Chris Kreider Injured, Trade News Buzzing as the New York Rangers Beat Detroit Again

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Saturday night was a case of good news and bad news for the New York Rangers. The good news was that the Rangers defeated the Red Wings 1-0, defeating the Wings for the second night in a row. That bad news was that Chris Kreider left the game with an apparent head injury suffered when he took an accidental knee from teammate Mika Zibanajed. 

The injury status of New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider

After the game, head coach David Quinn stated that his Kreider has an upper-body injury, and would not say it was a concussion. Despite this statement, replays clearly show that Zibanajed’s knee hit Kreider’s head squarely. Quinn stated that Kreider was doing well, and his injury will not be long term. It will remain to be seen if Kreider needs to undergo testing for a concussion, as determined by NHL protocols. The other possibility was that the knee to the head caused a bit of a neck injury, similar to what Zibanajed had earlier in the year.

Beach time did not hinder Lundqvist’s game

Quinn decided to start Igor Shesterkin on Friday night over Henrik Lundqvist because “One guy (Shesterkin) has been playing, and the other guy (Lundqvist) has been on the beach for the past nine days.” While that may have been a bit tongue-in-cheek, the rational paid off as Lundqvist recorded a shutout stopping all 33 Red Wing shots.  Lundqvist did note after the game about not playing in a long time when he said, ” It’s been a pretty tough month for me… You try to adjust to it, but in the end, you want to be out there and help the team.”

Trade Rumors Swirl pre-game

Right before the puck dropped, there were two pieces of news that could involve trades for the Rangers. The first was reports out of Calgary that there were going to be three Ranger scouts at the Flames-Oilers game. Both teams have been mentioned as possible trade partners with the Rangers, usually for Chris Kreider. Also, news came out of Toronto that Kasperi Kapanen was a healthy scratch in Saturday night’s game. Kapanen has been mentioned in trades involving Alexandar Georgiev. After the game, the Leafs stated that the scratch was due to “internal accountability.” Kapanen has also been mentioned in trades involving Wild defenseman Matt Dumba.

 

New York Rangers Ignore Trade Talks, Beat Detroit to Start Playoff Push

New York Rangers

The New York Rangers have had to endure a bunch of trade news that is swirling around their team. It could easily have been too much of distraction coming off a nine-day all-star/bye break, but it wasn’t. On Friday night, the Blueshirts subdued the Detroit Red Wings 4-2 to get things rolling on a playoff push that may influence what the Rangers due before the Feb 24 trade deadline.

New York Rangers Trade Update

During TSN’s “Insider Trading” on Thursday, The Athletics’ Pierre LeBrun noted that there are at least eight teams interested in Chris Kreider but the Rangers asking price, for now, is steep. LeBrun feels that it will take an NHL caliber player and a number one pick to land him. Kreider did nothing to discourage suitors Friday night as he tallied a goal and an assist. Alexandar Georgiev is also been mentioned recently, as he appears to be the odd man out in the Rangers’ three goalie situation. The Toronto Maple Leafs has been mentioned for a while but recently the San Jose Sharks have entered the rumor mill as they try to address their weak goaltender situation. A likely player the Sharks would give that would interest the Rangers is Kevin LeBlanc. The Brooklyn born native is in the midst of a down year after breaking out last season. However, LeBlanc is young, cheap, and controllable and he fits the mold of a player the Rangers are looking for.

The New York Rangers have a big stretch of games coming up

Following tonights win, the Blueshirts have a quick turnaround and will face the Red Wings in Detroit on Saturday night. After that, the Rangers have four straight games at home against Dallas, Toronto, Buffalo, and Los Angeles. Not that they necessarily have to, but all of these games are winnable. Dallas will be the most interesting game of the bunch, as the Stars are currently setting in third place in the Central Division, hoping to hold off a few hard-charging teams that want to steal their playoff position.

 

Ranking the Trade Destinations for the New York Ranger’s Chris Krieder

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

As the New York Rangers prepare to resume playing after a break, the trade talks around the NHL are heating up. Leading the way on those talks is the Blueshirts’ own Chris Kreider. On the NHL network Tonight show, Brian Lawton indicated that he believed that the Rangers would trade Kreider because the “return would be so great” and that Kreider’s talent is wanted by a contender because he is the “perfect playoff player”. So assuming that a team makes a great offer for Kreider, let’s rank the teams that could make that offer and benefit from the playoff veteran.

1. Boston Bruins

This would be the hometown boy returns as Kreider is a Massachusetts native. But it would be more than that as Boston would love his big presence on the second line that they have been missing most of this year. The Bruins are also not afraid to make moves at the deadline. Of note, it was last season when general manager Don Sweeney pulled off two trades that ended up helping his team reach the Stanley Cup Final by landing forwards Charlie Coyle from the Minnesota Wild and Marcus Johansson from the New Jersey Devils.

2.  St. Louis Blues

Recently, St. Louis General manager Doug Armstrong says the Blues could be in the market for a top-six forward. Chris Kreider is a top-six forward and he got a little taste of St. Louis during the All-Star game. Time will tell if they are willing to pay the price that others could offer.

3. Colorado Avalanche

Remember the reports out of Denver that mentioned New York Ranger scout sightings at Avs games? As a contender, Colorado would love to have the playoff experience on their top-six.

4. Pittsburgh Penguins

Despite Bob McKenzie saying otherwise, they get this nod due to the injury status of Jake Guentzel, who will be out for four-to-six months after having surgery on his shoulder that he injured in late December. Pittsburgh has indicated that they are looking to find a top-six forward to bolster their playoff run, and Kreider would easily fit the bill. Having a key injury puts a team in a little more desperate state than a team looking just to bolster their roster.

5. Western Canada

Vancouver, Calgary, and Edmonton could all use Kreider, However, there were some rumblings during the all-star break that Kreider wasn’t really wild about heading out in that direction. These also may be the teams that he has listed in his limited no-trade clause.

6. New York Rangers

Wait…What? It is still possible that the Blueshirts re-sign him. Fellow competitors in the All-Star game have mentioned that Kreider told them about how much he loves playing in New York.

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

The Washington Capitals and the Tampa Bay Lightning could have an interest as well, even if it is to keep Kreider away from fellow Eastern Division rivals. He would very much complete these teams for the playoffs.

New York Rangers Brass Keeping Their Poker Faces On as Trade Deadline Nears

New York Rangers

The New York Ranger’s management team appears to heed the words of the legendary Kenny Rogers song The Gambler which includes the lyrics “know when to hold ’em, know when to fold ’em, and know when to walk away.” With the NHL trade deadline approaching on Feb. 24, the Rangers have been very patient when it comes to whether to trade or keep many of their pending free agents. Sitting in their hand right now, ready to be dealt or held, are these five players: Chris Kreider, Alexandar Georgiev, Jesper Fast, Ryan Strome, and Tony DeAngelo.

The New York Rangers have an Ace in Chris Kreider

Insiders are referring to this trade season as a “buyer’s market”, meaning that teams wanting players may not have to give up as much with many teams looking to move players. However, these insiders are also stating that Kreider may be the exception to this, as his skillset and playoff experience has had many Stanley Cup contenders taking a good look at him. There is also some speculation that the Rangers may still want to sign him. All of this makes Kreider their most valuable trade chip.

Rangers’ top brass have been very patient with Georgiev

Alexandar Georgiev has been the goaltender that most thought would be traded after Igor Shesterkin was called up in early January. However, the Rangers did not panic and trade Georgiev for nothing despite the increased media and social media coverage that they have endured about their three goalie situation. The Rangers are holding out for what they perceive as value and will not move him until they get what they want.

Jesper Fast’s fate seems tied to Kreider

In this market, it seems that if Kreiders stays, Fast will go. If Kreider gets traded, the Rangers will probably try to keep and re-sign the forward.  It does not appear that the Rangers can keep both and stay under the salary cap next year.

The Restricted Free-Agent Conundrum

We detailed Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome’s issues for the Blueshirts in a previous article, so we won’t go into a lot of detail. However, it seems that DeAngelo may be the most likely to go as there seem to be more teams looking for defensive help, and the Rangers have quite a few capable defensive prospects in their system. The other RFA that we did not talk about much is Brendan Lemieux, but because he is a bit cap friendly in a position where the Rangers are not all that deep, he is not likely to move.

The New York Rangers have a few Wildcards

Brendan Smith ($4.35 million) and Pavel Buchnevich ($3.25 million) have been mentioned so the Rangers could free up valuable cap space. Brady Skjei is also a possibility, again as cap help and that there appear to be more teams looking for blueline help. Finally, the Rangers still have the Lias Andersson mess to deal with, and a trade deal either by himself or with one of the above players could put that to an end. The Rangers have many cards to play and February will be a busy month for Rangers management.

 

Why the New York Rangers are Considering Trades for Their Restricted Free Agents

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Most people would understand why the New York Rangers would trade unrestricted free agents like Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast. After all, if you don’t trade these guys, they could sign elsewhere in the offseason, and you would get nothing.  However, many have wondered why the Rangers would trade their restricted free agents like Tony DeAngelo and Ryan Strome since you get something for them if they leave. True, but that becomes the issue. Is that something you get in return better than what you are giving up?

What exactly is Restricted Free Agency?

A restricted free agent in the NHL is a player who has completed his entry-level contract but does not have enough NHL service to become an unrestricted free agent. This player qualifies as a restricted free agent when his contract expires. At that point, any team can make an offer to that player.

When a player signs an offer sheet with a new team, his current team is notified. That team has the right to “match” the offer sheet with an identical contract and keep the player. If they don’t, they are free to sign with the team that made the offer. There is compensation for an NHL team that loses a restricted free agent. The team that declines the offer sheet and loses the player receives draft picks from the player’s new team. There are some other restrictions and such, but that is basically the nuts and bolts of RFA. The decision for the Rangers comes down to do we keep the players, take the draft pick, or take the player we can get in a trade.

What will the New York Rangers do with Tony DeAngelo

The toughest part of this decision is how well DeAngelo has grown throughout the years and how well he is playing this season.  DeAngelo has been even more aggressive offensively this season than in previous years and has shown a knack for getting shots through traffic and on the net. He already has 12 goals, 25 assists, and is a plus-five this season.  It was just a couple of seasons ago that it was difficult for many to imagine DeAngelo ever becoming a top-four defenseman. He has now become a force on the blueline, which makes it tough to trade him. So why do you even think about trading him? Ah, that pesky salary cap issue. Jump back to the beginning of the year when the Rangers could not accommodate him for more than a one-year, $925,000 deal. His good year means that he could demand more in a new contract, and that might not be cap-friendly enough for the Blueshirts.

….. and the same goes for Ryan Strome

Experts have stated that Ryan Strome could ask for five to six million dollars per year in his next contract. Is that something that the Rangers can or want to take on? Again the issue is that Strome has played well this year. He has made a steady improvement from the beginning of the 2018-19 season when he played poorly. Previously Strome has never had more than 50 points before but is on pace for more than 70 this season.  The Rangers brass now has a little less than a month left to sort all of this out.

 

New York Rangers Chris Kreider listed at Number One on TSN’s Trade Bait List, Georgiev Fifth

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

During this lengthy All-Star break/bye week period, many trade rumors still swirl around the New York Rangers. According to TSN, Chris Kreider is at the top of the list for teams willing to make a deal for his services. TSN also listed Goaltender Alexandar Georgiev fifth, citing multiple teams that might be willing to trade for him as a backup for a contending team, or as a future top goaltender for a non-playoff bound team.

Many Teams Interested in the New York Rangers Chris Kreider

Kreider has a reported 11-team no-trade clause in his contract but would seem to be willing to go to a Stanley Cup contending team. Contenders would value Kreider due to his 77 games of playoff experience and the physicality he brings to the lineup. Recently, the Boston Bruins have been reported to have an interest in the Rangers forward.  The Bruins have the first-round draft pick that the Rangers reportedly want as well as some younger wingers, such as Anders Bjork, who could grow into the role Kreider may leave behind.  The Bruins also like the fact that Kreider grew up in Boxford, Mass., and played collegiately at Boston College.

Recently Sportsnet.ca has mentioned the Vancouver Canucks as a possible trade partner.  The surprising Canucks find themselves in first place in the Pacific Division and would love Kreider for the rest of the season and the playoffs. The only issue for them is that with so many teams bidding for him, they may not want to pay the hefty price of a first-rounder and a prospect, especially if it means giving up future all-star from Sweden Nils Hoglander.

Rumors still swirl that the New York Rangers may keep Kreider

NBC Sports Boston cited anonymous hockey sources in their report that it remains possible that the Blueshirts could hold on to Kreider for the rest of the season. After the all-star break, the Rangers have back-to-back games against the lowly Detroit Red Wings, which could help jump-start a run towards the playoffs. At that point, general manager Jeff Gorton may decide to keep Kreider for that run. Arriving in Stl. Louis for the All-Star game, Kreider is saying all the right things. He told reporters that “I’ve only ever pictured myself in a Rangers jersey. So until I’m not a Ranger, I’m a Ranger.”

 

Are the New York Rangers Scouting the Colorado Avalanche with a Trade in Mind?

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Various media outlets in Colorado have reported an increased presence by New York Rangers scouts during recent Avalanche games. With just over 30 days left until the trade deadline, the Avs seem more and more like a trade partner if something can be worked out. The question will be what players will the Rangers trade and who or what will they get in return

Will the New York Rangers Trade Chris Kreider?

The speculation for a while has been the Chris Kreider is the most likely Ranger to be traded, most likely because he will be a free agent at the end of the season, and they may not want to pay what he is expected to ask for. Colorado has frequently been mentioned as a trade destination as they would covet his experience.

The Avs are one playoff-bound team that values Kreider, who could provide valuable scoring depth for a contending team on a second or third line. He also could feature on the power play, either as a primary shooter or as a big body in front of the net screening the goalie. He would also provide the Avs with a power forward skill set that makes him an ideal addition for the playoffs as that is when the game slows down and the overall physicality ramps up significantly. A role Kreider can fill nicely.

The Boston Bruins have also been interested, and Kreider, a Massachusetts native, would fit in nicely for the Bruins who are currently in first place in the Atlantic Division and have a legitimate shot at winning it all this year. Tampa Bay, St. Louis, and Pittsburgh have also shown interest, but for now, the Rangers scouting department seems focused on Colorado.

Could the Avs be interested in a New York Ranger Goalie?

One of the darkhorse possibilities for trades could be for a goaltender. The Avalanche needs an experienced backup, and Henrik Lundqvist would fit the bill. However, Lundqvist has a no-movement clause, but after being on the bench for the last bunch of games while Igor Shesterkin and Alexandar Georgiev have manned the net. It may come to a point where Lundqvist sees the writing on the wall and recognizes that the Avalanche are one of the teams that give him a chance to win a Stanley Cup. The next 30 or more days will be quite interesting for the Blueshirts as they make a playoff push and possibly become active on the trade market.

The New York Rangers Need to Keep Chris Kreider

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

One of the puzzles that the New York Rangers need to figure out for their future is whether to trade or keep forward Chris Kreider. The dilemma is that the 28-year-old forward is in the final year of his 4-year, 18.5 million dollar contract. With the February 24 trade deadline a month away, the Rangers are in a tough situation as to whether to pay up and keep him or move him to another team. Unless the Rangers really hit a big losing streak in the next month, they should not trade the veteran and do everything possible to keep him for the future

The New York Rangers need a tough, veteran presence

While it is true that Kreider would bring a lot on the trade market, it might be wise to hang on to him to see if he will resign either before the trade deadline or after the season when he hits the free-agent market.

One of the negatives to signing him is that his people will ask too much for a player who will ask for a much of money but has yet to garner more than 53 points in a season.  But Kreider will bring more to the Ranger team than just points. He has blazing speed and an ability to finish that makes him difficult to contain.

In the most recent Ranger win, when the big 6-foot-3 wing camped out in the low slot and shoveled in the rebound chance to give the Blueshirts the victory. This dominant net-front presence and success at winning puck battles mean that opponents really have their hands full. This is not something that grows on trees in the NHL.

Could the New York Rangers Pull an Aroldis Chapman like Move?

If you remember back to 2016, the New York Yankees traded Aroldis Chapman to the Chicago Cubs, and in return picked up a player named Gleyber Torres. Then the following winter, the Yankees resigned Chapman as a free agent, while also picking up what looks like a future MVP candidate. Would it be possible for the Rangers to trade Kreider, then make a strong push to re-sign him in the off-season?  It would be a bit of a dice roll, but it would be a scenario that should really benefit the team if they picked up another key player and kept Kreider for this young rebuilding team. It will be an interesting month for general manager Jeff Gorton and President John Davidson indeed.

Should the New York Rangers Trade Chris Kreider?

New York Rangers, Chris Kreider

Much of the news swirling around the New York Rangers this holiday season centers around the possibility that the Blueshirts would move 28-year-old winger Chris Kreider. But after watching him recently with linemate Mika Zibajenad, many wonder if this is a good idea.

The Case for Moving New York Rangers’ Kreider

The biggest motive in making the move is that Kreider will be an Unrestricted Free Agent after the season. Kreider does have a modified no-trade clause and carries a $4.625 million salary-cap hit. A couple of weeks ago, Kreider reportedly gave the Rangers a list of 11 teams that he would consider playing for. There are many that feel that the Rangers are unwilling to commit a lot of money to a player that was good but never achieved what many thought he would, even if it means alienating fans.

The second part of the equation is that if the Rangers are dead set on dealing him, is whether to do it now or wait until the trade deadline in February.  There seems to be quite a bit of interest in Kreider, who currently is playing very well. Trading him now will give the Rangers the chance to assimilate any new players on the team for a playoff push. However, the general thought is that waiting until the deadline makes teams willing to offer more in one last attempt to improve their team.  Creating bidding wars means that the Rangers can get the most in return for Kreider. In either scenario, with Taylor Hall off the market, Kreider is now one of the top targets of many teams.

The Case for Keeping Kreider

One of the biggest reasons for keeping Kreider is that he is a leader on the team and popular with teammates. An important consideration for a young team that has a fair chance to at least make a playoff run. Last year’s purge of popular players did not go well. After trading Zuccarello, Hayes, and McQuaid, the Blueshirts proceeded to go 1-6-5 over their next 12, which lead to a poor 5-11-5 finish. That would not be a great message for a young team.  Then there is the chemistry that Kreider and fellow linemate Mika Zibanejad have built up this season. He is also proving to be a leader to a team with many young players.  This may be what the Rangers are thinking as on the Hockey Night in Canada pregame show Saturday, Sportsnet reporter Elliot Friedman mentioned that Kreider is getting some interest but may not be available yet. It was also stated that the Rangers still have interest in resigning him.

The bottom line is that the decision to keep or move Kreider may hinge on whether the Rangers can stay in the playoff race. If the Rangers would falter before the trade deadline, the decision to trade him becomes much easier.

 

Surging New York Rangers Head to Western Canada

New York Rangers

It would have been effortless for a young New York Rangers team to fold up shop after the Toronto Maple Leafs scored two goals in the third period, including the tying goal with just 53 seconds remaining in the game. But that didn’t happen. Instead, Artemi Panarin hit Tony D’Angelo with a pass that he buried for the game-winner just 52 seconds into overtime to lift the Blueshirts to the victory.  The win gave the Rangers two in a row and broke Toronto’s six-game winning streak.

Can the New York Rangers Keep the Momentum Going?

That is certainly on the Rangers’ minds as they head out to Western Canada for three games against the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Vancouver Canucks.  One of the keys to sustaining momentum will be the continued strong play at goal. Slightly lost in last night’s game was that goaltender Alexandar Georgiev stopped 43 of the Leaf’s 47 shots. This marked the third time that Georgiev made 40 or more saves in a game against Toronto. This follows Friday night’s reliable performance by Henrik Lundquist in their win against Carolina.

The other factor in sustaining the momentum is for the stars to keep doing what they have been doing. On Saturday night, Ryan Strome had two goals and two assists while Panarin added three assists, including the one on the game-winner. Mika Zibanejad scored a goal with an assist from Chris Kreider.

These combos on the first two lines need to continue to lead the way in order for the Rangers to continue their winning ways on the road. This also includes the intangibles, which include the ability to keep their composure when things are not going well. Such as the case on Saturday night when they gave up two goals that sent the match into overtime. Even with that, the Rangers remained confident.

After the game, Tony D’Angelo stated:

“I don’t think anyone was panicking when we gave up the lead. They had a lot of good chances and Georgiev played real well, but just like we got our goals, they got theirs, and sometimes that’s how the game goes, but we stuck with it and found a way to pick up the extra point.”

A great attitude for a maturing team.

Injury Update

The Rangers will be missing Brendan Lemieux, who will out three to four weeks after sustaining a broken hand on Friday. They recalled Steven Fogarty from Hartford to take his place in a related note. The Maple Leafs are without Ilya Mikheyev, who had surgery to repair an artery in his right wrist and will be out at least three months. The league announced that in the wake Mikheyev’s injury, the NHL’s laceration task force will meet to discuss ways of making the game safer at All-Star weekend.