Chris Kreider is in the final season of a four-year, $18.5 million contract ($4.63 cap hit) that he originally signed in July 2016. The New York Rangers are currently negotiating with the 28-year-old Kreider on a new deal, but if that doesn’t work out, the team will most likely move the sturdy forward before the February 24 trade deadline.
According to NHL insider Bob McKenzie, the Capitals are one of at least five teams that are seriously talking to the Rangers about landing Kreider, who has scored 20 or more goals in five of his last six seasons.
McKenzie revealed the news on NBCSN.
Latest on Kreider: NYR looking for three pieces
1. 1st rd pick
2. Good prospect
3. (1) of player, lesser prospect, pick or even a conditional pick pic.twitter.com/gYltXagnsl
— Tom Urtz Jr. (@TomUrtzJr) February 20, 2020
“He’s obviously the most interesting guy because people concede he’s the number one trade target out there. The guy everybody’s been talking about – certainly as far as rental forwards go,” McKenzie said. “The door is still open for negotiations. The dialogue continues, but I also think that at this point, it’s a little more likely that he’d be traded than signed. But both options are very much on the table.”
McKenzie added, “I believe there are at least five teams that are legitimately interested to varying degrees on Chris Kreider including the Boston Bruins, the Colorado Avalanche, the New York Islanders, along with St. Louis, and the Washington Capitals. St. Louis maybe not as much as before after they made the Marco Scandella trade. General manager Doug Armstrong suggested that might be all that they’d do.”
The price to land Kreider, according to the longtime analyst and NHL insider, would be steep.
“The Rangers expect to get a first-round pick, a good prospect, as well as a third piece which could be a player, a lesser picker, or a lesser prospect and possibly a conditional pick if the team acquires Kreider ends up signing him to a longterm deal,” McKenzie said. “In an ideal world, this goes right down to the deadline on Monday. If the Rangers can get an auction situation going with those teams budding against each other, but if they can’t, they are going to assess the situation, look at what it would cost to re-sign him, what they have coming in the door if they trade him, and pull the trigger one way or the other closer to Monday.”
Kreider has 24 goals and 45 points in 58 games this season.
Thursday, nearly 24 hours after acquiring top-four defenseman Brenden Dillon from the Sharks, Capitals general manager Brian MacLellan spoke to the media and said, “I’d consider anything if it made sense for us. We’ll continue to talk to teams.
“Sometimes calls come in that are unexpected and they bring up things. It’s tough to say ‘this is what we’re going to do’, but we’re going to be open to whatever conversations we have.”
Headline photo courtesy of NBCSN
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