Vitali Kravtsov

Vitali Kravtsov has refused AHL assignment and has permission to seek a trade

4PM: Elliotte Friedman was on The Jeff Marek show earlier today and said, “I think there is a lot of interest. It doesn’t necessarily mean it’s going to be that easy to make a deal because the Rangers will see that interest and say they want something for it, but from what I’ve heard this morning there are a lot of teams who have shown interest. I think there is an opportunity to get something done.”

12:14PM: Vitali Kravtsov has refused his assignment to the AHL and has been granted permission to speak with other teams to facilitate a trade. (Friedman, Brooks, Seravalli)

Kravtsov is expected to be suspended. (Brooks)


During the 2019-20 season Kravtsov was loaned to the KHL after he was sent to Hartford and then exercised his European Assignment Clause.

Kravtsov then returned to North America and played in Hartford.

He played last season in the KHL before coming back and playing 20 games with the Rangers at the end of the season.

Adam Rotter: Well it certainly looks like Kravtsov will be going the way of Lias Andersson as someone who didn’t want to be sent down and will ultimately find his way out of the organization. Why Kravtsov didn’t accept the assignment, play well for 2-3 weeks and get called back up, I don’t know. I think he certainly has a right to be angry at not making the team, especially since injury precluded him from having a full camp and preseason, but this was not the right response.

What does it mean for the Rangers? Well, part of trading Pavel Buchnevich, in addition to the cap reasons, was to give Kravtsov, and Kaapo Kakko, bigger roles. Kakko has his spot on the second line, but with the decision to move Alexis Lafreniere, and now Chris Kreider, to the right side, the only spot was next to Filip Chytil on the third line. That seemed like a nice place for him, but he got hurt, Julien Gauthier had a good camp and now Kravtsov is again on the outside looking in and could be traded.

It will be interesting to see what happens next. The Rangers won’t just trade Kravtsov because he is unhappy, they will wait until they feel they are getting fair value. Maybe Kravtsov ends up in the KHL again until a trade can be found, similar to how the Rangers allowed Andersson to go back and play in Sweden.