What's next for the Rangers after placing Barclay Goodrow on waivers?

The New York Rangers know they're going to need additional salary cap space to address all their needs this offseason and have made their first move to create extra wiggle room.

Barclay Goodrow was placed on waivers Tuesday afternoon, with the Rangers now waiting 24 hours to see if any team claims the veteran forward.

The claim scenario would represent the cleanest divorce, with any team who does so assuming full responsibility for the final three years of his contract at an average annual value of $3,461,667.

If Goodrow goes unclaimed, the Rangers would be left with two options. One would be burying him in the minors, which would save them $1.15 million while leaving a remaining cap hit of $2,491,667 on their books. The other would be buying him out when the NHL's window to do so opens 48 hours after the Stanley Cup Final concludes.

A buyout would come with a unique twist of not only shedding Goodrow's full $3.462 million cap hit this coming season, but an additional $247,222 for a total cap savings of around $3.889 million. But there would be penalties lasting five seasons beyond that, starting with a $1,002,778 cap hit in 2025-26, followed by an exorbitant $3,502,778 in 2026-27 and then $1,111,111 for three straight seasons running through 2029-30.

New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) looks on after scoring against the Florida Panthers during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.
New York Rangers center Barclay Goodrow (21) looks on after scoring against the Florida Panthers during Game 3 of the Eastern Conference final.

Chris Drury has yet to execute a buyout in three years as team president and general manager, but seems to have reached the conclusion he needs more financial flexibility to push a roster that's made the Eastern Conference Final two of the last three years over the championship hump.

"Everything's on the table," he said on a June 7 Zoom call.

It's not that the Rangers no longer value what Goodrow brings to the table. In fact, Drury told reporters they want to become a "heavier, more physical team" that's better equipped to win in the playoffs.

The two-time Stanley Cup champion checks those boxes and has helped create a winning culture since being acquired as one of Drury's first moves in the summer of 2021. But his AAV is awfully high for a player who was designated to fourth-line duty for most of his three seasons in New York, with that initial miscalculation leading to this outcome.

Goodrow's regular-season impact has been marginal, particularly this past season.

After posting 31 points or more in each of his first two years with the Rangers, he registered only 12 (four goals and eight assists) in 2023-24 and a team-worst 39.47% xGF among players who appeared in at least 50 contests, according to Evolving Hockey. And while he bolstered his case to stick around with a standout playoff run, where he racked up six goals in 16 games and helped lead a highly effective penalty kill, it wasn't enough to convince the Rangers his salary couldn't be better allocated elsewhere.

Drury also mentioned liking "internal candidates" to fill out the bottom six, which could bode well for the chances of prospects such as Matt Rempe, Adam Edström and others to breakthrough. The idea would be filling Goodrow's gritty role with a much lower price tag.

The Rangers surely tried to trade the 31-year-old, but his 15-team no-trade list may have proved prohibitive. Interestingly, by placing Goodrow on waivers, those teams he previously could have blocked a trade to are now eligible to claim him, opening up more possibilities.

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Vincent Z. Mercogliano is the New York Rangers beat reporter for the USA TODAY Network. Read more of his work at and follow him on X @vzmercogliano.

This article originally appeared on Rockland/Westchester Journal News: Rangers place Barclay Goodrow on waivers: What is next?