In this salary-cap squeeze, Kevin Shattenkirk was the casualty.
The Rangers plan to buy out the remaining two years of the 30-year-old’s contract at $6.65 million per season, The Post has learned. In what was a confusing couple days when the exact buyout window wasn’t clear to most around the league, the Blueshirts’ intentions were.
This will now leave the Rangers with four years of dead-cap space, but will give them quite a bit of relief this coming season. Having been into the summer allowance over the $81.5 million salary-cap ceiling, the Rangers will now carry a hit for Shattenkirk of $1.483 million this season, making them immediately compliant. It will be followed by the big hit of $6.083 million in 2020-21, and then the next two seasons he would count for $1.433 million, all according to CapFriendly.com.
The window was made available because the Rangers’ second restricted free agent who had filed for arbitration, Pavel Buchnevich, signed a new contract Friday. Buchnevich’s deal wasn’t registered with the league until Saturday and for some reason this transaction was predicated on business days.
But this is the end of Shattenkirk’s ill-lived tenure on Broadway, when the New Rochelle product came home in 2017 and struggled to deliver as well as he would have liked while dealing with an assortment of injuries right at the start of his first training camp. He finished his two seasons and 119 games with the team he grew up rooting for tallying seven goals and 44 points.
General manager Jeff Gorton had a couple of buyout options available, including fellow defensemen Brendan Smith and Marc Staal — both lefty-shots. But when the team added two righty-shot blueliners in Jacob Trouba and Adam Fox, that was seemingly the writing on the wall for Shattenkirk.