Regarding the Rangers, 10 days away from Kakko or Jacko.
1. Buyouts. The initial buyout period of June 15-30 opens Saturday. There is a second, shorter window later in the summer for clubs with salary arbitration filings.
“In all honesty, we haven’t ruled it out,” general manager Jeff Gorton told The Post on Tuesday when asked if the club intends to go that route. “It’s on the table. And regardless of what we do with this buyout window, we’d certainly look at the second one, too, depending on what comes up over the next few weeks. A lot can happen.”
Brendan Smith is the prime candidate for a buyout. The club’s 30-year-old hybrid 12th forward/seventh defenseman has two years remaining on his deal for an NHL cap hit of $4.35 million per season. A buyout would save the Rangers just over $3.379 million of space this season and $1.204 million next year, but would create approximately $1.146 million of dead space for the following two years.
Kevin Shattenkirk, with two years remaining at an annual $6.65 million cap hit, is also a buyout possibility, but though there would be a savings of nearly $5.167 million this year, that would be reduced to $567,000 next season. A Shattenkirk buyout would add just over $1.433 million of dead space for 2021-22 and 2022-23.
The Rangers have found essentially no interest in Smith or Shattenkirk on the trade market, even with a 50% contract retention. It is possible the Blueshirts could move Shattenkirk in return for taking on an odious contract, but it doesn’t seem likely they would go that route.