Report: Chris Kreider Will Be Back This Season

NY Rangers

NY Daily News

According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Rangers forward Chris Kreider has gotten medical clearance to return to the ice this season.

Kreider, who has been out recovering from blood clots and the ensuing rib resection surgery, has been sorely missed in the Rangers lineup. In the Brooks article, Kreider says that he isn’t sure when he will be back, but I can tell you this as a fact: I am going to play this year.”

The Rangers winger mentioned that the clot was caused by a malformed rib, something which he had known about, and hadn’t been completely open and honest with the Rangers training staff about how he was feeling on that December night. However, Kreider had nothing but praise for the Rangers medical staff and organization on how his situation was handled. “If you’re going to have a blood clot, the best way to have one is being part of the New York Rangers,” Kreider said. “The training staff, the medical staff, the whole organization couldn’t have been better to me throughout this entire experience.”

Kreider details that since birth, his second rib was closer to the first rib than it was supposed to be, which caused his collarbone to stick out. He explains that he had been dealing with symptoms of this abnormality his entire life, but it had gotten much worse at the beginning of the season.

Then in the fall, I started to have some trouble breathing. I’d be out of breath sometimes when I never had before. I’d come to the bench tired after shifts, even some shorter ones, I was having a harder time recovering, and I really couldn’t figure it out. For two or three weeks there, I was coughing up blood at times, but I never said anything. I mean, you never really feel that good during the season, so I thought that it was just part of it.

And then when we came back after the [Christmas] break, I woke up the morning of the Washington game and my right arm was numb,” said the 26-year-old workout machine. “I figured maybe I’d slept on it the wrong way. But then after the first period, my arm had swollen to basically twice its size and the docs took a look at it and could see that the circulation had been completely cut off and got me to the hospital immediately.” – NY Post 

To find out more about what Kreider said and his thoughts on the rebuild, please read Larry’s article HERE.

Perhaps most surprisingly, at least to me, Kreider said that continuing his career in the NHL was not the first thing on his mind when he went into surgery. Hockey players are known for their ability to play through injury and “get right back out there”, but for Kreider, making sure he was healthy was his main priority. “I said to the surgeon, ‘I don’t really want to say this, but I don’t care about whether I can play hockey this year; just tell me I’m going to be healthy,’” Kreider said. “That’s what I was concerned about. You hear of people who have pulmonary embolisms and whose lives are never the same. I consider myself to be very lucky to be healthy again. Playing hockey is the icing on the cake.”

Seeing the Boston native healthy is certainly a welcome sight to the fans, teammates, and management of Kreider and the New York Rangers. The winger’s speed and size has been missed from the team’s lineup, not being able to fill his skillset with the other guys on the bench. Prior to his injury, Kreider had 22 points (11G, 11A) in the team’s first 37 games, and is coming back to a team that is openly starting a rebuild. Kreider has two years remaining on his current contract and will be an important veteran leader for what will be a younger, less experienced team in the coming years.