With the Rangers coming to terms with both Kevin Hayes and Chris Kreider before arbitration, a second buyout window opens up over a 48-hour period that started as soon as the clock hit 12:01 AM EST on Monday, June 25. With the second buyout window rules, the Rangers would only be eligible to buy out Rick Nash, Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello, Marc Staal, Dan Girardi, Ryan McDonagh, Kevin Klein, or Henrik Lundqvist.
While it might seem wise for the Rangers to use this buyout period to get back to where they were a few years ago when they made two deep playoff runs, there are many doubts in Rangers fans heads pertaining to whether they will use it.
There is a microscopic chance of any of these players being bought out at this point in the offseason, there are a few potential sequences in which the Rangers could end up prospering big through this buyout window which only six other NHL teams have the opportunity to use.
Unlikely Buyout Possibility
Realistically from the list before there are only two potential players who could have their contract bought out, being Marc Staal and Dan Girardi, with Girardi being bought out before Staal in almost every foreseeable situation.
While Rangers fans everywhere would love to see cap space opened from a Girardi buyout, the chances are slim and none at this point, for a few different reasons.
With the buyout window open at this point, the Rangers would be paying Girardi for eight years, four more than his original contract is worth. While that may help the cap situation now, with many young prospects starting to get to the pro level and becoming established veterans, that would likely work against GM Jeff Gorton come negotiation time.
When speaking on Dan Girardi, one thing is clear, it’s the long term that is likely going to be the reason the Rangers do not make a move.
According to General Fanager, a buyout of Dan Girardi is broken down as follows:
2016 – $1,750,000
2017 – $2,750,000
2018 – $3,750,000
2019 – $3,750,000
2020 – $1,250,000
2021 – $1,250,000
2022 – $1,250,000
2023 – $1,250,000
While the Rangers would save $3.75 million this year, the last four years listed above would be after his contract expired, making it $5 million of dead money. There is only $15 million left on his contract value and $22 million in contract cap hit, so having that much dead cap would likely scare away GM Jeff Gorton from buying him out.
If Girardi did happen to be bought out, the hypotheticals would pop up out of nowhere from Rangers analysts everywhere. The rumors about Shattenkirk, Tanev, and even Tyson Barrie rumors would be swirling out of control, with good reason. There would be $8 million dollars in extra cap space not currently being used by the Rangers.
The buyout window lasts until Tuesday night at midnight.