Chris Kreider and the playoffs

April 4, 2012, by

When it comes to Chris Kreider, most people are on the fence about what to do. Many are of the feeling that Kreider will join the Rangers for the playoffs after the Frozen Four is completed. Others, myself included, believe that he will join the organization, but it will be with the Connecticut Whale. Both sides have compelling arguments.

Let’s first kill the first rumor: No one knows what Kreider is going to do other that Kreider himself. All we can do is speculate based on facts from the CBA and what the organization is saying.

The organization wants Kreider to sign after the Frozen Four, that we know. But, what is unknown is what that term “sign” means. Will he sign for this year? Will he sign for next year? If he signs for next year, does he sign an ATO and play with the Whale?

To address all three questions, the first question needs to be answered. If Kreider were to sign for this year, then he would burn one full year of his two year entry level contract. His ELC is two years because Kreider is 21 years old. Three year ELC’s are for those 20 years and younger. So, Kreider would burn half of his ELC by signing for the playoffs. Thus he would enter his first RFA negotiations after next season. It accelerates his arbitration clock as well.  three year entry deal. Kreider would burn off a third of his ELC by signing this year. That pushes his RFA and atrbitration clocks forward by a year as well. (Sorry for the wrong info there, and thanks to Paul for pointing it out)

That’s a big risk for the Rangers to take in a salary cap era, but it might be worth it if Kreider makes an impact, the way Tony Amonte did in 1991. This reasoning seems to make sense because Kreider is one of 48 players on the Rangers reserve list, meaning he can play in the playoffs.

On the other hand, the Rangers can take a more conservative approach, which would be an approach similar to what they have done more recently with players like Carl Hagelin. That would entail signing Kreider to a two year ELC starting in the 2012-2013 season, and having him sign an ATO with the Connecticut Whale and playing there to begin his professional career. This route airs on the cautious side and would calm the people who think that rushing Kreider is a bad idea.

There is no right or wrong answer here. The Rangers are in a unique position of being legitimate Stanley Cup contenders, so signing Kreider –if he can help– would be a boost to the club. Conversely, the Rangers don’t want to sacrifice long term development or hinder themselves financially (which could happen if Kreider pans out earlier than expected) by signing Kreider prematurely.

The Frozen Four for Kreider will either conclude tomorrow or Saturday. Soon after we will know what his choice is.

Categories : Prospects


  1. MikeD says:

    While I would love to have this guy on the cheap for 2 years instead of 1. If the Rangers think this guy can make an impact he needs to be on the playoff roster. While the Rangers are set up to be very good for the foreseeable future, you can’t bet on being this healthy going into the playoffs ever again. just as 94 showed us, you need to do everything you can to make a run at the cup when you have a shot. I will trade many years of mediocrity for one cup. I did it already 18 years ago.

    • Matt J says:

      you didn’t trade a cup for mediocrity. Neil Smith did.

    • Jackson says:

      I would make that trade as well, but the Rangers look to be well above mediocre for the next few years.

    • MikeD says:

      Let me clarify that my statement is based on the RANGERS evaluation of this guy. I don’t pretend to know if he is good enough to make a difference in the playoffs. My point was if the team thinks he can help….they should burn the year of cheap contract to help the team now. If they don’t, which is very understandable he is playing college right now, then send him to Hartford. But I am completely willing to mortgage the future if it means a cup.

  2. rwa says:

    i like the conservative approach, elc, don’t rush him, as he has many years ahead. as much as he MIGHT help some now, future playoff runs with a seasoned Kreider would serve the organization more.

    • Dave says:

      I like this method of thinking, and I’m more inclined to think that this is the way to go. But Kreider’s raw talent is really tempting, especially at the expense of Fedotenko’s presence in the lineup.

  3. Daler says:

    They need the depth up front. John Scott? Ugh

  4. Spozo says:

    Go conservative. First off, who really knows if he makes an impact? Secondly, in order to make an impact he needs to see decent minutes and play with skilled players. He make zero impact playing the 4th line with fedotenko and rupp. Therefore he needs to see top 6 minutes. Who loses ice time for him to see those minutes? It’s not worth the lose of a year of his ELC. As it has been said many times, this isn’t an all or nothing team this year. They will compete for several years and will probably be even better next years just based on the development of Hagelin, stepan, mcdonagh and such.

  5. Chris F says:

    I honestly cannot believe we’re still having this conversation. We sound like Islanders fans, hinging our success on one great, yet professionally unproven, prospect. If Kreider is the winning ingredient for this team, that says more about this team than it does Kreider.

    This kid has no professional hockey experience. He’s putting up good, but not dominating numbers in college hockey. College.

    And people want to toss him into the Playoffs for his first taste of NHL play? Really?

    I bet they’ll be singing a different tune when he gives away the puck on the blue-line and it turns into an odd-man rush/goal. Playoff pressure is no place for boys, and Kreider is just that, a college boy.

    Let’s see what he can do in Hartford.

    • Adrian says:

      I completely agree with you playoff hockey is not somewhere to start someone.

    • Chris. C says:

      Really? Unproven Prospect? Kreider is proven, I seem to think he was the only non-NHLer on the 2011 WC Team that finished 8th. Along side McD and Stephan. Posting 2 goals and 1 assist. But Im just saying.
      Honestly Id let him play sometime with Hartford first.
      Half our defense/forwards throws the puck up the middle, so it wouldnt surprise me one bit if he did that also.

      • Chris F says:

        In 3 seasons with Boston College, Kreiders numbers are:

        2009-10: 40 GP, 17 G, 9 A
        2010-11: 32 GP, 11 G, 13 A
        2011-12: 42 GP, 22 G, 21 A

        Hardly the explosive numbers that would justify jumping straight from college into the NHL Playoffs during a year that the Rangers are primed to make a Cup run. Why jeopardize this run with an unknown factor like Kreider?

        • Dave says:

          We’ve covered this a lot…stats in college aren’t good measurements of success. BC runs 4 lines on a regular basis. A lot of the top scorers play on teams that only run 2-3 lines regularly. The top scorers in the NCAA from the past few years haven’t even been drafted.

  6. Matt J says:

    Potential lines with Kreider in the lineup:


    That’s not a bad lineup. Top 3 lines look pretty solid.

    • Sally says:

      You are putting the “suddenly” hot Boyle on the 4th line?

      • Matt J says:

        As hot as Boyle is a shutdown center is really his role. Glad he’s finding his offensive game that was never really there to begin with, but any goal he scores is a bonus for the team.

  7. Bobby Tux says:


    DUBINKY is not currently and never should play on the 2nd line of any playoff team. The current second line and a very good one is Callahan Stepan and AA. Dubinsky is a low IQ positional player and horrific decision maker.

    If the Rangers do sign Krieder, I would be hard pressed to sit anybody but Dubi. Not Mitchell Rupp or Feds only Dumbinsky

    However, the lack of seasoning makes me think they should play Krider in Hartford and only bring him to NYC in the event of injury.

  8. Walt says:

    If the Kreider kid signs with the Rangers, that again is if, because he may choose to stay in college and finish his degree, he should go to the AHL for professional experience.

    I don’t want to repeat myself, but what happened with Manny Melhotra? He was rushed into the NHL, and it proved to be a major mistake. That stated, please, lets not repeat history again!!!!! This collection of players have proven time, and again, that they can play with any team, with Hank in goal, and be a force to deal with. The key again is Hank, but that is understood!!!!