For as rough as Boston’s cap situation currently is, the Rangers might just be leading the pack when it comes to financial crunches going into the 2019-20 campaign.
While New York is poised to take a big step forward thanks to a promising young core and some major free-agent additions, the big paydays doled out to Artmei Panarin ($11.6 million AAV through 2026) and Jacob Trouba ($8 million AAV through 2026) have put the Blueshirts in a tough spot — with the club already over the cap ceiling limit of $81.5 million and still without contracts for RFAs in Brendan Lemieux and Anthony DeAngelo.
With the club forced to get under the cap limit by the time October rolls around, the Rangers bit the bullet by buying out the final two years of defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk’s contract.
The Rangers will need to deal with a $6.08 million cap hit for Shattenkirk in 2020-21 and will be knocked for a $1.4 million hit in both 2021-22 and 2022-23, but they will only need to pay $1.48 million for this season, per CapFriendly, saving the team from cap hell.
Whether it be injuries or the general decline that affects all players, Shattenkirk failed to live up to the four-year, $26.6 million deal that he inked with the Rangers back in 2017 — with the 30-year-old, right-shot blueliner now set to hit the free-agent market in the closing weeks of the summer.
Shattenkirk’s injuries and dip in play could allow a club to scoop him up for great value in 2019-20, whether it be on a low AAV or even a “prove it” one-year contract.
From Boston's perspective, it would seem like the Bruins have their blue-line situation locked down, especially if/when Boston has its RFAs in Charlie McAvoy and Brandon Carlo back in the fold.
However, the case could be made