Rangers’ looming decision on Barclay Goodrow will set stage for 2023 offseason

Rangers beat Coyotes 4-1
New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) celebrates after scoring against the Detroit Red Wings during the third period of an NHL hockey game Thursday, Nov. 10, 2022, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Duane Burleson)
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With just under $12 million in cap space, there isn’t a lot of room for the New York Rangers to bring back several key veterans, lock up their young core, and upgrade with specific free agents. 

That means general manager Chris Drury will need to be creative as possible if he hopes of making the improvements needed to a club that couldn’t get out of the first round last season. 

One of the easiest solutions for Drury and the Rangers will be to part with specific veterans on the roster that are still under contract. Trading veterans may not be highly popular in the locker room, but it would give the team the necessary cap room to upgrade their current roster. 

For New York to accomplish their offseason goals, the most likely candidate to be moved might just be Barclay Goodrow. 

Goodrow was brought to the team in 2021 and has put up career numbers over the last two. The 30-year-old has helped New York both as a winger, and center. He’s helped stabilize the offense in moments of need and has been a strong locker-room presence throughout his two-year run with the team. He still has four years remaining on his six-year, $21.8 million deal he signed with the team but carries a cap hit of over $3.6 million. 

It’s that cap hit that makes him expendable this offseason. Should the Rangers look to move Goodrow, the trade could increase the Rangers’ cap space to over $15 million – a significant increase as they try to keep other players on long-term deals. With Goodrow supplanted more as a fourth-line piece over the last couple of years, New York could ultimately decide that a cheaper option would be more sustainable for the continued health of the roster. 

New York also has a bevy of prospects that could help them replace a player of Goodrow’s capabilities. Whether it’s Will Cuylle, Brennan Othhmann, or another prospect, the Rangers could replace Goodrow’s production in a bevy of ways that would be significantly cheaper. 

Of course, there isn’t a guarantee that Goodrow even gets moved at all. Drury could point to his versatility as a reason to keep his $3.6 million salary and work within the current confines that the organization is managing. 

But if the Rangers are to move past their disappointing finish in the 2023 Stanley Cup Playoffs, bringing in new faces could be exactly what the team needs going into a new year. 

Whatever decisions the Rangers decide on over the next few months, Goodrow is expected to be at the center of those discussions. Should he be moved, the team would have more flexibility to improve the overall roster. Should he stay, the team would then seem to be more comfortable with running a similar team back in 2023-24 as they did in the previous year. 

Either way, it won’t be the easiest offseasons for Goodrow as a veteran player. 

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