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Tempering the expectations for Chris Kreider

The hype machine started at the beginning of last season and, ahead of the upcoming campaign, was cranked up even further with the immediate impact Chris Kreider made as an untested rookie in the NHL playoffs last spring. Then came the lockout.

With the AHL season set to commence on October 12th, and with the Connecticut Whale training camp roster announced, Chris Kreider’s presence down on the farm will be one of the major talking points among Rangers fans and hockey media whose attention will focus on the AHL during the NHL lockout.

There will be a danger of expecting too much from Kreider. Kreider has star potential at the NHL level and with a host of young talent pencilled in for the Whale roster Kreider will be one of those expected to lead the club offensively, despite a relatively modest level of experience. If Kreider can make an immediate transition and gel with his teammates then there is the potential of a 30 or even 40 goal season for the Whale but it should be of little concern if he begins the year slowly.

The priority for Kreider still needs to be getting additional exposure to and experience at the professional level. Getting more games under his belt, playing with and against men (not boys) as well as playing in a more physically demanding league (as opposed to college hockey) are all aspects that Kreider needs to deal with over a longer period. Fans shouldn’t forget that while Kreider’s initial impact was impressive he still ‘only’ has 18 pro games (all in the playoffs) under his belt.

If the lockout drags on Kreider will likely play big minutes for the Whale and hopefully help them to a successful season on the ice. With players such as Ottawa’s Jason Spezza there are current examples of players that made a significant impact during an NHL lockout in the AHL before going on to establishing themselves in the NHL. Hopefully Kreider will follow in those footsteps but lets not panic if he doesn’t set the world alight immediately.

6 Responses to “Tempering the expectations for Chris Kreider”

  1. Walt says:

    Chris kreider will be a very good player in time!

    The kid has one hell of a work ethic, his work out program during the off season showed me that he’s willing to do what it takes to get the job done.

    The lock out may work wonders for this kid!!!!!

    • Dave says:

      @Walt, it will be good for Kreider to get that full pro season under his belt. The AHL coaching staff is phenominal.

      I don’t think the lockout really “helps” him, in that he is likley too good for the AHL talent, but I think keeping him skating in game situations is worth it.

  2. Sioux-per-man says:

    Kreider will be fun to watch reguardless what team he is playing on. The Prospect will only get better with time.

    I more excited to see McIlrath working with Buke. A full year working on the “TRUCK”, will pay huge dividends for the Rangers.

    Now will Miller develope on the Whale team this year – or do the Rangers make a business decision and keep from entering his 1’st year on his entry level deal.

  3. Marc Weissman says:

    Tempering expectations is EXACTLY what smothered this organization to go Cup-less for 54 years. As Mess smartly said upon arrival, if you don’t raise and even outlandishly set your expectations high, you will NEVER succeed at the highest level. Same goes for CK. No reason one bit we shouldn’t expect great things – yes GREAT – from Chris given his amazing skill set and yes, even right out of the gate.

    The key will be to see if he meets or better yet exceeds them or – perish the though – how he and the coaching staff responds if he does not.

    In the meantime, “Kreider’s On The Storm!!” :)

  4. Jeff says:

    Hopefully, maybe MSG will televise the Whale’s games!