Due to their limited salary cap space, the New York Rangers are not expected to make major transactions this offseason. The club has $11.763 million in available cap space, according to PuckPedia. President/general manager (GM) Chris Drury will offer bridge deals that last two years to restricted free agents Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller.
The contracts offered to Lafreniere and Miller will give the team less salary cap space. GM Drury may need to trade Barclay Goodrow to create more cap space. The Rangers agreed to a six-year contract with him, including a modified no-trade clause (15-team no-trade list), following their trade for him with the Tampa Bay Lightning on July 17, 2021.
It did not take much for the Rangers to acquire Goodrow. They traded a 2022 seventh-round pick to the Lightning in exchange for the forward. Therefore, GM Drury should not expect much in return in a trade for him. Let’s take a look at three trade destinations for the center.
The Vancouver Canucks are one club rumored to be a suitor for Goodrow. President of hockey operations, Jim Rutherford, and GM Patrik Allvin have the challenging task of creating cap space for Vancouver. The organization has mismanaged the cap in recent seasons.
A contract extension with J.T. Miller (seven years, $56 million) in Sept. 2022, as well as the terms and average annual values (AAVs) remaining on contracts for Conor Garland (three years, $4.95 million), Oliver Ekman-Larsson (four years, $7.26 million), and Brock Boeser (two years, $6.65 million), hinder the Canucks’ potential to make significant acquisitions this offseason. Garland may be traded this summer, while Boeser has been involved in trade speculation for some time. The terms of the transaction will not be ideal for New York, but they do not have many other players to trade to create cap space.
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The Rangers would trade Goodrow and their 2024 second-round pick in a deal with the Canucks. New York would absorb 35% ($1.275 million) of his contract over the next four seasons as a part of a trade in exchange for Vancouver’s 2024 sixth-round pick.
The Colorado Avalanche have many unrestricted free agents this offseason and do not have many centers under contract for next season. Nathan MacKinnon is the only center that is signed through 2023-24, as Andrew Cogliano (35) and Lars Eller (34) are unrestricted free agents. The team will likely agree to extensions this summer with restricted free agents Denis Malgin and Alex Newhook.
If the Avalanche do not agree to terms with unrestricted free agents J.T. Compher, Evan Rodrigues, and Erik Johnson, they will have some cap space available. If they are interested in improving their center depth by acquiring an experienced player, they could obtain Goodrow. The Rangers would trade him and absorb 25% ($910,416.75) of his contract for the duration of his deal. They would also include their 2024 second-round pick in exchange for Colorado’s 2023 seventh-round draft selection.
Toronto Maple Leafs
The Toronto Maple Leafs are entering a period of uncertainty following the firing of GM Kyle Dubas after the club’s loss to the Florida Panthers in the second-round series. Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan made it clear to Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander that none of them will be moved despite previous rumors that major changes to the roster could occur.
The club has several unrestricted free agents, including forwards Ryan O’Reilly, David Kampf, Noel Acciari, and Alexander Kerfoot. Matthews and Nylander can sign contract extensions on July 1, which a portion of the Maple Leafs’ current cap space ($8.381 million) would go toward.
If the Maple Leafs’ new GM is looking to add an experienced center via trade to put on the bottom six, Goodrow could be a target. The Rangers would trade the center, retain 25% of his salary for the next four years, and include the 2023 third-round pick they received from the Avalanche in the deal for goaltender Alexandar Georgiev on July 7, 2022. Toronto would trade their 2024 sixth-round pick to New York.
The Rangers are not in the best situation regarding their current cap space. They will need to look for a club to trade Goodrow to in order to create some financial flexibility to offer bridge deals to Lafreniere and Miller. They could sign unrestricted free agent Tyler Motte after reacquiring him during the trade deadline. New York will need to retain some of Goodrow’s salary if a transaction is with another organization that has limited cap space available.