After what seemed like months of waiting, the New York Rangers have reportedly agreed to terms with pending RFA Alexis Lafreniere. Coming off of his entry-level contract, Lafreniere was expected to re-sign with New York shortly after the 2022-2023 concluded. The deal took a bit longer than expected to finalize, but the two sides have finally come to terms on an agreement.
Lafreniere signs bridge deal with the Rangers
According to the New York Post, Lafreneire’s new contract is a two-year extension worth $2.325 million AAV ($4.65 million total). Given the Rangers’ current salary cap situation, a bridge deal was the only affordable option on the table. Although the Blueshirts would’ve certainly loved to sign the former first-overall pick to a long-term extension, two years seems to be the new trend for the team.
After this signing is made official, the Rangers would finish the offseason just under $50k over the salary cap. In order to avoid penalties from the NHL, some roster adjustments will need to be made to ensure the Rangers remain under the cap. Luckily, the Blueshirts have plenty of players that could be sent down to the Hartford Wolfpack in order to adjust their current spending.
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Did the Rangers spend too much?
After tallying only 91 points in 216 games throughout his career, this Lafreniere signing is potentially risky for the Rangers. Just last season, Kaapo Kakko signed a similar deal worth only $2.1 million AAV, and he has proven to be a much more promising player. Based on statistics alone, Lafreniere’s salary appears a bit high.
Hopefully, Lafreniere will finally begin to break out and make this paycheck worthwhile for the Blueshirts. Either way, the Rangers can cross their final offseason move off their list and begin to prepare for the upcoming 2023-2024 season.