Thursday, March 19, 2009

Salary Cap Outlook: New York Rangers

A few months ago, a column regarding "the scariest contracts in the NHL" prompted an in-depth post on the Pacific division teams for Battle of California. That division is full of great contracts, with absolute bargains for guys like Ryan Getzlaf and Dustin Brown. Since we're salary cap nerds at CLS, we decided to take a look at the future of each team in the NHL, starting with the New York Rangers.

Please note that the "contract" amount listed beside each player takes into account cap hit, not salary. Naturally, many teams will call up minor league players to fill out their rosters.

New York Rangers

Current cap for 2009-10: $46 million
Current starters under contract: 6 forwards, 4 defensemen and 1 goalie (11 players)
Best contracts: Marc Staal (sub-million through 09-10); Sean Avery ($1.9 million through 11-12)
Worst contracts: Scott Gomez ($7.35 million through 13-14); Chris Drury ($7 million through 11-12); Wade Redden ($6.5 million through 13-14); Michal Rosival ($5 million through 11-12)
Superstar contract: Henrik Lundqvist ($6.88 million through 13-14)

How different will the world be in the year 2014?

NYR fans might wonder that when they look at their team's future. At that point, the Rangers may finally be out of the wilderness of horrifying contracts. Or at least, let's hope so, because it might get a little miserable to be a fan of the Blueshirts during the next few years.

Honestly, though, we should not ridicule Glen Sather for his work. He's an artist. He is the Jackson Pollock of bad contracts.

(It's pretty mind blowing that Sather and Isiah Thomas probably passed each other in the halls of Madison Square Garden many times. Truly, those two are brothers.)

The toughest question might be: which contract is the worst of them all? Is it Drury, getting near-Crosby money to top out at 60 points per season? Or maybe Scott Gomez, a guy with more offensive potential but also a longer albatross contract. Then again, there's Michal Rosival, a depth D making $5 million per year. (Should we even mention Redden? That might be cruel.)

The best semi-long term contract is only a steal because the Dallas Stars are paying half of Sean Avery's salary. It would be sad, but slightly funny, if the Rangers were unable to keep their best young player Marc Staal simply because of the cap mistakes they keep making. Just an abomination of a cap situation.

Isn't it amazing that Sather was able to do it again? And with record speed, too. Sports just wouldn't be fun anymore without the Sathers of the world.

Except when he is constructing your team, of course.


Canyon of Blueshirts said...

There's really no pretty way to put it, the Rangers are screwed. The best years are going to get wasted because of the Redden signing. The Rangers could have managed with Gomez/Drury. The Redden signing is one of the worst contracts in the history of sports in my opinion. It's up there with Mike Hampton, Carl Pavano and Barry Zito. Because of his contract, the best years of Henrik Lundqvist are going to be wasted.

I do think that Rozsival can be traded and I wouldn't be surprised if he is. If Jim Dolan actually cares about the franchise though, he's going to waive Redden and eat his contract. That's the only way the Rangers are going to be able to survive. Then on top of that he's going to fire Sather.

The thing that worries me though is what the 2010-2011 cap is going to look like. The cap may not reflect the economy next year, but by the 2010-2011 season it most certainly will.

Vance said...

Dammit, I tried answering "Your Mom" on the poll. But it just registers as other. That's hardly fun.

jamestobrien said...

@ Vance: Damn, really? You're right. That IS no fun.

@ Ryan: I agree. The strange thing about the Redden signing was that the Rangers paid him as if the previous season never happened. Redden's stock went down - way down - yet the Rangers gave him top 10 D type money.

Waiving him might have to happen, but man, that's going to be a tough hit to take.