Gary Bettman would discuss increasing the cap by more than a $1 million next year, but…

TSN: Chris Johnston says that NHL commissioner Gary Bettman is willing to meet with  new NHLPA executive director, Marty Walsh, to negotiate to get the salary cap to rise more than $1 million next season, but don’t expect much because of escrow.

“But what I’ll tell you right now is, don’t wait too long for that negotiation to happen because I don’t expect there to be much grounds for it to happen because Marty Walsh didn’t really get into a lot of specifics in his first press conference, but he was pretty clear that he did not want to see any change to the escrow.

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That was a big win for the players in the last round of negotiations and that was what the league was seeking to see the cap go up by more than $1 million.  I think the players at this point are comfortable just with that small bump for next year, with the knowledge that the year beyond that it’s going to go up a lot more once their debt to the owners is repaid from the pandemic.”

Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet: There are a few sources (teams and agents) who believe that without changing escrow, there is a way to increase the cap by $2 million and not $1 million. Based on potential revenue estimates. Has this been mentioned to Walsh: “No, it hasn’t been presented to me, but it sounds good,” he said, laughing. “When the time is right, we’ll have those conversations.”

New York Rangers mailbag discussing RFAs, Halak, Motte, Goodrow, Kane and Tarasenko

Arthur Staple of The Athletic: (mailbag) It feels like the New York Rangers may “have-to” trade one of their pending RFAs. Alexis Lafreniere has come on of late after a slow start, makes the most sense if they have to move someone. Filip Chytil just re-signed and trading K’Andre Miller would be crazy.

Guessing Miller would get a two-year bridge deal at around $4.5 million and Lafreniere two years at $3 million. If Miller wants to sign a long-term deal and it’s around $6 million, they could do that.

Re-signing soon-to-be 38-year-old goaltender Jaroslav Halak won’t be on the front burner for the Rangers this offseason. Maybe a bonus-laden 35+ low-salary deal. There may not be room for a Tyler Motte extension.

Trading forward Barclay Goodrow could be an option for the Rangers. Trading Jacob Trouba isn’t an option. Goodrow may hit the rumor mill when the Rangers get a better idea with their RFAs and backup goaltending.

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Hard to see how the Rangers would be able to re-sign one of Patrick Kane and Vladimir Tarasenko, never mind re-signing both. Kane taking a bit of discount is a possibility given that he may also need to have offseason hip surgery. Kane seems more focused on finding a fit and winning as opposed to Tarasenko.

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