Chris Kreider will be an unrestricted free agent this summer. At 28, he will be seeking the max years of 7 on his next and most likely final deal. He turns 29 in April so that will take him to the age of 36. And looking at the Rangers pool of young players and prospects he may not fit the long view plans anymore.
Blues and Avs
There are two teams in the same division that feel they are contenders and both are dealing with injuries to key forwards. The defending champs in St. Louis and the high flyers in Colorado. The Blues have lost Vlad Tarasenko for at least 5 months with a shoulder injury. Meanwhile the Avalanche have lost 2/3 of their top line. Rantanen is week to week and Landeskog is out indefinitely, both to lower body injuries. So will one of these teams come knocking on Jeff Gorton’s door? Elliotte Friedman thinks at least the Blues will.
This past draft, reports surfaced that the Rangers and Avalanche were working on a deal involving Kreider but Avs GM, Joe Sakic would not give up one of his 1st round picks. People around the Rangers believe that Kreider will fetch them a team’s first round pick at the trade deadline, and because of that, whether if be the Blues or Avs is the starting point.
The question is how do you fill that void this season if you’re the Rangers? Strome can easily play the wing when Zibanejad is healthy on the 2nd line. With Chytil up, that makes sense. Of course, the Rangers can call back Kravtsov but that remains the least likely possibility this early in the season.