6/5/19 | Chris Kreider was ranked 8th on Craig Custance’s trade board at The Athletic. (The Athletic)
He says that the Rangers “obviously like” Kreider but a trade is a “realistic scenario” if his potential long-term contract doesn’t coincide with their rebuild. (The Athletic)
Vlad Namestnikov, a UFA after the season, is ranked 14th by Custance and notes that the Sharks has interest in him at the deadline before they acquired Gustav Nyquist. (The Athletic)
Custance also mentions Jimmy Vesey as another player that is slated to be a UFA following the 2019-20 season. (The Athletic)
Neither Kreider nor Namestnikov are ranked on TSN‘s trade board but Kevin Shattenkirk, not ranked on Custance’s board, is 9th.
On the 5/31 Bobcast, Bob McKenzie was looking at Kevin Shattenkirk ranked #9 on TSN’s trade bait board and said, “I could see them trying to move that salary. They could be interested in trading for Trouba, I’m sure. They’ll be interested in Erik Karlsson if he goes to unrestricted free agency. Consider the Rangers a player in just about everything, as always.”
Adam Rotter: Namestnikov is a player that I expected to be moved last summer and then before the deadline but he has remained with the Rangers throughout. He’s a solid top-nine winger that has more offense than he has shown but he is a reliable two-way player and that is why I thought a playoff team would go after him before the deadline. The Rangers like Namestnikov and won’t give him away for nothing but I’ve thought, and continue to, believe that he would provide greater value to a team looking for depth and scoring in the top-nine. I wouldn’t be shocked if Namestnikov remains with the Rangers and comes to training camp but I do think teams will have interest in him and that the Rangers will ultimately move him, maybe in a deal to move up from 20.
Vesey continues to have flashes of being the player the Rangers expected him to be out of Harvard but he remains inconsistent and streaky after 240 career games. I could see the Rangers keeping him and hoping that 20+ goals and consistency will come in year-four but I also think he is a prime candidate for a Ryan Spooner/Ryan Strome type trade if he struggles at the start of the year and the Rangers exchange him for another inconsistent pending UFA and hope that, like with Strome, a change works in the Rangers favor.
Kreider is the big one for a variety of reasons. He’s the best of the three, has a blend of size, skill and speed that is hard to find and he’s now one of the longest tenured Rangers. I think the Rangers intend to sign Kreider long-term and keep him as a core piece of the rebuild moving forward. I don’t think it’s a 100% lock but Kreider was at his absolute peak value around the deadline (with an acquiring team getting two playoff runs) and it’s hard to imagine the Rangers would have kept him if the intent wasn’t to sign him. He’s an important piece and someone that, along with Mika Zibanejad and Brady Skjei, can set down roots with the rebuild and be leaders for Kravtsov, Kakko, Andersson, Chytil and Howden. I think he gets a 5 or 6 year deal around $6 million and some limited no-trade protection to remain with the Rangers and be one of, if not the only, links between the previous Rangers and the future Rangers.