The New York Rangers are strapped for cash this offseason. They have under $12 million in salary-cap space to spend despite a long list of restricted and unrestricted free agents hitting the market this summer. In order to free up cap space to afford to re-sign their most talented free agents, the Rangers will need to move on from one of their veteran defensemen. The New York Rangers need to move on from Patrik Nemeth after a disappointing 2021 season.
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Why it is time to move on from Patrik Nemeth
The Rangers made it to the Eastern Conference Finals this season. They were true underdogs that surpassed all expectations. The youth on the Rangers’ roster stepped up and overperformed. Meanwhile, 30-year-old defenseman Patrik Nemeth fell back and underperformed throughout the 2021 season. Nemeth is currently playing on a 3-year contract worth $7.5 million that he signed last summer ($2.5M AAV). The Rangers can no longer afford to keep Patrik Nemeth at this price point. They will have to trade or buy out Patrik Nemeth this offseason to stay in a financially viable position.
Patrik Nemeth was unproductive this past season. He played in 63 games, totaling only 7 points with a +/- of -9. He did, however, record 102 blocks, 115 hits, and 11 takeaways. Considering his production level, his contract’s AAV, and the Rangers’ lack of cap space, it seems inevitable that the BlueShirts trade or buyout Nemeth this offseason.
Patrik Nemeth’s playing time declined over the course of the season. He appeared in only 5 of the Rangers’ postseason games and posted a +/- of -5. The Rangers are a less efficient team with Nemeth on the ice.
The New York Rangers can free up a solid amount of cap space by either buying out Patrik Nemeth’s contract or trading him to another team:
Per CapFriendly’s buyout calculator, a Nemeth buyout would add $1.5M this offseason to work with. It’s even bigger in 2023-24, where the full $2.5M is back on the books. That’s just in time for Alexis Lafrenière, K’Andre Miller, and Filip Chytil’s new deals. There’s a -$1M penalty for two seasons after, which the Rangers can easily manage. – via Forever BlueShirts
The possibility of saving $1.5M in cap space this offseason and $2.5M in cap space next offseason is enticing. This possibility will likely lead the Rangers to move on from Patrik Nemet this offseason and invest their money elsewhere.