grand more than their 7th d-man. If Allen or McIIrath show in camp that their game has taken a step up and AV thinks one of them can handle playing on the 3rd pair, then I can see either Klein ($3mil) or Staal ($4mil) being traded and several million in cap space being opened up.

      AV wants one lefty and one righty on each pair so which one would get moved would depend on whether its Allen (lefty) or McIIrath (righty) showing they’re ready.

      Either way a decision will have to be made on Staal since he’s an UFA next year. If Allen can step up it would make life much easier for the team. They can receive a pretty decent haul for Staal in addition to playing a guy making millions less, giving the team additional maneuverability. There’s no chance Sather keeps him past the trade deadline unsigned because the offers he’ll receive from other teams will exceed even whatever it is his agent will be asking from the Rangers. That’s how it goes in UFA. His days as a Ranger are probably numbered.

      • chip56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:03 AM

        Staal is an interesting issue. He’s a lot like Callahan in that the Rangers will try to sign him during the season but if they’re not close together by the deadline I could see him moved.

        Maybe you’re right about Klein rather than Moore, but I think they could move Moore because he has more value and could help them restock their system a bit more than Klein would.

      • DED - Jul 28, 2014 at 2:52 PM

        @geejon: I agree with you that Klein is more likely to go than Moore. Can’t see a third line defenseman making $2.9 mil/year. He’s been an ok player for the Rangers. Nashville gave him the contract. The Rangers were able to absorb it last year. Now? Not so much. I see Sather trading him for draft picks to free up space. If he winds up a healthy scratch for a good chunk of the season, waivers? I forget what the cap rules are for that.

        Staal has already expressed interest in getting a new contract done sooner rather than later. I’d like to see him stay, but after the Girardi deal, I have to wonder if Sather’s played his hand and intends to trade him for a UFA rental come trade deadline.

        For the record, Girardi is 30 and signed through 2020 with a modified NTC. Staal will be 28 in September.

      • maddo305 - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:49 AM

        Mama Staal wants all her boys in Carolina….it’s just a matter of time when Marc joins the others…it might as well be a trade that helps both sides…because we won’t be able to give him $5M a year…and as I said whatever Mama Staal wants…she gets.

      • nebbah306 - Jul 29, 2014 at 10:30 AM

        I may be in the minority, but I thought that Klein, at times, was the Rangers 4th best d-man in the playoffs, behind MacD, Staal, and Strahlman. If the Rangers are going to lose Staal, which I think is a major possibility, they will hold onto Klein. I’d love to try and trade Staal to Carolina for someone decent.

    • gimmethecreeps - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:45 AM

      God Dylan mcilrath, I wish this kid would pan out. Feel like he’s gonna be a bust at this point though. Connor Allen looked pretty good last year imo.

  4. spezzdispenser - Jul 28, 2014 at 9:32 AM

    not surprising… Sather’s never been much of a whiz when it comes to signing players

    • billiam55 - Jul 28, 2014 at 4:55 PM

      true. hes better at trades.

  5. islandmike1 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:19 AM

    Is the cap going up this year?

    • 950003cups - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:24 AM

      The cap celing is $69,000,000 for the year. If you’re an isles fan, it’s important to also include that the cap floor is $51,000,000. Both set for 2014/2015

      • lightning79 - Jul 28, 2014 at 12:16 PM

        LOL Good one!! #SnowMustGo

      • maddo305 - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:53 AM

        The isles will finish higher in the standings…and draw more fans than NJD when they move to Brooklyn.

  6. rainyday56 - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:33 AM

    Surprised they did not save some room to sign former AV fave and lover Aaron Rome.

  7. nyrnashty - Jul 28, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    I guess Kane and Toews are worth the money when Brassard get’s 5/25 LOL!

  8. bleedrangerblue - Jul 28, 2014 at 7:09 PM

    Cap hit for Lundquist? Are you crazy? If anything you should have mentioned
    Nash. Well you still can with your other log in name….. Defense

  9. bcisleman - Jul 28, 2014 at 10:01 PM

    Only way NYR sign Moore is if they go w/ 13 Fs and 8 D. Trading Moore would seem more likely, but who knows what Slats will do?

  10. nashernation - Jul 28, 2014 at 11:26 PM

    Every team teeters at the cap.. Don’t get this post? Brassard signing 5 million isn’t a shocker. The Blue Shirts don’t have much depth at the center position and in 5 years something tells me 5mill is a bargain. Tanner Glass wasn’t an overpay. He will be a solid 4th liner. Stempniack at 900k a year was a steal. I think Sather did a nice job this off season.

    • maddo305 - Jul 29, 2014 at 7:57 AM

      Need some more sandpaper come playoff time…I wanted Shawn Thornton not Glass….we’ll see who’s around at the deadline I guess.

      • gimmethecreeps - Jul 30, 2014 at 6:51 AM

        Shawn Thornton is a useless thug with no talent. I’d rather had steve downie. Kid was mean, and I think with AV he could get close to a 20 goal season again…

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