7:56AM: The NHL trade deadline is at 3PM today and Chris Kreider and Jesper Fast are still without contract extensions.
The Rangers enter today with 70 points in 61 games, six points behind the Islanders (76 in 61 games) and four points behind Carolina (74 in 61 games).
The Rangers currently on TSN‘s Trade Bait board are:
- 1) Kreider
- 11) Fast
- 38) Pavel Buchnevich
- 39) Tony DeAngelo
- 45) Brady Skjei
- 50) Lias Andersson
In the NY Post on Sunday, Larry Brooks wrote that the Rangers won’t give Fast away but are “likely” to trade him if they get offered a second-round pick.
He also wrote that the Rangers “might be prepared” to listen if teams call on Brady Skjei or Marc Staal. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: 12:21PM on March 5, 2014 was the official time when the Rangers announced that Ryan Callahan had been traded for Marty St. Louis. I bring this up because it meant that the Rangers had made their decision to trade Callahan hours before the 3PM deadline. I’m not saying that if the Rangers decide to move Kreider than it will be with that amount of time left, but at some point the Rangers and Kreider will have to break off extension talks so the Rangers can wholly focus on maximizing the return for him. Maybe Jeff Gorton can continue negotiating with Kreider and negotiating with other teams deep into the early afternoon, it just seems that at a certain point you need to pick a road and follow it.
My guess is that we start the day hearing that nothing has changed overnight and that Kreider is likely to be traded, get an update in the mid-morning saying that some progress has been made but that it’s still 50/50. Ultimately, Kreider will make the call and if he wants to stay, which he does, a deal will be made. Kreider deserves everything he is asking for and will no doubt get it as a UFA on July 1, but the Rangers are only willing to go so far in term, cap hit and probably in no-move protection. Still, it seems as if there is a path to a deal and that something can get done. If not, Kreider will likely be on his way to Colorado or St. Louis in exchange for a first round pick, a young roster player, a prospect and a conditional pick.
While 3PM is obviously the important time of the day, 11AM is also important because it’s when the Rangers practice. With Jesper Fast, I don’t think the Rangers will move him unless they get a 1st round pick or a top prospect. Maybe they do it for a second round pick, but I think Fast is someone you want around for the rebuild and someone worth holding onto past the deadline even if he isn’t signed. The there is much less risk in holding onto Fast and trying to sign him before July 1 than there is with Kreider.
As for other players, I think the Rangers will take calls and maybe start some dialogue for after the season, but unless they have to subtract, like in the case of Kreider, they aren’t going to break up a team that has been going so well. This roster won’t be the same come next season, but those trades don’t need to be made now. Maybe Lias Andersson gets moved, but that too may wait until the summer.
The Rangers aren’t likely to make a move with any of their goalies unless Alex Georgiev is included in a bigger deal, but, again, that likely won’t come until the off-season if it happens at all.