Rangers/lighting game 6 recap
Welp, it’s over people. The Tampa Bay Lightning are returning to the Stanley Cup Finals for the third consecutive year & there won’t be any New York Rangers hockey until the fall. I am completely crushed by that Game 6 loss. I’m not gonna dive too much into the game because the two goals that Lightning Captain Steven Stamkos got past Igor Shesterkin honestly shouldn’t have gotten past him. I will say it was one hell of a game, besides the 2 goals allowed on Igor the Rangers netminder was playing nuts. Great save after great save, he certainly kept the Rangers in the game, as he has all post season. Congrats to Tampa, well deserved. But we will be back.
The future is incredibly bright for the Rangers considering that the team goal was to make the playoffs… MAKE the playoffs. The Rangers overachieved by a large amount, we are no longer rebuilding and starting right fucking now we are reloading to make another deep run for next year. We didn’t have quite enough talent or experience to match the two-time defending champs, but the Blueshirts signaled to the rest of the league that their time is coming very soon.
Unlike most cup contending teams the Rangers have what looks to be one of the best cap pictures heading into next year. The Rangers’ management will have the ability to either keep their trade deadline acquisitions or add to the roster in other ways. To summarize our cap situation we have our core locked in for at the very least next season, and we have some money to play around with this off season to surround them. But I’m about to dive into it all a little deep so here we go.
The cap sheet starts with Shesterkin, who thankfully is under contract for three more years at an extremely reasonable $5.67 million per year. For the defense, Fox, Trouba, Lindgren, Miller and Schneider are signed through at least next year so nothing to worry about there. The forward group is in an even better situation cap wise. For the Kid Line, Kakko is the only player needing an extension, and he’s a restricted free agent so Drury will get him locked in for a little longer. The Rangers biggest stars at forward Panarin, Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider are all locked into long-term deals so again nothing to worry about.
Ryan Strome is honestly the only significant player from the pre-deadline roster that will become a UFA. I could see Strome potentially exploring free agency but I don’t know what Dury plans on doing. Of the trade deadline pickups Andrew Copp, Tyler Motte, Frank Vatrano and Braun there is a good chance we could potentially bring back maybe 3 of them. The Rangers have approximately $13.5 million in free cap space to spend in the off-season. Personally Copp, Motte and Vatrano all balled out so bringing those 3 back would be ideal in my eyes. The Rangers also have the option to bring back RFA Sammy Blais who we got from the St. Louis Blues last season. Unfortunately Sammy was only able to skate in 14 games all of last season because he tore his ACL.
If re-signing their rentals isn’t their plan, they could look at some of the bigger names that become available as teams with little to no cap space look to stay cap compliant. The Rangers also have a talented prospect pool, I could see them start parting ways with some of those assets to go big-game hunting in the offseason. All I know is management wise we are in pretty good hands. I can not wait until next season and am excited to see what Chris Drury has planned for this off season.