The New York Rangers have signed Chris Kreider to a seven-year contract extension worth $45.5 million, according to Bob McKenzie. The deal carries an annual cap hit of $6.5 million.
With the Rangers’ decision literally coming down to the deadline, the biggest fish available at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline is off the board as the team elected to keep him as a member of their core rather than moving on from him for what would have been a haul.
While there was a chance for him to be moved at the 2019 NHL Trade Deadline and all odds pointed to him being moved at the 2020 NHL Trade Deadline, the Rangers view Kreider as a major piece in their lineup. It isn’t hard to figure out why either as the 28-year-old has been one of their best players for years.
In what’s proven to be a seller’s market at the Deadline, it’s interesting that no team could put together a package that enticed the Rangers enough to part ways with the 6-foot-3, 217-pound forward. It’s entirely possible, however, that the Rangers simply wouldn’t budge off of what they deemed to be fair value.
Evidently, they love the player and didn’t want to part ways for less than the perfect trade.
The Rangers have embraced their rebuild better than many teams in the New York area have in the past and because of this, they’ve already put together a very good core to build around for years to come. Moving on from Kreider would have continued to accumulate assets in a similar manner, but with the light at the end of the tunnel seeming so close, keeping him seems like it could pay off for them.
Kreider and Rangers Looking to End Rebuild
In 60 games this season, Kreider has scored 24 goals and 45 points. He’s scored at least 21 goals in five of the last six seasons, including setting career-highs in the 2016-17 season with 28 goals and 53 points.
Kreider remains with a Rangers’ team that added Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba over the offseason via free agency and the trade market respectively. In addition to those two major splashes, the Rangers have added players like Adam Fox, Kakko Kaapo and Igor Shesterkin who can be major contributors on this team.
While the $6.5 million cap hit for a player like Kreider is a steal as far as annual value goes, the concern for the team will undoubtedly be the term associated with the deal. With Kreider set to turn 29 years old at the end of April, he’ll be 36 by the time this deal is ending.
The excellent cap hit was obviously a trade-off for the term and with Kreider being such an athletic specimen, it makes sense to take value on the cap hit and gamble on the term rather than risk losing out on other pieces to avoid having an albatross of a deal at the end of this contract.