That the New York Ranger salary cap is as top heavy as any team in the league should not be surprising to anyone. Adam Gretz at CBS Sports took a look at what each NHL team spends on their top five salary cap players and what percentage of the cap those five take up. The New York Rangers came in with the fifth highest total at $29.3 million or 46% of this season’s $64.3 million salary cap ceiling.
The good news is that the five guys who are on that list Marian Gaborik ($7.5 million), Henrik Lundqvist ($6.875 million), Brad Richards ($6.7 million), Ryan Callahan ($4.275 million) and Brandon Dubinsky ($4.2 million) are arguably five of the six most important Rangers with Marc Staal being the other. The bad news is that when you invest nearly half of the salary cap into such a small number of players you are banking on each of them to play to their salaries as well as relying on those who are on entry-level or low cost deals to outperform their current salaries.
While those six, counting Staal, will all have to play at their peaks to give the Rangers a chance to contend for a championship the team will also need Stepan, McDonagh, Sauer, Anisimov, Boyle and Prust especially to continue what they did last season, if not take another step. The Rangers salary cap situation still is not a pretty picture, but each year it gets a little better as there is slightly more cushion and those who are getting paid the big money are more capable of earning it.