At ESPN Insider, Craig Custance writes about players second contracts or “bridge” contracts and the impact they can have on roster construction.
He notes that teams that play hard ball, like the Rangers have been known to do, usually sign their RFAs to shorter term deals to give more flexibility under the cap and as a way to keep players motivated to work hard so that they can land their third contract is a big one.
This summer, Derek Stepan, Carl Hagelin, Mats Zuccarello and Ryan McDonagh are all going to be RFA’s.
There has been some speculation that Ryan McDonagh and Derek Stepan could end up in a range of upwards of $4 million per season.
Adam Rotter: I think that we will see the Rangers try and get Stepan and McDonagh to sign four or five year deals along the lines of Marc Staal, five-years and $19.8 million, and Hagelin and Zuccarello along the lines of nearly every other RFA the Rangers have have had the past few years, two-year deal worth a total of between $3 million and $5 million.
Carl Hagelin and Ryan McDonagh can both file for arbitration and I think, though I am not 100%, that the Rangers can file arbitration against McDonagh
within 48 hours of the Stanley Cup ending. Doing that would prevent a team from signing McDonagh to an offer sheet and allow the Rangers a little piece of mind as they negotiate a new deal.
Adam Rotter: The CBA, both the 2005 CBA and the 2013 CBA that was released yesterday talk about two forms of club elected arbitration. One form is if a player makes more than $1.5 million (via 2005 CBA) or $1.75 million (via 2013 CBA) the team can elect salary arbitration as a way to determine his salary for the coming season.
McDonagh had a salary, including bonuses, of $1.3 million last year.
Teams can also elect salary arbitration against a player if they reject a qualifying offer, but qualifying offers can not be accepted until July 1. The Rangers, I believe, could not file arbitration against McDonagh and prevent him from signing an offer sheet until July 5.