The New York Rangers finishing the regular season tied with the most points, at 109 points with the St. Louis Blues was pretty impressive. Now in the playoffs they face a deciding game seven versus Ottawa.
The team’s financial situation is also interesting. After all, they have the NHL’s highest paid player in Brad Richards. With an eye towards the future, we will break down the salaries of Rangers players and any impending financial flexibility.
The Rangers have a unique balance of contracts that serves the team well. Maybe the Rangers will soon be hoisting a Stanley Cup and that will make everything worth it. Nevertheless, we proceed to the salary cap situation in New York.
Cap Space and Highest-Paid Players
Overall, the financial situation is quite nice for the New York Rangers. While they have a few of the highest-paid players in the NHL, they’re under the cap and still maintain some flexibility for the next few years.
According to SportsCity and NHLNumbers.com, the Rangers are sitting at just over $62 million for 2011-12. With a salary cap of $64.3 million, it’s assuring for Rangers fans that they are under the cap with their strong core of players intact.
They’re not going anywhere, either. While Brad Richards ($12 million, the highest in the league), Marian Gaborik ($7.5 million) and Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875 million) are a few of the top-paid players in the league, they are all locked in until at least the 2013-14 season. Ryan Callahan and Derek Stepan, two 50-point players this season, are locked in until at least 2012-13. The latter is a deal at $0.875 million.
For any sports team, cap flexibility is an important asset. A contender like the Rangers could easily make a few key additions to focus in on another strong season, next year.
While many of their core players will stay in a New York uniform, which is a good thing, there are some expiring contracts that give way to more flexibility. Most notable is the welcomed departure of Sean Avery, who is costing the Rangers $4 million in salary cap space.
A handful of other players will become unrestricted free agents as well, following the 2011-12 season. Interestingly, the only one (other than Avery) that exceeds $1 million in salary is Ruslan Fedotenko, who is receiving $1.4 million this year. With his 20-point, -7 plus/minus season, he could be another player let go by the Rangers.
With these two subtractions and a handful of others, the current and future salary cap space could help the Rangers become an even stronger team. The Rangers’ overall impressive play (187 allowed goals is third-best in NHL) and 109-point season are reasons enough to be excited. However, when Rangers fans start thinking about possible offseason with the available cap space, things could get interesting.
Will one of the league’s best get even better? Numbers don’t lie – and they are certainly pointing in the direction of the New York Rangers. Keep tabs on their financials and moves to see what develops.