Kevin Hayes Latest Ranger To Avoid Arbitration

Did I say Hayes’ signing would come right after I posted about Kreider? Well I was close. It came less than five hours later.

According to Aaron Ward, who again had the details first, the deal is a 2-year, $5.2 million bridge deal (something only the Rangers seem to still like). I’ll admit $2.6 million per year is a little more than I expected Kevin Hayes to get but I guess it’s fair if they plan to play him in the top six, which I think the Rangers do. Honestly, I think the Rangers want him to be a top six player. He just hasn’t taken the opportunity being given to him yet. Now he has two years to prove he can.

And with that deal complete, the Rangers again avoid arbitration. Just as I said they would the day all four players elected it. It’s done to give the sides a deadline, because they can’t complete these deals without one. Per the CBA, the Rangers will now have a 48-hour buyout window next week (which they once again won’t use).

The deal also leaves the Rangers with $3.1 million in cap space, assuming they start the season with the expected current roster:

roster2016

I listed 14 forwards because Oscar Lindberg will be starting on IR due to the hip surgery he had earlier in the summer. And because they still have space, there will be no reason to place him on LTIR.

Is the roster perfect? No. And I honestly guessed on the lines but they are probably off too, especially on defense. But as Gorton said after the Brassard-Zibanejad trade, overhauling the entire roster in one offseason just wasn’t realistic. If this is the roster the Rangers enter the season with, I will be okay with that. That said, I’m still expecting one or two more moves…

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

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