Breaking down the NY Rangers’ tight salary cap situation

Even though the New York Rangers are only 10 days removed from their season ending in the Eastern Conference Final, the business of the offseason has already begun.

They spent the opening days of the summer working on one-year contracts for Sammy Blais and Vitali Kravtsov, with both forwards coming in at easily digestible salaries. That represents an important start as Chris Drury prepares to navigate a difficult cap crunch.

The team president and general manager was flushed with cap space last season, which allowed him to take on chunks of salary while making four impact trades at the March 21 deadline. But that will not be the case for the foreseeable future.

With the NHL’s salary cap stagnant for the previous three years and now set at $ 82.5 million for the 2022-23 season – a measly increase of $ 1 million – the Rangers don’t have much wiggle room.

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Their core is locked in, with mega extensions for center Mika Zibanejad and defenseman Adam Fox set to kick in next season. Those two, plus forwards Chris Kreider and Artemi Panarin, defenseman Jacob Trouba and goalie Igor Shesterkin, will account for over 60% of the Blueshirts’ available cap space, leaving Drury to build around them with relative frugality.

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