With Namestnikov gone who will get the call up? Chytil or Kravtsov
Yesterday the Rangers unloaded Vlad Namestnikov and a large majority of his $4M salary to the Ottawa Senators. In return they acquired a 25 year old defenseman Nick Ebert and a 4th round pick in 2021. Ebert and his entire $700,000 salary will be put in the AHL with the Wolf Pack.
More Cap Space and an Open Spot
Per Cap Friendly the Rangers have over $4.3M in cap space with a 21 man roster. The trade also allows Brendan Lemieux to be promoted to the 3rd line and have Greg McKegg get into the lineup. However, I think it is safe to assume that’s not why the deal was made. When both Chytil and Kravtsov were sent to Hartford to start the season I was told by a team source as soon as they can give them top 9 minutes, both will be back.
Well the trade of Namestnikov accomplishes that for at least one of them. There is a reasonable argument for each and we may not find out until Friday or Saturday morning. The Rangers have a matinee against the Oilers at 1PM and one of them may very well be in the lineup.
Chytil or Kravtsov
From all accounts, neither of them have been overly impressive in Hartford but the Rangers are rebuilding and if they can get minutes with the big club that’s better. Since the Rangers traded away a winger, the logical thought would mean Vitali Kravtsov would get the call and slot in at the 3rd line wing spot. Of course, David Quinn did also say that he wanted Chytil, Andersson, and Howden all down the middle this year and Strome can be moved to 3rd line wing.
So when it comes to a call up, I’m leaning towards Chytil who has an assist over Kravtsov who was actually scratched for one game. Many believe that the scratch now seems to mean he is the call up in light of the trade. You’re guess is as good as mine.
What The Moves Could Mean
The adding of cap space does not signal an automatic contract extension for Chris Kreider, but it does give them the option. I don’t expect the Rangers to do anything on that front until the deadline, if they do anything at all with Kreider at that time.
Now if the Rangers call up Kravtsov and insert him on the 3rd line, that could be the end of any moves for awhile. However, if the call up is Chytil then I have to assume the Rangers will look to move Strome in a trade soon in order to make room for Kravtsov too. Either call up will leave the Rangers with over $3M in cap space.