Don’t look now but Chris Kreider is on one of those goal scorer streaks. With four goals in his last five games including a clutch game winner in the last minute against the Islanders, interest in the pending UFA is growing. This isn’t news since he’s been labeled the top trade target once Taylor Hall was moved to Arizona.
While Kreider is red hot, this scoring streak actually started on December 8th against Vegas. In the last 18 games he has 10 goals and 8 assists. He’s playing with speed and power and leading the team on and off the ice. Everyone is noticing, and we do mean everyone. As the trade deadline draws closer, expect to hear Kreider’s name come up more and more.
When the time comes, expect to hear the usual teams going after Kreider as a rental. The Bruins, Penguins, and Lightning will surely come knocking, but one team that will be at the forefront are the Avalanche.
Rangers GM Jeff Gorton and Kreider’s agent Matt Keator are expected to speak again later this month about Kreider’s contractual status, though an extension, at this point, might not be in the cards. It’s believed the Rangers and Kreider’s camp spoke in the off-season and New York is familiar with the type of deal Kreider would be looking for. It’s unknown if Kreider’s contractual mindset has changed. During Tuesday evening’s “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, Dreger reported the Rangers could eat a good chunk, possibly up to 50 percent, of Kreider’s contract if they were incentivized to do so.TFP
The deadline is in February, and you can expect that Colorado will be in the mix, if not the favorites to land Kreider until the very end. Since all the major contenders have 1st round picks in the high 20’s someone will need to step up and give up a prospect. When it comes to contenders with deep prospect pools, the Avs have what it takes to get it done. That’s why I believe they will land him at the deadline.