Barclay Goodrow speaks during Rangers break-up day on June 4 in...

Barclay Goodrow speaks during Rangers break-up day on June 4 in Tarrytown, N.Y. Credit: Corey Sipkin

The reshaping of the Rangers' roster has officially begun  after the team placed fourth-line center Barclay Goodrow on waivers Tuesday, a source confirmed. The move, which was not unexpected, is designed to free up some space under the NHL salary cap.

If a team claims Goodrow, who had six goals in the playoffs, including two game-winners, it will remove his entire $3.641 million cap hit from the Rangers' payroll. If he clears waivers, then he likely will be bought out of the remaining three years on his contract. The NHL buyout window opens 48 hours after the Stanley Cup is awarded and the season is over. Florida had the opportunity on Tuesday to close out the Edmonton Oilers and win the Cup.

According to CapFriendly, buying out Goodrow’s contract will free up $3.89 million in space under the $88 million salary cap for the Rangers in 2024-25. The Rangers would then save $2.64 million under the cap in 2025-26, and $139,000 in 2026-27. They will carry $1.111 million in dead cap money in each of the three seasons after that.

Goodrow, 31, played three seasons for the Rangers after GM Chris Drury traded a seventh-round pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning to acquire his negotiating rights in the summer of 2021. Drury then signed him to a six-year, $21.85 million deal before he got the chance to test the waters of unrestricted free agency.

Goodrow had been an important piece of two Stanley Cup-winning teams in Tampa, and brought with him the type of grit and leadership the Rangers were lacking as they came out of their three-year rebuild and sought to open their window of Stanley Cup contention.

He provided the grit and leadership they were looking for — he was made an alternate captain upon his arrival — but in the end, his cap hit proved a little too much for a player who played on the bottom two lines and had 28 goals and 76 points in three seasons, including four goals and 12 points in 2023-24.

He proved to be a valuable penalty-killer, however, and an unlikely scorer in the playoffs. And at breakup day earlier this month, after the Rangers had lost to Florida in six games in the Eastern Conference final, Goodrow spoke as if he expected to return to the team next season.

“I'm a strong believer in this group that we have,’’ Goodrow said that day. “The players, the character, the leadership — the younger guys that have taken huge steps with their game are only going to continue to grow. And it hurts now, but I think the future still looks very bright.’’

But the Rangers’ future will continue without him.

At his season-ending wrap-up with the media a couple days later, Drury said nothing was off the table for the team in its effort to improve the roster, including moving out core pieces of that roster. While Goodrow wasn’t a player on the top two lines, his leadership, physicality, smarts and willingness to fight when necessary were valuable to the team. They will have to be replaced somehow, and at a cheaper cost.

“We're trying to be better,’’ Drury said. “We're trying to reach the ultimate goal [of a Stanley Cup] here, and we’re in the middle of that process now, and trying to figure out what's next and what can we do to be better.’’

If the Rangers don’t buy Goodrow out, they could still trade him, and perhaps retain some of his salary to make a deal work, or assign him to the minor leagues, which would bury his contract and save the team $1.15 million under the cap.

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