August 17, 2020

Looking back at what the Rangers said after the trade deadline could be key to future moves

Chris Kreider and Pavel Buchnevich (Photo by Rich Graessle/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

Back in February, after the trade deadline passed, President John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton held a presser to discuss all moves made and not made.

Gorton mentioned that their approach was to be competitive now and still keep an eye on the future. Those were the main reasons why they kept Chris Kreider whom they admit was uncertain until deadline day and even they had deals they were considering.

On keeping Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast at the deadline

John Davidson said that the pluses outweighed the minuses and Kreider’s play with Mika Zibanejad was a major consideration. Once that decision was reached it impacted the approach the rest of the way. Hypothetically if they didn’t reach an agreement they would’ve had to trade him.

NY Rangers trades
Chris Kreider (NYPost – the late great, Anthony J. Causi)

As for Fast, they just felt he was more valuable on the team the rest of the way for the playoffs. Now that the Rangers are eliminated and loaded on the right side with Vitali Kravtsov and Julien Gauthier ready to join Pavel Buchnevich and Kaapo Kakko, Fast is likely on the outs.

Why they traded Skjei

John Davidson was excited that the team is competitive but still has an eye on the future. The deal now gives them three first round picks and 19 picks in the next 2 drafts. Brendan Smith likely to slot in for now. Gorton did say that this was a cap move as well as opening a spot for kids.

With K’Andre Miller having been invited to participate on Phase 3 training camp, it sure looks like he might be given a legit chance at making the team next season.

On Henrik Lundqvist

After the deadline, JD spoke a little on Henrik’s future. Davidson said he’s been a pro but they will need to talk about the situation. JD said he is confident that there will be a resolution. It sounded then as it does now that this was the beginning of the end for the Lundqvist era in NY.

Hints were dropped about the future

NY Rangers trades
Alexis Lafreniere getting NHL ready (The Canadian Press / Peter Power)

You have to wonder if the timeline was different and Kreider was going to be a UFA next season after winning the #1 pick, if they would’ve retained him. Alexis Lafreniere along with Artemi Panarin will be a 1 and 1a situation on LW for the Blueshirts for years. Seems to me in a few season’s there will be trade and buyout talk on Kreider. His contract has a No Move Clause until 2024-25 when it becomes a modified one.

Trading Brady Skjei was a logical move, especially with K’Andre Miller challenging for a chance. The emergence of Ryan Lindgren played a role in that as well. NY will also need to give Libor Hajek a real chance next season too.

All in all, the Rangers are keeping with the plan.

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