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Rangers Assign Schneider to AHL

Don’t panic; this is only a paper transaction for cap accrual purposes.

New York Rangers v Edmonton Oilers Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Following their 6-3 win over the Los Angeles Kings on Sunday, the New York Rangers announced that they have assigned defenseman Braden Schneider to AHL Hartford.

Schneider has been with the Rangers all season, so in the absence of additional context, this would seem very strange. But, of course, there is a good bit of additional context.

Given everything else going on, as the Rangers do all of the administrative work necessary to clear space for, presumably, the Chicago Blackhawks’ Patrick Kane, this is obviously a paper transaction to help the club accrue more cap space between now and its next game on Wednesday against the Philadelphia Flyers.

That also ties into why A) the Rangers recalled Ryan Carpenter from Hartford so he could dress for Sunday’s game, and B) he and Schneider basically didn’t play (Schneider took no shifts, while Carpenter took one for a grand total of 13 seconds). With Ryan Lindgren out after getting injured in Saturday’s loss to the Washington Capitals, and Jake Leschyshyn assigned to Hartford after passing through waivers, the Rangers were mandated by league rules to dress 18 players since they still had the space to do so. Hence, the Carpenter call-up. He and Schneider did not play because they need to stay healthy in order to be sent down to the AHL to allow the Rangers to bank cap space before they can acquire Kane.

Schneider’s cap hit ($925,000) is slightly higher than Carpenter’s ($750,000), meaning he helps the Rangers accrue slightly more cap space over the next couple of days. He is also exempt from waivers, meaning there’s no risk in another team claiming him before he gets sent to the AHL. Expect him to be called back up for Wednesday’s game, with Carpenter going back down at or before that point.

This also opens the door for the Kane trade to happen as early as Wednesday, meaning he could make his Rangers debut that evening if New York, Chicago, and a third-party facilitator are able to finalize the trade quickly that day.

Given all of the maneuvers of the past few days, it sure seems like the Rangers and Blackhawks (and a third team to retain another 25% of Kane’s cap hit) have a deal essentially in place, and are just waiting for New York to accrue the requisite cap space before officially pulling the trigger.

It’s been a bizarre chapter in Rangers land, but a resolution is quickly approaching.