A memo to NHL teams: If you want Chris Kreider, be prepared to put together a pretty hefty package.
The New York Rangers winger is set to hit unrestricted free agency this offseason, and with the Blueshirts not firmly in the postseason picture right now, it’s possible he gets dealt ahead of the Feb. 24 trade deadline. Kreider is expected to make a fair amount of cash in free agency, and while the Rangers reportedly would like to re-sign him, nothing is imminent.
A handful of teams, including the Boston Bruins, have been linked to Kreider, but to date nothing serious has come from discussions with any team about the 28-year-old.
During TSN’s “Insider Trading” on Thursday, The Athletics’ Pierre LeBrun shared the latest on Kreider, including what the Rangers would be looking for as a return in a deal for the winger.
“It’s not to say that that trade will happen that much ahead of Feb. 24, but there are at least eight teams we believe that have expressed interest in Chris Kreider,” LeBrun said. “No surprise there. Now, the asking price will be similar at least to what the New York Rangers got last year for Kevin Hayes when he went to the Winnipeg Jets. You may remember that the Rangers got Brendan Lemieux and a first-round pick from the Jets, so a hefty price if you’re getting Chris Kreider this year. We should note the Rangers have not lost hope on trying to re-sign Chris Kreider, but as of Thusday, no contract talks yet between Kreider’s camp and the New York Rangers.”
That would be a pretty steep price for a rental, but with so many teams kicking the tires on a Kreider deal, it’s very possible the Rangers actually get a similar or better return as they did in the Hayes trade.
Things can change over the next three-plus weeks, and if the Rangers catch fire they may go all-in on this season a la 2018-19 Columbus Blue Jackets and take their chances with Kreider in the offseason.
But suffice to say if they elect to go the “sell Kreider” route, they’ll have no issue finding a suitor.