Various sources report the New York Rangers have agreed to a new long-term contract with restricted free agent defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: TSN’s Aaron Ward reports it’s to be a six-year extension which will be announced later today, while Steve Zipay of Newsday speculates it could be worth between $5-$6 million per season. That’s a fair deal for arguably the Rangers best defenseman, who has quickly become a stalwart on their blueline since his debut in 2010-11.
This news should also come as a relief for some Rangers fans, who were fearful a rival club might ink him to an expensive offer sheet. At 24, McDonagh’s best seasons are still ahead of him, which could make this new contract look very affordable over the long-term.
In the short term, however, McDonagh’s new deal bites deeply into the Rangers $11.255 million in cap space, which won’t leave much to re-sign Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Justin Falk and Mats Zuccarello.
**UPDATE** McDonagh’s average annual cap hit is $4.7 million. That’s right, $4.7 million. Kudos to Rangers GM Glen Sather and McDonagh’s agent for working out a fair deal. That’s better than the estimation, much better. Sure, it still taks a sizable chunk of their cap space, but it leaves more money on the table to re-sign McDonagh’s teammates.