Now that the Rangers have avoided arbitration with Ryan Callahan as the right wing agreed to a three-year deal worth $12.875 million on Wednesday ($4.275 million salary cap hit), there will be a 48-hour window starting at midnight in case the team chooses to buy out any players on the roster to create some cap flexibility.
Don’t expect it to happen. In fact, with this week’s transactions of re-signing both Callahan and defenseman Steve Eminger, the Rangers’ offseason work may be complete and the current roster is the one that will start training camp.
Much of the focus has been on mercurial wing Wojtek Wolski, 25, who had six goals and 13 assists in 37 games for the Rangers after being acquired from the Coyotes. Wolski carries a cap hit of $3.8 million for this season and a buyout would save the Rangers $3.3 million against this season’s cap.
But not only is there no buyout of Wolski coming over the next couple of days, it’s almost a near certainty he will not be traded between now and the start of training.
The trick may come if the Rangers want to start the season with both Tim Erixon ($1.75 million) and Michael Del Zotto ($1.09 million) on their roster. They have approximately $700,000 left in cap space including Erixon as one of the six defensemen on the roster but not including Del Zotto. However, it also includes center Erik Christensen ($925,000) who may find himself squeezed from a roster spot now that the team has signed Brad Richards. The Rangers currently have 14 forwards, including Mats Zuccarello ($1.75 million) and could opt to carry just 13.