Rangers' 2023-24 Cap Situation & Where They Will Spend $12 Million

The New York Rangers went all-in at the trade deadline this season and came up short because of lack of effort and "just a bad week" as Gerard Gallant notched it up to. After the first round exit when the team was one of the Stanley Cup favourites, there are going to be a good number of changes.

The Rangers have a lot to think about and decide on, including what to do with their UFAs, signing their RFAs, which prospects have a shot at making the team out of training camp, and what needs they have to target in the offseason, all with just $12 million. Let's look at each and see what their best options are.


The notable UFAs that the Rangers had played games for them this season are Patrick Kane, Vladimir Tarasenko, Tyler Motte, Ryan Carpenter, Niko Mikkola, and Jaroslav Halak. All but Carpenter and Halak were traded for at the deadline this season and I don't think any return unless they can get Kane signed for $4 million AAV or less. As that doesn't seem very likely, there are a fair bit of holes that will need filling because of these departures.


The Rangers have a few important RFAs this offseason which includes K'Andre Miller and Alexis Lafreniere. Both play sizable roles on the team and will only be more valuable as the years roll along. The other two notable RFAs are Zac Jones and Libor Hajek, both players who should once again get the chance to win over the third pairing spot on the left side after another year of development. While the Rangers will likely be extending Lafreniere to a bridge deal, Miller should get longer as he's shown more progress in the seasons he's been with the team and is a top-four defenseman. Jones will get less than $1 million while it remains to be seen if the Rangers give Hajek another shot. If they do, the contract will be similar to Jones'.


There are three prospects that should get a good look in training camp with a real shot of making the Rangers - Will Cuylle, Zac Jones, and Libor Hajek, although you can argue whether Hajek is a prospect anymore with 110 games over five seasons. He has only played more than 28 games in a season once and is just 25 as a defenseman, so maybe just one more year. As for Cuylle and Jones, they have more potential and are younger. Jones has played just 38 games in the NHL while Cuylle played four last season. There are spots available where each of them play, so they could very well save the Rangers money by impressing and making the team.

Offseason Needs

The Rangers potentially need a top-six winger, but they may just elect to finally give Lafreniere and Kappo Kakko legitimate shots in the top-six with good players for an extended period of time. As they were both drafted to a good team with star players already on in, they never got the chance to develop higher up in the lineup. This could really advance their game and help them become the players the Rangers hope they can be.

Depth at forward was an issue as there were too many players who did barely anything before the trade deadline. While they lost some physicality by trading Ryan Reaves, that and some scoring needs to be added at the bottom of their lineup. Defense appears to be covered as even if Hajek and Jones don't work out right away, Ben Harpur can lock down the sixth spot until the trade deadline again.

The final piece will be a backup goaltender. Halak didn't play well in the first half of the season and wasn't good when Igor Shesterkin and the Rangers needed him to be. As Shesterkin gets older, he will start requiring a veteran presence behind him less. There are some good backup options out there this offseason, whether it be a veteran or younger goalie. But New York needs someone who is at least younger than Halak and more consistent.

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