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What Rangers RFAs Are Looking For

With the Rangers RFAs’ arbitration hearings less than a week away, negotiations continue to be on-going.

After signing Matthew Lombardi to a $800,000 per year contract yesterday, the Rangers are left with a little over $13 million to re-sign Chris Kreider, Mats Zuccarello, Derrick Brassard and John Moore.

Unfortunately, according to Larry Brooks at the New York Post, it might be a tight squeeze.

Brooks notes that Kreider, whose hearing is scheduled for July 23, would likely get a two-year, $2.1 million-$2.5 million per season award, however, both parties are attempting to avoid arbitration by nailing down a two-year contract prior to the hearing.

Meanwhile, Brooks adds that Zuccarello, who would likely be in the $3.7 million-$4 million arbitration range, is believed seeking a multi-year deal for at least $4.5 million per.

According to Brooks, Brassard, who would likely be in the $4.5 million-$4.75 million arbitration range, is believed to be looking for a long-term deal worth approximately $5.5 million per.

Both Brassard and Zuccarello would be awarded a one-year contracts in arbitration because they are eligible to become unrestricted free agents next season.

Brooks did not offer contract demands for John Moore, who is not arbitration eligible.

…wow, no wonder the Rangers haven’t been signing anyone to even a one-year, $1 million deal. If each RFA gets their peak demand as Brooks has laid out, the Rangers would be left with only $700,000 to re-sign J. Moore and, if interested, Dan Carcillo. And forget about trading for Eric Staal or Joe Thornton, as even if the Rangers sent salary back, it wouldn’t be enough to keep them under the cap.

…even if the players end up in arbitration, the Rangers would still likely only have around $2 million – $1.5 million to fill-out the rest of their roster. Doesn’t exactly leave Sather much wiggle room to make moves in-season if necessary either. Damn, that Girardi contract is starting to look bad.

…btw, $5.5 million per for Brassard? If he gets anything near that, what the hell is Stepan going to ask for next summer? $6.5 million per?

…got to think Sather is seriously considering trading Marc Staal, who is in the final year of his contract and has been rumored to be interested in joining his brothers in Carolina, to open up some much needed cap space. Especially if either McIlrath or Allen impress during camp.

Brooks also reports that the Rangers are targeting pending free-agent winger Kevin Hayes, the 22-year-old Boston College graduate who was selected 24th overall by the Blackhawks in the 2010 Entry Draft, who will be eligible to hit the open market on Aug. 16 if he does not sign with Chicago by Aug. 15.

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed shooting right wing, was a a finalist for the Hobey Baker award after recording 65 points (27-38) for the Eagles as a senior. Hayes played two seasons with Chris Kreider.

…if Sather is able to acquire Hayes he will continue to the trend of softening the blow of trading away first round draft picks by signing free agent college players.

Kevin

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