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Rangers and Jacob Trouba Agree To 7-Year/$56M Deal

Trouba

Eight sheets per for 25 year-old Jacob Trouba over the next 7 years. It’s at the high end of the $7-$8M projected spectrum, but still a fair price for a top RHD who gobbles up 23 all-situation minutes a night. If you want to find a comparable contract, John Carlson inked for 8/$64M last summer. The Caps paid it forward for Carlson after a 68-point breakout season, but he had only broken the 40-point plateau once in his 7 prior. Similarly, Trouba is getting paid in part thanks to a breakout offensive season (50 points) and has the added bonus of being 3 years younger at the time of signing. While the newest Blueshirts defender will never be the power play dynamo Carlson is (although he did rack up a higher PPP per 60), he tallied just 6 less non-PP points last year. What’s my point? Well although you could argue the price is high now, it’s not a crippling number and one that can pretty easily look like a bargain in a couple years if #8 hasn’t improbably plateaued at 25. Fact is, the Rangers right side has an unquestioned top dog & is loaded with young talent as Fox, DeAngelo and (eventually) Lundkvist back him up.

The more immediate effect of this signing is that it puts the Rangers about a mil over the salary cap (according to CapFriendly) with Buchnevich, Lemieux & DeAngelo still left to sign RFA deals. So yeah, there’s certainly gonna be moves to make to free up the money they’ll need to become cap-compliant. Trading a guy like Kreider ($4.625M), Namestnikov ($4M) or Strome ($3.1M) won’t get the job done alone. They can also bury Brendan Smith and Matt Beleskey in the minors which would save an additional $2M total – or they could go the buyout route. Marc Staal is the fan-favorite to get bought out based on age & performance. Kevin Shattenkirk gets plenty of votes because of his career nosedive ever since leaving STL and the fact that he’s an older, slower version of Fox & DeAngelo. Brendan Smith is also an option simply because his signing was a huge mistake and he ended up a 4th line winger last season because he was so bad on D.

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The Rangers don’t have to make a buyout decision yet, but a team is afforded a second buyout window 3 days after all their arbitration cases are resolved. Considering Trouba & Buch were the only Blueshirts who filed this year, the Trouba signing means the clock starts ticking three days after Buchnevich is under contract. If it were up to me and I had to decide who goes, I’d exile Shattenkirk. I genuinely think Staal still has value as a veteran D, preferably in a 3rd pair role but that’s entirely up to someone like Hajek to prove they can leapfrog him. As for Smith, bury him in the AHL in case of emergency & cross this bridge again next summer. Buying out Shatty clears over $5M of space for this season and, although it’d be a tough pill to swallow in Year Two (I’m not going to get into how buyout cap hits are calculated – mainly because I don’t know, I just regurgitate CapFriendly info like everyone else), there’s plenty of money that’ll be off the books to offset. Plus, his contract has zero trade value and I simply don’t see a role for him on this team. Even if Adam Fox isn’t NHL-ready at the jump for some reason, it won’t be long. If JD & Gorts are looking for a tiebreaker vote someone make sure they see this.

The biggest reason for putting Shatty on the chopping block? Because the Rangers just locked up a much better, younger version of what they thought they bought 2 summers ago.