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Report: Rangers will buy out Kevin Shattenkirk

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The axe has fallen

Columbus Blue Jackets v New York Rangers

Amidst great confusion about when the New York Rangers buyout window actually opens, reports began to surface on Twitter that general manager Jeff Gorton had elected to buy out the remaining two years of Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract. The story was first reported by Brett Cyrgalis of the New York Post.

Prior to this article’s publication, David Pagnotta reported that he has confirmed the buyout with Shattenkirk’s agent.

Just two seasons after the star defenseman took a discount to sign and play with his hometown team, the Rangers have opted to pay Shattenkirk not to play for them.

Shattenkirk was the Rangers’ prized free-agent acquisition during the summer of 2017, but things didn’t quite go according to plan after that. Shattenkirk was expected to lock down a top pairing spot with Ryan McDonagh at the time, but the two barely played four periods together before that plan went up in flames.

Then, just a few months into his new deal, Shattenkirk was shut down for the remainder of the 2017-2018 season after undergoing surgery to repair a torn meniscus in his left knee. A month after the injury, the Rangers announced their intent on rebuilding and began shipping out prominent players to recoup assets. It seemed like a never-ending circle of bad news for Shattenkirk during his time in New York, but despite all of the negatives, he still handled everything with class.

Shattenkirk closes out his Rangers career with seven goals, 44 assists and 51 points in 119 games played. One has to imagine he will soon sign elsewhere.

Financial Implications

It’s no secret the Rangers are in desperate need of cap space this season and the financial aspect of Shattenkirk’s buyout certainly helps that cause. Here are the official buyout numbers and how they will shape the Rangers salary cap structure over the next four years.

Following the Shattenkirk buyout, the Rangers will have just a touch under $2 million in cap space with Brendan Lemieux and Tony DeAngelo still needing new deals for next season. Shattenkirk will count for $1,483,333 against the cap this season, but will skyrocket back up $6,083,333 during the 2020-21 season.

That means that the Rangers will have $7,494,444 in dead cap space in the season after next. However, it’s important to note that the Rangers will have Chris Kreider, Vladislav Namestnikov, Jesper Fast, and Matt Beleskey coming off the books as pending UFAs at the end of this season. Following the 2020-21 season, the Rangers will carry $2,544,444 in total dead cap space for two years before Shattenkirk and Dan Girardi’s buyout penalties come off the books completely after the 2022-23 season.

The buyout itself will take place tonight after midnight.

We expect to have more on this story soon in the coming days. The Rangers are likely not creating cap space even after this buyout becomes official.

** All contract data and information is courtesy of CapFriendly.com