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Reports emerged this afternoon that the National Hockey League Players Association (NHLPA) is expected to vote to approve a 2.7% increase to the salary cap – making it $75 million for next season.
NHLPA's Executive Board is voting on the $75 Upper Limit…approx 2.5% escalator…An announcement today is possible.
— John Shannon (@JSportsnet) June 16, 2017
That would leave the Rangers with roughly $13.3 million in cap space as of right now and $16.2 million in cap space if the rumors of Kevin Klein “retiring” are true. That affords them plenty of room to re-sign RFAs Mika Zibanejad, Jesper Fast, and Oscar Lindberg (assuming both of Fast and Lindberg don’t get claimed by Las Vegas in the Expansion Draft). If Zibanejad comes in at $4.75 million, Fast at $2 million, and Lindberg at $1.5 million, the Rangers would have between $5 and $8 million (depending on Klein) in free cap space. They would then be well armed entering the July free agency period to attempt to re-sign UFA Brandon Smith or woo Kevin Shattenkirk.
As with any news in the next couple of days, everything is contingent on the results of the expansion draft. Any players claimed would free up more cap space, but the extra $2 million from the NHLPA escalator is welcome news as the Blueshirts look to improve going into next season.