There’s a lot to like with Alexis LafreniereThere is a growing call for ranger people K’Andre Miller to lock in long term. Lafreniere is difficult to close long-term, as is giving Miller a long-term deal. The question isn’t whether Rangers should do it, it’s whether they can afford to do so.
Rangers Cap Outlook
Rangers Cap Outlook Not great for next season. He currently has $18.4 million in cap space next season with the needs of a backup goalkeeper, three defensemen, and least 7 onwards. Let’s boost the cap ceiling by $1 million, giving the Blueshirts $19.4 million to roster. This is $19.4 million for 11 roster spots. Suddenly, locking down Miller long term isn’t as easy as once thought.
This compounding is what Rangers need to re-sign. Miller and Lafrenier are big names, but don’t discount Philip Chitil, which leads to a huge bump if he stays with the team. there also zack jones and Vitaly Kravtsov, and both if making the roster and contributing to tertiary scoring, are likely to double their current cap hits on bridge deals.
Sammy Blass likely to be re-signed, if only because there are some similarities and stubbornness Chris DruryThe main business goals are to let it run (see: Hajek, LIBOR). It’s a bit of a double-edged sword, however, as Blais’s re-signing means he probably didn’t produce much, so the Rangers can afford him, but that salary is an overpayment. If it meets expectations, it may not even be affordable.
To narrow it down even further, we can estimate some players/position salaries:
- Backup goalkeeper: $1 million
- Jones (or Nils Lundqvist): $1.5 million
- Kravtsov (or a different 3RW): $1.5 million
- Brennan Othman (3LW): $894K
- Blass: $1.75 million (?)
- Lafrenier: $3 million (?)
- Hunt/Carpenter/Comparable Replacement: $1.5 million total
- Hajek/7D: $1 million
Without factoring in Chittil or Miller, and potentially being light on Lafrenier’s next deal, Rangers are looking at ~$12.14 million spent on the 9 players mentioned above. Of course, only Miller and Chitil players are left.
Chitil is the wild card here, as his production will carry over to his next contract. He will receive a qualifying offer of $2.6 million, but it is unlikely that he will sign it. Very early Chitillo is in the contract estimates About 3 years and $4.5 million, There are a number of variables that can bring this number up or down, but it seems to hold true for a young arbitable mid-six center with the maximum range shown by him.
We’ll talk about Chitil’s future with the Rangers in a separate post, stay tuned.
But for the position, let’s use $4 million as 3C salary. That’s $16.14 million of the $19.4 million spent before potentially signing Miller long term. Miller is not signing a long-term deal worth $3.3 million. Again very early estimates have Miller long term expansion in the range of $5 million over 6 years.
Unless there’s a big boost in cap ceilings, the Rangers are at least $2 million short. And that’s not accounting for the highlights of Lafreniere’s next deal, which could come in at more than $3 million.
Locking up Miller long term seems like a no-brainer
Caps aside, locking Miller long term seems like it should be a no-brainer for the Rangers. If they can afford it, they should and probably will. If you look at the previous RFA history below glen sather And Jeff Gorton, they do not lock RFA forwards long after their ELCs expire. However, they want to lock down RFA defense personnel under the same circumstances. Adam Fox, brady skis, Mark Steele, Dan GirardikAnd Ryan Lindgren Everyone got a more than standard 2-year bridge deal after their ELCs expired.
Miller is in this group and if Rangers stay true to form, they will want to close Miller for a long time. After a shaky start to last season, Miller evolved into possibly the best Rangers defenseman post trade deadlines and playoffs. He has certainly eclipsed Lindgren as the best LD on the roster, even though he doesn’t necessarily play 1 LD minutes. Rob Luker has a lot to say about it,
Rangers need to make a tough choice if the goal is to hold off Miller for the long haul, and if the astonishing increase in cap sealing doesn’t happen. It sounds like Chittil might be the weirdest guy, but removing Blass from the equation gives the Rangers an estimate of the $5 million needed for Miller.
It’s a long season and you never know what happens, and all these projections can change. The preference is that the Rangers lock both Lafrenier and Miller for a long time. This seems unrealistic, and given prior history, it is expected that Miller will get the first long-term deal.
Or we can see both of them going the Heinrich Lundquist route and taking a 1-year contract for 2023-2024 wink, nudge The agreement is a long-term contract when the cap ceiling is projected to rise further in the summer of 2024. It would certainly be more constructive than the boring NHL contracts and lack of action we usually see.