The New York Rangers, already close to the salary cap ceiling with some key restricted free agents to sign, would have likely been unable to match an offer sheet for any of them -- if, you know, they weren't so taboo in the NHL.
On Monday, the team locked up one of those RFAs, agreeing to terms with defenseman Ryan McDonagh on a six-year, $28.2 million deal, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post. The extension sees the Rangers able to buy three UFA years for the 24-year old McDonagh.
As Pat Leonard of the Daily News reports, four years for McDonagh, who's coming off his entry-level contract, is something new for general manager Glen Sather.
The contract breaks the organization's policy of assigning players a more modest two-year "bridge" deal between their entry-level contract and their third, more lucrative reward contract. Ryan Callahan, Michael Del Zotto and former Ranger forwards Artem Anisimov and Brandon Dubinsky are examples of important players who accepted bridge deals.
In three seasons in New York, McDonagh has 12 goals and 60 points. He's also been one of the team's time on-ice per game leaders, averaging over 24 minutes a night since coming over as a piece in the trade that sent Scott Gomez to the Montreal Canadiens in 2009.
With McDonagh now signed, the Rangers have about $6.5 million in cap space, according to CapGeek, with RFAs Derek Stepan, Mats Zuccarello and Carl Hagelin left to hammer out contracts with. They can go over the cap ceiling by 10-percent for the summer, but must comply with the $64.3 million limit by next season.
Follow Sean Leahy on Twitter at @Sean_Leahy
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