Thursday, May 26, 2022

Rangers’ core will be together for foreseeable future

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There are a couple of reasons why the Rangers have put so much stock in making a playoff run this season, which has featured a complete roster makeover since their last legitimate postseason appearance five years ago.

A major one is the fact it has signified the end of their rebuilding process and has measured where they’re at among other Stanley Cup contenders. Most notably, however, it is the first look at how this Rangers core performs in the 16-team tournament.

The nucleus of the Rangers is set for the most part – on the books, at least. So a good portion of the lineup that has taken the ice in the first-round series against the Penguins – and which trails 3-1 entering Game 5 on Wednesday at the Garden – is what you can expect to see on the big stage in the years to come, assuming there are consistent playoff berths on the horizon.

Artemi Panarin and his team-high cap hit of $ 11.642 million and change will be on the Rangers until after the 2025-26 season. Chris Kreider and Barclay Goodrow are signed through 2026-27. Adam Fox is locked in through 2028-29 and Mika Zibanejad through 2029-30. Star goalie Igor Shesterkin signed a four-year deal in August. The organization is charged with Jacob Trouba’s $ 8 million cap hit through 2025-26, as well.

Every one of those players either has a full no-movement clause or a modified no-movement clause.

Artemi Panarin, left, and Mika Zibanejad are both on the books for the foreseeable future.

Trouba will submit a 15-team no-trade list in 2024-25 and then trim it to 12 teams the following season. Kreider will be expected to put in a 15-team no-trade list by July 1, 2024. Fox has a full no-move clause in years 4-5 and a limited no-trade clause (16-team no-trade list) in the final two seasons of the seven-year, $ 66.5 million contract he signed in November. And seven days prior to the 2029-30 trade deadline, Zibanejad’s deal will modify to include a 21-team no-trade list.

(Thank you, Cap Friendly.)

Post Sports + members, sign up to have Mollie Walker text you the latest word on the Rangers and reply with your thoughts and questions. Not a Sports + member yet? Try it now.

Basically, what you see is what you’re going to get for the foreseeable future in regard to the Rangers ’marquee group. Team president and general manager Chris Drury does have some leeway with a few of the younger players, such as Filip Chytil, who can become a restricted free agent after next season, and Ryan Lindgren, who can be a restricted free agent after 2023-24 .

Kaapo Kakko’s entry-level contract will expire at the end of this season. Alexis Lafreniere and K’Andre Miller will be due their second NHL deals in 2023-24. Looking further ahead, rookie defenseman Braden Schneider will become a restricted free agent following the 2023-24 season.

The youngsters have been the bright spot through this playoff run. The same can’t be said for the key players the Rangers have committed to long-term. It is their first real go at the postseason, so there’s hope for improvement with experience, but the Rangers have the bulk of their club in place.

The one player who is considered part of the core, but will not be on the books after this season is Ryan Strome. Drury will have a major decision to make regarding Strome, who will also have some thinking to do regarding his NHL future. Both sides may have to figure things out sooner rather than later.

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