Chris Kreider’s future with the New York Rangers appears to be in doubt after the two sides have failed to make any progress on his contract.
The Rangers have significantly improved the roster over the last few weeks. However, Kreider’s status remains the one big question mark as the team prepares for the 2019 NHL Entry Draft in Vancouver on Friday.
The 28-year-old has played in 460 games for the Blueshirts. He is entering the final year of his contract in which he will be paid $4.625 million. The right wing came to New York straight out of Boston College and had an immediate impact with the club.
In his seven years, Kreider has recorded 133 goals along with 271 points. The forward’s inconsistency is a problem that has plagued him through his time with the Rangers.
This was never more apparent than last season. He scored 28 goals, but only recorded eight of those goals in the final 42 games of the season. When he is playing on top of his game, his focus, speed and hitting make him larger than life on the ice.
Unfortunately, there are plenty of times when he is invisible for long stretches of games. This problem is one of the reasons the team is unsure of what to do with his contract. The Rangers know he would probably want a six-year deal in the neighborhood of $6.5-7 million, a price that is very steep as the team looks to go after free agent Artemi Panarin.
John Davidson and Jeff Gorton might be able to trade Kreider prior to the first round of the draft in order to get the maximum return for him. A team would be more willing to trade for him now with the possibility of extending his deal then if the organization decides to wait until the beginning of the season to make a move.
Kreider’s experience and leadership would absolutely be missed on the club with so many young players in the lineup.
For Kreider, his time in New York may be winding down and it has as much to so with his effort as does his upcoming contract status.