There’s a reason why the New York Rangers didn’t make a major splash with the cap space they saved by buying out Brad Richards. They needed that room for their restricted free agents.
Although they currently have about $13 million in cap space remaining for the 2014-15 campaign, per Cap Geek, the Rangers still have to lock up forwards Derick Brassard, Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, and defenseman John Moore.
The first three players on that list filed for arbitration and are all likely to get big paydays. However, the Rangers might be willing to give them even more annually than they would be awarded during their hearings if it would mean locking them up to long-term deals, according to the New York Post.
For example, it’s estimated that Zuccarello will be awarded around $3.7 million and $4 million after leading the team with 59 points last season. If the Rangers want to sign him to a multi-year contract though, it’s believed that Zuccarello would be expect around $4.5 million annually. Similarly, Brassard reportedly wants $5.5 million annually if the Rangers want to lock him up, although he could end up with roughly a million less than that in 2014-15 if the Rangers decide to go forward with his hearing.
Those two contracts alone will eat up most of the Rangers’ remaining cap space, but it would still leave them with enough room to get Kreider signed. After scoring 17 goals and 37 points in 66 games last season, Kreider’s arbitration date is scheduled for Wednesday. The Rangers are reportedly attempting to sign him to a two-year deal, but if that doesn’t work out, he will likely be awarded between $2.1 million and $2.5 million for the 2014-15 campaign.