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Monday, June 24, 2024

The Rangers Finally Constructed a Winner, And It’s Clicking

  • The Blueshirts have meticulously constructed a competitive roster with the NHL’s ninth-lowest total cap hit ($75.1M).
  • New York's third consecutive comeback win in an elimination game over a single series set a new NHL record.
Brad Penner-USA TODAY Sports

On Sunday, the Rangers completed a 3-1 series comeback with another come-from-behind win — showing the resolve and sheer stubbornness of a team with serious Stanley Cup aspirations.

New York’s 4-3 overtime victory over Pittsburgh set a new NHL record as the third consecutive comeback win in an elimination game over a single series.

The Blueshirts have meticulously constructed a competitive roster with the NHL’s ninth-lowest total cap hit ($75.1M), adding big-money signings to a mix of veteran stalwarts and young, affordable talent.

  • Game-winner Artemi Panarin signed a seven-year, $81.5M contract in 2019 — his $11.6M 2021-22 cap hit is second in the NHL behind Connor McDavid.
  • Igor Shesterkin — in the first season of his four-year, $22.7M extension — recorded 255 saves in the series, a franchise record.
  • Chris Kreider and Mika Zibanejad — who both set career highs in points this season — have the respective third- ($6.5M) and fifth-highest ($5.4M) cap hits on the team.
  • Young stars Kaapo Kakko, Alexis Lafreniere, K’Andre Miller, and Adam Fox have played well on entry-level contracts each worth $925,000 per season.

Of the youngsters, only Fox — last season’s Norris Trophy winner — has signed a long-term extension so far, inking a seven-year, $66.5 million deal last offseason with the fourth-biggest cap hit ($9.5M) among defensemen in 2022-23.

Add head coach Gerard Gallant, who led the Golden Knights to their early success before taking over in June, and the Rangers’ title window is officially open.

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