Chris Kreider needs more seasoning

September 28, 2013, by
Kreider would be best served with big minutes in the AHL

Kreider would be best served with big minutes in the AHL

Depending on who you ask, Chris Kreider getting sent down to the AHL to begin the year is either the right thing to do or a terrible setback for both player and organisation. Everyone has an opinion on Kreider, indicating just how important his development is still deemed to be. Yes, the Rangers would prefer to have one of their prized assets ready for the regular season but if he’s not there it isn’t a disaster.

Given the way Kreider has been mismanaged in the recent past and given the relative depth the Rangers have with NHL veterans – for the short term – Kreider would be best served playing big minutes in an offensive role in the AHL rather than scrapping it out for unproductive ice time with the likes of Powe and Asham at the NHL level.

If Kreider starts the year in Hartford, he would surely be playing with the likes of Oscar Lindberg, Jesper Fast or Marek Hrivik, all offensive players at that level and all likely to produce offense for the Wolf pack. Confidence and momentum are key considerations for a prospect and Kreider would be far better served being placed in a position to succeed and built up slowly.

The Wolf Pack promise to have a lot of young talent this season and, with some luck and line-up consistency, they could be in store for a strong year of their own. Kreider should be part of it. So far this preseason Kreider has looked a little out of sorts. He has taken bad penalties, has played inconsistently and has failed to assert himself in games where the quality of opposition hasn’t always been NHL calibre top to bottom.

To suggest Kreider is a bust at this stage would be an admission of impatience and journalistic sensationalism. Has his development been smooth? Absolutely not, but at 22 he is far from a bust. Daniel Briere took parts of four minor league seasons before he stuck at the NHL level and he didn’t have the natural tools that Kreider has. More recently, an apparent journeyman like Teddy Purcell took five full pro-seasons before he broke out with a fifty point season for the Lightning. Now, after two more productive seasons back to back, Purcell is an essential part of the Lightning.

The Rangers are fortunate that they have a lot of forward prospects close to or ready to play at the NHL level. It might be the reason that Kreider is sent down but it is also the reason he won’t be rushed. As the old saying goes; no player’s development has been ruined by being brought along slowly.

Categories : Prospects


  1. jb says:

    How has been mismanaged in recent years? They had the luxury of playing in the AHL last year during the lockout but he stunk it up.

    • Nyrangers100 says:

      He’s been mismanaged bc he did stink in the AHL last year, and once the lock out ended, the rangers who weren’t as deep as they currently are, gifted him a spot out of camp, but once he didn’t score goals immediately, he was sent back down to be called up again to be sent down, having no time to develop chemistry with linemates or gain any kind of confidence and momentum

      • jb says:

        That’s not really mismanaging a player. Maybe Kreider just has to play better?

        Back at the start of last season everyone wanted him on the team. If Kreider had stayed in the AHL and continued to play poorly fans would have criticized Tortorella for not giving him a shot. In fact, he played him and was still criticized for the way he handled Chris.

        It seems to me that people like to blame everyone but CK.

        • Rangers Fan in Boston says:

          It’s both. Kreider deserves some blame for his struggles, but he hasn’t always been put in the best position to succeed.
          Some players take longer than others, and while Kreider has been slow to develop, we’ve seen what’s happened to other Rangers prospects who have been given up on too early.
          Start him in the AHL, and give him some consistent minutes and linemates. It’ll then be up to him to take advantage of that.

    • Centerman21 says:

      He also had a bone chip in his ankle from blocking a shot. He wasn’t tearing it up but he wasn’t horrible either.

  2. Centerman21 says:

    As long as Hagelin isn’t with the team, I don’t see the harm in letting him play 3rd line mins because of his size and skating ability. Size is something this team lacks. However, he has done little to nothing to warrant a spot on an NHL roster this preseason. I don’t understand why but he hasn’t nonetheless. Maybe getting sent down to Hartford will show him he can’t just show up and be given a spot on the NY Rangers.

  3. Mikeyyy says:

    Let’s face it. The rangers haven’t practiced offense for years. It takes time to adapt and implement new systems. It also takes a bunch of lost games to let that talent incubate. You can’t play the kids and expect to play great hockey. That comes with time.

  4. Bloomer says:

    Krieder has had lots of opportunity, he hasn’t been mishandled. If he wants to make the NHL he needs to bring it and play with some passion and balls. Pampering him and making excuses for him is doing him a disservice.

  5. insiderinfo says:

    I know for a fact that Kried’s is disliked in the locker room….he has huge talent and crazy skills but he is immensely immature. It genuinely pains me to say this but this kid might never put it together. It’s a known fact that his social skills and locker room presence hurts him. Built like a brick shit house but dumb as a rock. I truly hope I am wrong but this is the general locker room consensus.

    • Evan M says:

      And this “fact” is based on what? I know for a fact that you are full of it. I hope that I am wrong but that’s the general New York State consensus.

  6. Frank Cerbone says:

    Harford Rangers lost 7-0 last nite.
    Hrvik wasn’t even drafted and has played better than Kreider.
    Never any question about Kreider’s size, but always issues about his effort & hockey sense.
    That’s why he was projected by the Hockey News as a 1st rd bust, because only ONE NHL scout had him (Gordie Clark) going in the 1st rd. Gordie Clark
    has always been lazy and more likely to seek out
    local “talent” over spending time scouting a Lucic, Giroux, Benn, Ryan, & the entire 2003 1st rd draft.

    Funny how only 2 guys in the entire 2003 1st rd draft had problems making an impact in the NHL. Both of them were from the New England area (Jessiman & Boyle), and both of them were drafted/acquired by Clark.