10/17/21 | Kravtsov has reportedly returned to Russia and was seen at a KHL game. (Sportsology)
10/16/21 | Elliotte Friedman reported on 32 Thoughts that “The Rangers have asked him if he’d like to go to AHL Hartford and work your way back up, Kaapo Kakko got hurt tonight. At this point in time he hasn’t agreed, I don’t know if he will, but the offer is out there to return.”
10/13/21 | 5:04PM: Darren Dreger tweets that there is “good interest” in Vitali Kravtsov and he would be willing to play in the AHL for another team.
Dreger adds that Kravtsov is already willing to consider a contract for next season at around his qualifying offer.
He adds that the Rangers are looking for a “top 6 talent” in return.
Kravtsov refused assignment to Hartford and has been granted permission to seek a trade.
The NY Post reports that Kravtsov had a “contentious” exit meeting with Chris Drury and Rangers management that centered on how Kravtsov trains in the offseason.
Kravtsov reportedly thought he was going to be traded during the offseason and also believed that he should have played in the top-six when he came over from Russia last season. (NY Post)
Adam Rotter: With the idea that Kravtsov is willing to play in the AHL for someone else and play for his qualifying offer next year, it seems pretty obvious that the damage is beyond repair for the Rangers and Kravtsov. No one knows Kravtsov better than Drury as Drury has obviously been around since he was picked, but he was also the GM for Hartford when Kravtsov was there. Drury had to know that this was a possibility at some point or that Kravtsov would request a trade if he was scratched, bumped down the lineup or was frustrated about something else.
Now it comes down to what the Rangers will be able to get in return. They have to get more than they did for Lias Andersson. Kravtsov is a better prospect and has shown, unlike Andersson, that he can play in the NHL. It’s a small sample size, but he looked pretty good for most of his 20 games last year. It will be interesting to see how long the Rangers wait to make a trade and/or if they try to use him and one of the defense prospects to make a bigger deal.