We're officially two weeks into NHL Free Agency and essentially every big name that hit the market has been signed.

During the NHL off-season, teams are permitted to be up to 10% over the cap ceiling, and thanks to a $2 million raise that was voted on by the NHL and NHLPA, that means that teams can currently have up to $82.5 million worth of contracts on their books without being subject to penalty.

One of the busiest teams has been the Ny Rangers. Coming into the offseason they had many questions and few answers, and even less in cap space. Signing players who are at or over the age of 30 to long-term contracts is a sure way to put yourself in cap hell and that's exactly where the Blueshirts were when the offseason opened.

Since then, they have proceeded to claw their way out of cap hell through a number of avenues.

The moves

First, they bought out longtime defensive stalwart Dan Girardi -- a move that took the remaining three years of Dan's contract and cut the AAV in half, but spread it out over six years -- thus giving the team a couple million in cap space. They then proceeded to lose Oscar Lindberg to the newly founded Las Vegas Golden Knights in the Expansion Draft, saving themselves from having to give Lindberg, a pending RFA, a raise.

Next, on the morning of the annual NHL Entry Draft, GM Jeff Gorton proceeded to deal beloved front line center Derek Stepan and steady backup goalie Antti Raanta to the Arizona Coyotes for 21-year-old defenseman Anthony DeAngelo and the 7th overall pick in the first-round of that night's draft.

This move saved them approximately $7 million in cap space once you account for DeAngelo's near league-minimum salary.

They then re-signed defenseman Brendan Smith, whom they acquired at last season's trade deadline, to a new four-year/$17.4M ($4.35M AAV) contract. At that point, the Blueshirts had a whopping $20 million in cap space and were seen as major threats to sign some big ticket free agents.

Week one

Well, where there is smoke there's usually a fire. All season long we heard about the possibility of them signing UFA defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk, who is from nearby New Rochelle, and grew up a fan of the Blueshirts. Approximately two hours after free agency officially began the Rangers got their man, at the cost of a four-year/$26.6M contract ($6.65M AAV).

They also proceeded to sign enigmatic netminder Ondrej Pavelec to caddie for Henrik Lundqvist. Pavelec cost them a one-year/$1.35M contract. The hope being that goaltender coach Benoit Allaire can work his magic on Pavelec, just like he has on so many others.

Having checked off two of their three needs -- top pairing right-shot defenseman, and backup goaltender -- Jeff Gorton and Co. turned their attention to the market for centers. The team brass feels comfortable with Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes as the top two centers on the depth chart, and in a conference call, Gorton stated that they view JT Miller as a "natural center," which means that he will presumably pivot the third line.

That left just one more center slot open and the Rangers found a potential 15-goal, 30-assist center in the form of UFA David Desharnais, formerly of the Montreal Canadiens and Edmonton Oilers.

Desharnais cost them a one-year/$1M contract to man the fourth line.

With that box checked off, the Blueshirts turned their attention to one of their own. Forward Jesper Fast, was a RFA and needed a new deal, so hours after signing Desharnais, they inked Fast to a three-year/$5.55M contract ($1.85M AAV). Then, the Rangers got news that defenseman Kevin Klein was officially retiring -- after weeks of rumors -- which opened up $2.9M in cap space for the team.

Now, the only thing left for Gorton to do is to sign Mika Zibanejad, a RFA, to a new deal and his offseason check list will be complete. Most experts predict Zibanejad to get a five-year deal worth roughly $4.5-$5 in AAV. Provided Mika signs for that predicted value, the Rangers will then have roughly $3M in cap space to make any future deals.

The encore

The Blueshirts have also added Lindy Ruff -- formerly the Dallas Stars' head coach -- to their coaching staff as an assistant to Alain Vigneault. Ruff's primary responsibility will be the defense as he is replacing Jeff Beukeboom.

Then, news came down that the high-command has agreed to a three-year entry level contract with first-round draft pick Lias Andersson. Reliable sources have stated that Andersson will be given every chance to succeed during training camp and to open the season on the NHL roster.

A prosperous Prospect Development Camp showed off a number of Rangers prospects and there is plenty to be excited about. How many prospects make an impact at the NHL level remains to be seen, but if the camp was any indication, anticipation should be high.

It's only July 14th and yet it feels like the Rangers have had a full offseason in only a week. Training camp is fast approaching and as the Rangers enter their 91st season, the goal remains the same, to capture Lord Stanley's Cup, which would be the franchise's fifth.

Can this team as presently constructed, knock off the two-time defending champion Pittsburgh Penguins? Only time will tell.

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