With the first preseason game just a month away, the New York Rangers and defenseman Anthony DeAngelo remain curiously silent about a new contract.
Training camp gets closer and closer to kicking off and the New York Rangers still have players who are not under contract.
One such player in 23-year-old defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, who is coming off his best season as a professional, recording 30 points and four goals. The right-handed defenseman appeared to turn the corner last season. By the end of the season, he provided a stunning glimpse of what the team has been wanting to see since he was acquired in April 2017.
DeAngelo is a restricted free agent with no arbitration rights. In simple terms, it means that though he needs to sign a new contract, he has no leverage to get the club to offer him a big contract. He has played three years in the NHL, appearing in just 132 games between the Arizona Coyotes and the Rangers.
The defenseman received his qualifying offer from the club in June. The offer is determined by the AAV of his 2018-2019 year, $1.263 million, plus 5%. Money is not the only factor for the two sides, as the length of the contract also has a long-term effect.
Other factors come into play with regards to a new deal
The length of the deal might be more important than the total value. Based on DeAngelo’s age and time in the NHL, a two-year contract would benefit the Rangers more than the defenseman. If a new contract is for two years, then at the end of the 2020-2021 season, DeAngelo would be a restricted free agent arbitration-eligible.
If he signs a three-year deal or more, he would become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the contract, giving him more control of his future.
The long-term future is a telling factor what happens now.
Another concerning factor is the current salary-cap situation. The Blueshirts have $1,010,201 million available under the cap. As of now, the club has been unable or unwilling to make a trade to help free to free up cap space.
Jeff Gorton could play a game of hot potato and assign players to the AHL on off-days to change the value of the available salary cap.
The Rangers’ start to the season is an unusual one, loaded with long a stretch of non-game days. It features an opening-night contest on Oct. 3 against the Winnipeg Jets at MSG, followed by a trip to Ottawa on Saturday, Oct. 5. The Rangers are then without a game until the following Saturday, Oct. 12 against Edmonton. Then, they are off until Wednesday, Oct 17 at New Jersey and Oct. 18 at Washington.
In the first three weeks of their schedule, the club has just five games in 16 calendar days. This would allow the club maneuverability until they settle on a contract or trades. The Rangers have another RFA in Brendan Lemieux, who also needs to be signed; so this may not be the best way to address the problem.
The Rangers could also decide to trade the young defenseman, though he would certainly bring back a roster player, which might not be a correct way to handle the cap current cap situation.
If Deangelo decides to not sign his qualifying offer, which currently seems the route he is taking, a rare holdout might occur—a situation that neither side wants to witness.
The Rangers have an abundance of defensemen, but Anthony DeAngelo has been a work in progress since hopping aboard Broadway. The two sides need to find an admirable deal to make all involved satisfied and appreciative.