Rangers Roundup: Vitali Kravtsov in NY, Matthew Tkachuk trade, and more

vitali kravtsov
May 5, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Vitek Vanecek #41 of the Washington Capitals blocks the net against Vitali Kravtsov #74 of the New York Rangers during the third period at Madison Square Garden. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

Vitali Kravtsov is ready to make his mark in the NHL and the New York Rangers after a tumultuous few years.

Per Mollie Walker of the NY Post, Kravtsov is in New York ahead of training camp as expected. Back in April, Larry Brooks noted that the skilled winger would start his training in Russia but come here before camp opened to get ready for the upcoming season.

Kravtsov’s situation and fallout with the organization is well documented which includes him twice bolting for Russia after failing to make the team out of preseason action. It was reported that conditioning played a role in the team’s decision last year to send him to the Wolf Pack to get into game shape.

The two sides agreed to hopefully avoid that situation by starting his training early this time around.

“I don’t think we’ve ever wavered from our stance of, he’s an all-world talent. He does a lot of things on the ice that a lot of people can’t,” GM Chris Drury said. “Like everyone else, your play dictates where you end up. But we’re certainly glad to have him back in the mix.”

Vitali Kravtsov back with New York Rangers

vitali kravtsov
Apr 6, 2021; New York, New York, USA; Vitali Kravtsov #74 of the New York Rangers is checked by Marcus Pettersson #28 of the Pittsburgh Penguins during the second period at Madison Square Garden on April 06, 2021 in New York City. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

The Rangers came to terms with Vitali Kravtsov on a 1-year deal worth $875,000 on June 13. It was important for Kravtsov and his agent to get that one-way agreement to ensure a better chance to play in the NHL. He would need to pass through waivers in order to be sent down next season.

Kravtsov, 22, had a strong campaign in the KHL. In 19 regular season contests, he potted 6 goals and 7 assists for 13 points. During the playoffs, he added 7 goals and a total of 10 points in 15 games.

The former first-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft, 9th overall, played 20 games for the Rangers at the tail end of the 2020-21 season. While averaging just 12:24 per night, he scored two goals and added two assists.

Depending on how the Rangers lineup shakes out, Kravtsov appears penciled in as the third-line right wing coming to camp.

NHL: Matthew Tkachuck trade coming

matthew tkachuk rangers
Mar 15, 2019; Calgary, Alberta, CAN; Calgary Flames left wing Matthew Tkachuk (19) and New York Rangers goaltender Alexandar Georgiev (40) exchanges words during the third period at Scotiabank Saddledome. Calgary Flames won 5-1. Mandatory Credit: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports

Calgary Flames GM, Brad Treliving can’t be enjoying his summer. After telling fans that he would move “heaven and earth” to keep Johnny Gaudreau, only to see sign for less with the Columbus Blue Jackets, he could be losing Matthew Tkachuk next.

Sportsnet’s Eric Francis appeared on ESPN Radio in St. Louis and speculated that the restricted free agent has likely informed the Flames he has no desire to sign long-term. That sparked the team to file for club-elected salary arbitration on Monday to avoid an offer sheet and thus lose him for possibly four first-round picks.

“At the end of the day, the Calgary Flames wanted to buy more time to do the inevitable,” Francis explained. “Which is try to get some significant assets for Matthew Tkachuk and say goodbye to him. I believe this will be wrapped up within the week.”

Tkachuck, 24, registered 42 goals and 104 points in 82 games last season. For his career, he has 382 points in 431 contests.

While Rangers fans may be salivating at the notion of trying to trade for Tkachuk, they likely can’t afford what many expect will be a 7 year-deal with an AAV of around $9 million. The Blueshirts are already top heavy with Artemi Panarin ($11.6M), Adam Fox ($9.5M), Mika Zibanejad ($8.5M), and Jacob Trouba ($8M) to name a few of their big contracts. All except Adam Fox have a full no-move clause.

Not to mention the king’s ransom in assets like Alexis Lafreniere and/or K’Andre Miller the team would have to trade to get him.

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