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Alex DeBrincat/Alexis Lafrenière Rumors
The longest and most drawn-out story of the offseason for the Senators has been the Alex DeBrincat trade saga. As of right now, all signs are pointing towards a departure for the winger and the real question is how Ottawa can replace his production.
Recently there have been conflicting reports regarding Alexis Lafrenière of the New York Rangers. Certain insiders have discussed that the Rangers may be “quietly shopping” the former first-overall pick, while others have stated that he is unlikely to be moved. As we all know the offseason is a time for wild rumors, so with that said let’s explore a potential Lafrenière move to Ottawa!
Rangers Cap Crunch
As of July 3rd, the Rangers have approximately $6.1 million in cap space to sign RFA’s Alexis Lafrenière and K’Andre Miller. For a trade scenario to make sense between the two teams, Ottawa would need to take on some of the Ranger’s cap in the form of depth players. The most likely candidate for this is Barclay Goodrow who is signed at a cap hit of $3,641,667 through 2026-2027. this trade would leave the Rangers with just under $10 million to re-sign DeBrincat and Miller which would be a tall task but wouldn’t be impossible.
DeBrincat Arbitration Salary
The Senators are set to go to arbitration over his salary this off-season unless a trade/extension happens beforehand. Why is this important? The most likely scenario in a salary arbitration meeting between DeBrincat and the Senators is that the number is in the range of $7.7 – $8 million. If that is the case, the Rangers would be left with right around $2 million to sign Miller (with Goodrow included in the trade).
You may be thinking to yourself how would this work? Well, there are two possibilities to maneuver with the tight cap space.
The first option would be for the Senators to retain between $1-2 million in a trade, allowing the Rangers to have one year of wiggle room with K’Andre Miller.
The second option would hinge upon K’Andre Miller’s decision on contract negotiations. If the Rangers could convince him to sign a one-year deal to buy a year of competing, they could afford both players.
Why would the Rangers want to pursue this option?
It has been widely reported around the league that the salary cap is expected to take a jump within the next year. Reports have indicated that the salary cap is expected to come in at around $88 million. This additional $4.5 Million could be utilized on long-term extensions for both players.
Does This Make Sense For The Senators
This may be the best option for finding a realistic trade replacement for the Senators. Although being regarded as a “bust”, Lafrenière has been a solid middle-six forward for the Rangers. At just 21 years old, there is also still some real high-end scoring potential that could be reached. In a new situation with new opportunities, who knows what he could be capable of?
2020-2021 – 56 Games – 12 Goals – 9 Assists – 21 Points
2021-2022 – 79 Games – 19 Goals – 12 Assists – 31 Points
2022-2023 – 81 Games – 16 Goals – 23 Assists – 39 Points
The Ottawa Senators would also be bringing in Barclay Goodrow who would help bolster the depth in the bottom 6. While he is slightly overpaid, he is still an impactful player who knows how to win. This past season, Goodrow scored 31 points in 82 games.
Does This Make Sense For The Rangers
The Rangers are a team that is currently in their “win now” window. While Lafrenière is a good player and could still have a bright future, he is not the player that DeBrincat is. This is also the lowest value he has had in his NHL career making it a great time to buy low on the proven player. If this trade occurs, the Rangers would add to an already elite top-6 and a prospect like Brennan Othman could step into the Barclay Goodrow position.
The big X-factor is whether or not they could sign Miller after a trade like this. I believe though that one of the two listed options could be a real solution to this problem.
OTT Receives – Alexis Lafrenière, Barclay Goodrow, Rangers 2026 3rd Round Pick
NYR Receives – Alex DeBrincat ($1.5 Million Retained)
This is what I believe would be the most likely trade option between the two teams. Ottawa would retain for a single year on DeBrincat, and the Rangers would have both players signed for 1 year while they wait for the cap to inevitably rise.
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