The Rangers and Mark Staal have been in contract talks for a long while now, and it looks like it’s going to come down to the wire. However, if the Blueshirts are unable to lock him up by the trade deadline, Glenn Sather will be looking to ship him off. Estimates from around the NHL say that Staal will be worth aroun $6 million plus, per year. Anton Stralman, who the Rangers let go in the offseason, signed a deal worth about $4.5 mil a year. That’s probably what the Rangers will be looking for to extend Staal’s deal, 4 or 5 years about $5 mil a year. Staal would command a huge return if the Rangers were to trade him, getting a possible first line two way defenseman in his prime in this league is rare. Expect the Rangers to look for at least one first round pick in return.
The reason this keeps happening is because right now the Rangers are in salary cap hell. At the moment we’re operating $65,628 below the salary cap. That’s the regular persons equivalent of having about less than $50 left in your bank account (I’m in salary cap hell right now then I guess). They have a few ways in which they can save money, the first would be to send Anthony Duclair down, which would save them $838,000 in cap space. They wouldn’t be able to bring him up again until next year though so that’s the downside. Another option would be to to send J.T. Miller down to Hartford, which would save the team $959,000. The only problem is that recently J.T. Miller has come on strong and Duclair hasn’t played as well. It’s going to be a Sophie’s Choice for Sather, but the Rangers are going to need at least some space for the deadline.
The problem right now is that we don’t know what the cap is going to be for next season. The logical moves to make would be to trade away Staal and Zuccarello in order to lock up Stepan and Haglin long term. The only thing that sucks about this is that it would really hurt our chances of contending this year. But when you’re in a position the Rangers are in, sacrifices have to be made. here’s some things I think the Rangers will do in the near future.
1) Trade Staal and Zuccarello (separately) to dump cap space and to load up on draft picks and add depth defensively.
2) Lock up Stepan to a long term deal. Look for about 6 million per year for Step. He’s our #1 Center and we need to lock that up.
3) Re-sign St. Louis, convince him to take a pay cut (around 2.5-3.5 million)
4) Try and lock up Haglin long term. He’s a RFA at somewhere around $2.5 mil a year, if we could sign him to a long deal around that number that would save a lot of money down the road.
5) Sign Brad Richards. He only signed a 1 year deal in Chi-town so he’ll be a free agent again this offseason. He loves New York and he could come back on a short deal around 2 million and be a big contributor as a role player.
6) Sign another defender in the offseason who will be cheaper than Staal because we need another short term band aid until our you defenders are ready. That’s what Dan Boyle is supposed to be doing but he can’t keep himself on the ice
So there you go Glenn my boy, I just did your job for you.
What do you guys think? Leave us your suggestions in the comments section