The New York Rangers need to make decisions on a few impending unrestricted free agents. The Rangers just wrapped up a surprising season that saw them make it all the way to the Eastern Conference Finals. Many of the key components of this playoff team, though, were playing on expiring contracts. Right-wing Frank Vatrano is one of those players that is set to become an unrestricted free agent. But Frank Vatrano is a player that the Rangers need to re-sign this offseason.
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The Rangers need to re-sign Frank Vatrano
The Rangers acquired Frank Vatrano at the 2022 trade deadline. New York struck a deal with the Florida Panthers to put Vatrano in a blue shirt and the 28-year-old went on to have a productive season with the Rangers. He totaled 13 points (8 goals) in 22 regular-season games with New York and also added 13 points (5 goals) in 20 postseason contests.
Vatrano was playing on a three-year contract that he signed with the Florida Panthers worth $2.53M AAV. That deal expires in July and Vatrano is hoping to sign a new deal with the New York Rangers.
“I think I have some unfinished business here. I want to help this team win a Stanley Cup.” – Frank Vatrano on his desire to stay with the Rangers via Mollie Walker
In order for Frank Vatrano to complete that “unfinished business”, he will need to strike a new deal with the Rangers. This could be difficult to achieve, though, as the Rangers are tight on cap space. They have only about $12 million to spend and a slew of unrestricted free agents that are looking for new deals.
Frank Vatrano’s new deal could be worth about $3M-3.5M AAV, which might price him out of the Rangers’ range. There could be room to fit Vatrano under the cap depending on what Andrew Copp or Ryan Strome’s next contract looks like, as well as Kaapo Kakko. But a player of Frank Vatrano’s talents is worth the projected cap hit.
Frank Vatrano played on the same line as Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad. The trio had some excellent chemistry and gave the Rangers a spark that propelled the team deep into the playoffs. If Chris Drury wants to keep his team in Stanly Cup contention, re-signing Vatrano would go a long way toward accomplishing that mission.