The Rangers summer of fretting and worry can finally come to an end today. The Rangers have come to terms with restricted free agent Marc Staal on a five-year contract. The final totals are five years at $19.875 million and the years and a cap hit of $3.975 million per year break down like this as Craig Custance tweeted.
The annual breakdown on Staal deal: $3.1 million / $3.675 / $3.775 / $3.875 / $5.45
Rangers fans may be picking themselves up off the floor as this is a brilliant deal for the young and ready to breakout Staal. Even more stunning is that the contract doesn’t have a no-trade or no-movement clause. Of course, lost in all this is that the Rangers are now, according to CapGeek’s salary calculator, more than $4 million over the salary cap.
If you’re looking for a quick fix to this problem, feel free to turn your attention to defenseman Wade Redden and his $6 million cap hit. Unless Redden turns back the clock and has the best training camp since his early seasons in Ottawa, it seems almost assured that Redden will be on a bus bound for Hartford and the AHL to help rid the Rangers of his brutal cap hit.
If Rangers fans had a choice between Redden and perennial pariah Rozsival ($5 million cap hit) they’d still likely choose to send Redden to the AHL. That said, it’s very possible that the battle in training camp could come down between those two high-priced guys. Redden’s contract goes for four more seasons whereas Rozsival’s is good for two more. Maybe the Rangers could find a trading partner for either Redden or Rozsival but both players have limited no-trade clauses where they won’t accept deals to certain teams. Speculating on trades is just putting the cart before the horse in this case though.
Milbury, Jones: Tkachuk walked the walk; Kings’ response was embarrassing
The Los Angeles Kings got revenge on Matthew Tkachuk and the Calgary Flames on the scoreboard on Wednesday. But was that 4-1 win enough?
Mike Milbury and Keith Jones provided a lengthy “overtime” segment on NBCSN that brought about some really fascinating takes on the situation between Tkachuk and the Flames versus Drew Doughty and the Los Angeles Kings.
Watch the full video above, as it’s worth your time.
A few interesting lines if you’re (tsk tsk) skipping it:
Milbury: Believes that Doughty didn’t “do enough,” noting that star players sometimes have to stick up for themselves. On the other hand, Tkachuk showed that he can “walk the walk.”
He also gave the Kings a “C-, D+ if not worse” for their overall response. “Fight your own battles,” Milbury said of Doughty.
Jones disagreed to some extent, believing that Kings teammates won’t look at Doughty differently. But Jake Muzzin? He believes that Muzzin’s frequent defensive partner (at least over the years, maybe not this season) backing down from a fight was an embarrassment.
"I don't think the Kings look at Doughty differently…Muzzin to back down from that fight on 1st shift is an embarrassment." – Keith Jones https://t.co/KI9dx8Rirx
For what it’s worth, Drew Doughty has one career fight (against Joe Thornton [!] in 2011-2) while Jake Muzzin’s lone bout came against Andrew Desjardins in 2012-13, according to Hockey Fights. Does that mean they shouldn’t have dropped the gloves on Wednesday? Milbury and Jones seem to believe that they should have answered the bell.
Deep down, the Los Angeles Kings probably realize that their season will end on game 82. Still, they kept their slim playoff hopes alive on Wednesday night … and managed to spite a team they’re growing to hate.
OK, maybe the hate is almost totally focused upon Matthew Tkachuk, yet the disdain for that talented-but-tormenting rookie was palpable.
It didn’t feel like the Kings exacted physical revenge on Tkachuk, but beating his team 4-1 ranked as classic scoreboard vengeance. With that, the Calgary Flames (and by extension the St. Louis Blues) will need to wait to clinch a playoff berth.
Now, as much as tonight was about Tkachuk, the focus was also on a pugnacious player who once dazzled for the Flames: Jarome Iginla.
In what might be Iginla’s final visit to Calgary – at least as an active NHL player – he was one of the best players on the ice. His fitting curtain call included a “Gordie Howe hat trick” with a spirited fight, an assist and a goal.
It’s official: the NHL will hold preseason games in China before next season.
The league made the announcement on Wednesday night: the Los Angeles Kings and Vancouver Canucks will play two exhibitions: one on Sept. 21 (Shanghai) and Sept. 23 (Beijing). How cool is that?
“It is a privilege and an honor for the L.A. Kings to represent the National Hockey League in China as part of these two games against the Vancouver Canucks,” Kings president Luc Robitaille said. “Growing the game of hockey is something we take great pride in and it is a big priority for our hockey club and AEG as a whole. This will be a once-in-a-lifetime experience for our players and our staff, and we are looking forward to the games taking place in two tremendous facilities in two remarkable cities.”