In a blockbuster trade on the first day of the National Hockey League draft, Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton shipped No. 1 center Derek Stepan and backup goaltender Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for the No. 7 pick and 21-year-old defenseman Anthony DeAngelo.
What may be most important of all is that DeAngelo is a right-handed shot, meaning he can play the right side of a defensive pairing. As a UFA after the season, Raanta will be the top netminder in Arizona playing for a new contract.
The Rangers have approximately $20 million in salary cap space, according to CapFriendly.com, and they need to fill some holes.
NY now has a ton of cap room.
With Stepan's four-year, 26 million dollar contract off the books, the Rangers could sign defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk of the Washington Capitals. He'll become a restricted free agent in 2019. He is 27 years old and already showing signs of slowing down. And in free agency there's a lot of names, too.
The Rangers now have both the No. 7 and the No. 21 overall picks in the first round of the amateur draft on Friday.
Add in the $6.5 mil savings from Stepan, offset by the $683K DeAngelo makes, and NY now has $19 million of cap space, not including the possible Klein retirement. Unclear is if they will keep those picks or package them for a player, maybe to try and get Alex Galchenyuk or Matt Duchene, though the prices for each may be through the room.
The Islanders made the biggest trade Saturday, sending defenseman Travis Hamonic and a fourth-round pick in either 2019 or 2020 to the Calgary Flames for Calgary's first- and second-round picks next year and a second-round pick in either 2019 or 2020. The Rangers struggled with having not enough right-handed defenseman and thus being forced to play people out of position. DeAngelo was suspended 3 games previous year for an altercation with an official. He is a good puckmover but comes with serious character questions, as seen here from his OHL days: http://www.theobserver.ca/2014/02/14/ohl-announces-disciplinary-action-for-deangelo.
With the fan base reeling a bit and the future looking uncertain - on the ice as well as where they'll play - the Coyotes made a pair of eye-opening moves before the draft got started. "I feel like I'm ready to take one more step".
The trade is huge for the Coyotes because they get a solid goaltender. I don't love dealing Raanta with Lundqvist aging, despite knowing what Allaire has down in the past.