The Canucks decision to buy out Ryan Spooner has implications for the Rangers salary cap

The Rangers have $600k of additional cap space to work with on July 1

Today, the Vancouver Canucks bought out the last year of Ryan Spooner’s contract.

Because the New York Rangers retained some of Spooner’s salary in the trade that brought Ryan Strome to New York, Vancouver’s decision to buy the veteran forward out of the last year of his contract has a direct impact on the Rangers’ salary cap situation for the next two seasons.

Initially, the Rangers had $900,000 of dead cap space for the 2019-20 season. Now, that retained salary has changed to $300,000 spread across the next two seasons. In other words, general manager Jeff Gorton has $600,000 more in cap space heading into July 1 than he thought he was going to have. But $300,000 of the Rangers’ cap will be occupied by Spooner for an additional season.

Furthermore, per, the Rangers are once again able to retain the salaries of three players in trades. The Canucks’ decision to buy-out Spooner has erased that retained salary from the Rangers’ books.

This could very well be the end of Spooner’s NHL career. The Rangers acquired the mercurial forward as part of the deal that sent Rick Nash to the Boston Bruins at the 2018 trade deadline. Spooner made a big first impression in New York by putting up 16 points in 20 games at the end of last season, but failed to win the trust and confidence of David Quinn back in October. Gorton sent Spooner to the Oilers on Nov. 16, 2018 just five months after signing him to a two-year deal with a $4 million AAV.

Editor’s note: The first publication of the story erroneously stated that the Edmonton Oilers had bought out Spooner. That has been corrected.