The Rangers waive Barclay Goodrow in the first huge change of the offseason

The Rangers’ need for cap space ultimately outweighed the massive contributions the team received from Barclay Goodreau in the playoffs, forcing the organization to tender the edge forward on waivers on Tuesday as its first major change of the offseason.

It was a move that could be boiled down to Goodrow’s $3,641,667-per-year price tag that simply wasn’t a justification for a 31-year-old fourth-liner who isn’t producing nearly the max command command.

There’s no doubt the Blueshirts got their money’s worth in the postseason, with Goodrow describing himself as a clutch performer through the Stanley Cup with the Lightning and two runs to the Eastern Conference Final with the Rangers.

The Rangers placed Barclay Goodreau on waivers on Tuesday. Getty Images

He was also the versatile do-it-all player who excels in the dirty areas of the game that the Rangers needed when they signed him in July 2021.

There was a reason they stitched the letter “A” onto his No. 21 jersey the moment he walked through the locker room doors.

However, his six goals and two assists in 16 influential playoff games this season could not outweigh the extent to which his contract has restricted the Rangers financially.

Barclay Goodreau was one of the Rangers’ bench captains. NHLI via Getty Images

By placing Goodrow on waivers, the Rangers allow themselves some cap flexibility no matter what happens.

Although there is belief a deal has been pre-arranged for the Sharks to claim Goodrow, who spent the first six seasons of his NHL career in San Jose.

With three years remaining on the six-year, $21.85 million deal signed by president and general manager Chris Drury, which includes a 15-team, no-trade roster, Gaudreau would be off the Rangers’ books completely if he were claimed.

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Although teams will likely wait until the Rangers buy him out and sign him to a cheaper deal.

If Gaudreau qualifies, the Rangers could buy him between 48 hours after the conclusion of the Stanley Cup Final and June 30.

Buying out Goodrow would give the Rangers a cap hit of $247,222 in year one, but it would become a flat fee of $1,002,778 the following season before they are hit with $3,502,778 in 2026-27.

There is also a remaining fee of $1.111 million over the next three seasons.

That would leave the Rangers with approximately $15.549 million in cap space entering free agency on July 1 with a shadow roster of nine forwards, four defensemen and two goaltenders, which does not include impending restricted free agents Ryan Lindgren and Braden Schneider, or forwards. The bubble is Matt Rempe, Johnny Brodzinski and Adam Edstrom.

The cap fee, term and modified no-trade clause that came with Goodrow’s contract made this an expected move.

Shedding Goodrow has, one way or another, always been the quickest and easiest way to change a Ranger’s heart color.

Panthers center Kevin Stenlund (82) faces off against New York Rangers center Barclay Goodreau. Vincent Carchietta – USA Today Sports

The Toronto native posted some of the lowest numbers of his career in almost a full regular season in 2023-24, collecting just four goals and eight assists to go along with 78 penalty minutes, the second-most ever.

After finishing +13 and +3 in his first two seasons in New York, respectively, Gaudreau finished minus-13 this season while averaging just 12:33 of ice time per game.

This was just the first of many difficult – but necessary – decisions the Rangers will have to make this season.

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Change has officially arrived for the Blueshirts.

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