When the Rangers traded Michal Rozsival for Wojtek Wolski, they took on a contract identical in length (one remaining year after this season), but at a $1.2 million discount. Using CapGeek’s daily tracker, the Rangers bank an extra $6,000 per day towards this year’s trade deadline (using the formula of salary / 186 day regular season). That is roughly an extra $288,000 the Rangers can use at the deadline on a pro-rated contract if they want to make a splash at the deadline (for more on banking space, refer to my post yesterday.
For the first time in a long time, the Rangers have the cap space to make a deal without having to send salary the other way. As of now, the Rangers can take on$10.3 million in full season cap space at the trade deadline. Sure, many are going to cringe at "what Glen Sather can do", but let’s actually think about this rationally for a second. Sather has been masterful with his trades, this one included, so what exactly are you fearing? Slats isn’t going to sacrifice the youth movement for someone who fills a hole. Slats will move spare parts or expendable prospects for someone that will fill that hole, perhaps that hole is a puck moving defenseman. Last I checked, the Panthers will be sellers. Last I checked, Bryan McCabe has an expiring contract too. I’m not saying anything here, I’m just speculating that he might be a good fit.
As for next year, it gives the Rangers an extra $1.2 million to work with under the summer cap (10% increase over the salary cap). This extra space is critical, because Wade Redden ($6.5 million) comes back for the summer cap. With Alex Frolov ($3 million), Vinny Prospal ($1.08 + bonuses), Ruslan Fedotenko ($1 million), and Steve Eminger ($1.125) set to become free agents, it leaves open roster spots for a big time center. Naturally, all rumors will point to Brad Richards here, and for good reason. He would be a good summer acquisition (he’s not coming at the deadline folks). Other big names this offseason will include Alex Semin and Andrei Markov (Markov would look great in blue). Extra cap space goes a long way in today’s game, and the Rangers actually have some room to spare.