Players

Chris Kreider’s market value set, thanks to Kyle Palmieri

rangers kings 2015
AP Photo/Mark J. Terrill

One of the biggest questions looming over the offseason for the Rangers is how they will manage their RFAs. They have four players potentially headed to arbitration, the most important piece being Chris Kreider. Kreider’s combination of skill, size, and speed is difficult for opposing teams to match up against, making him priority number one for the Rangers. Initial guestimates had Kreider coming in on a multi-year extension worth $5 million per season. Steep price to pay for Kreider, but that’s the market value nowadays.

Enter Kyle Palmieri of the Devils, who this week inked an extension to stay in New Jersey for five years at a $4.65 million cap hit. The contract includes a modified no-trade clause for the UFA years, the last three years of his deal. Prior to his 30-goal campaign this past season, Palmieri had never even hit the 15-goal mark, with his career high being 14 goals.

Kreider and Palmieri are strikingly similar. Both are 25 years old. Both are 2009 first round picks. Both played in the NCAA. Both are entering their third contracts. Both have two years of team control before hitting UFA. Aside from production –Kreider has a pair of 20-goal seasons under his belt already– the only major difference is Palmieri entered the NHL a year before Kreider, with his second contract being a three year deal to Kreider’s bridge deal for two years.

Kreider is the more consistent player, notching a pair of 40 point seasons on his bridge deal, with a 37 point season before those. He’s averaged 43 points (18 goals) per season the past three years.

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When comparing them directly, it’s clear Kreider is the better player at even strength. They are equal in goal scoring, but Kreider is the better playmaker and producer offensively when playing 5v5. The shot generation/suppression numbers are also heavily in favor of Kreider. If the Rangers were to sign Kreider to a Palmieri deal, it would be a bargain up there with Mats Zuccarello and Derick Brassard.

While I still believe Kreider gets $5 million, the Palmieri contract comes with the vaulted “30-goal guy” title. Kreider hasn’t hit that point, and may not if the Rangers powerplay continues to be inconsistent. The Palmieri deal helps the Rangers immensely, as it may actually lower the cost to lock up Kreider long-term. Instead of potentially $5 million, the Rangers could be looking at the high-$4 million range.

Palmieri is probably the closest comparable we can get to Kreider. It appears that the Rangers are one of the few teams remaining in the league that do not value possession stats, giving some recent trends in decision making. That may actually help them in their negotiations, as Kreider doesn’t have that coveted 30-goal scorer moniker. The Rangers need all the savings they can get, and Palmieri’s deal might have been one of the better things to happen to the Rangers this offseason.

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  • He needs to start hitting again.

    Shed that goalie killer money on his back and start playing with that snarl.

    • I’m serious here.

      Ever since the price incident he has been just trying to use his speed.

      It’s like he forgot physics. Force = mass * acceleration.

      He has both. If he gets suspended for some hits. I’ll still call him the n the morning. đŸ™‚

      • I agree… And it has actually been confirmed, by none other than Rick Nash, that the target on his back from the refs stemming from his goalie incidents has caused him to alter his play. In an interview Nash said Kreider was having difficulty dealing with the “dirty player” label and it was getting in his head affecting his game. That was two years ago though so by now he has to let it go and just go out and play.

        • Kevin,

          He came out like a bat out of hell in game 3. If you remember, he delivered a CLEAN bone crushing LEGAL check in the opening minutes if that game and gets a penalty for either boarding or roughing…. He never played like that again that series.

          Perhaps you’re right and Nash’s statement on Kreiders intuitions on the ref’s are still very much, on his mind.

          • When the montreal media started calling Kreider a dirty player …….coach “vinauglt ” Needed to step up…hold press conference ..call the play a clean hit, and tell the canadians to stop crying……

            That would have made coach ‘vinauglt’ the bad guy and the target and taken the bullseye off kreiders back….

            But coach does not know how to protect his players or get the best out of them…

          • Blind AV bashing at its finest.

            When’s the last time a Ranger coach called a press conference for a 20 goal scorer? I don’t think it’s ever happened but who cares! Let’s turn it into a reason to bash the coach!

          • C’mon, Original.

            This “dirty player” notion is a nonstarter folded into dead narrative wrapped in a non-issue. A red herring. You’re better than that. Leave it, man.

            Kreider’s as close to being a dirty player as Swarty is to being a Russian cosmonaut. Or SalMerc becoming a DEA agent.

            What young gun Kreider needs to remember is this bit of genius from no less than “The Nature Boy”, Ric Flair. “To be The Man you got to beat The Man.”

            Dig it.

  • I don’t think that’s a good idea at all. IMO most forward’s in the NHL are not good at playing the off wing at 5 on 5.
    I also think the Rangers should search the bargain bin for a righty winger or 2. It seems as tho they don’t want any right handed wingers or Centerman for that matter and it’s no wonder the PP sucks. The only shooters they have on the left wing are usually defenseman. Stepan can’t be the only righty forward on a successful PP.

    As far as Kreider goes, he may not want a long term deal at whatever the Rangers will value him at now. He has to feel like he has 30 goal potential in him. At that point he’ll get paid the big bucks.

      • What does the slot have to do with playing the off wing? To score on the off wing you need to be set up with your back to the boards. In most cases a pass to an off winger has to be behind him or it handcuffs him and if takes a second longer to get a shot off. Most of the time he either looses the shot or gets off a lazy backhander.

        If he were going to be lethal on the off wing, don’t you think AV would have put him there?
        The Rangers have 1 righty winger on the team. I’m sure everyone has been tried on the right side of center in practice and for sure during games.

  • The Rangers shouldn’t fuss too much over an extra $500k-$700k per year if they can resign Kreider to a lengthy term without a No Movement Clause. This particular player due to his speed & size will always garner significant trade interest, let alone he is an established big-game producer. Those clauses in other contracts is what is impairing the rest of the team from moving forward right now. I may be wrong but I don’t believe Kreider is at the point of his career and contract history where these clauses almost become standard.

    Sign Kreider and get on with the really tough business of reconstructing the top end of our roster who are woefully short of contributing their cap cost. We all know who they are.

    • I’m sure you’re not writing about Nash, but let’s go there anyway.

      Is Nash & the team better served by giving him top 6 minutes or bumping him down to 3rd line for him to feast(fingers crossed) against lesser QoC? He’s obviously not the answer going forward, but I think 3rd line plus 2nd PP might be optimal. Then again, I might have posted something different a couple of days ago.

      So much to process.

  • To me Kreider is a little hard to say what to pay him. If he wouldn’t be missing in action for weeks at a time he would probably be scoring 30 goals a year n we would be looking at him making 6.5 mill. But he does disappear at times n can’t seem to be consistent. However he does score 20 or more n has awesome speed n some other skills that make him a potential 30+ goal scorer. So I would pay him his 4.5 mill for 5 years if that’s what he’s asking. 20 goal guys seem to make 4 to 5 mill a year now a days. I just hope whatever they pay him that he does what Brassard n Stepan did after they got their new contracts which was go have their best goal scoring totals of their careers.

  • This is a good analysis. Kreider still has much to prove, but clearly the cost of doing business in the NHL comes into play here, and Kreider, despite his maddeningly inconsist performances to this point, is going to get paid. I’m fine with the Palmieri deal for Kreider, but we MUST stay away from a NMC with him. It’s scary to commit to a player like this long term, yet he represents the Rangers best hope for a turnaround IF he can finally get it all figured out.

    I’d still trade him if the right deal were out there, but I suspect the rest of the league wouldn’t give up much in return. Which seems to be the case with most of our players…..our GM seems to value our talent a lot more than other GMs do.

    • You front load the deal, no NMC even maybe the 1st yr so you have 4 seasons to figure out if he’s the shit or the shitz

      This is one of the few competitive advantages the club has, so use it!!

      • A. RFA’s aren’t eligble for NMC’s until thire UFA years so his first 2yrs of his next contract won’t have one.

        And B. I have seen a lot of “front load the deal’s” lately… I don’t know if they’ve been all from you but… you do realize there isn’t any…or I should say much… benefit to front loading a deal… CAP hits are based on AAV not actual salary. Front loaded deals hurt you later if for any reason you want to buyout a player b/c you get less CAP relief. The only positive would being able to move the player in the later years of the contract to a CAP floor team with poor ownership (ex. they get say $5m towards the CAP floor but only pay say $1.5m)… and even then that’s is only if there is a team out there that fits that description and you can make a deal.

        From a player point of view it MAY help slightly that they get money up front to, if they’re smart, invest it early and such… but at the same time in this year’s case the players (b/c of the 5% escalator) are going to be paying a ton of escrow. Therefore, if I’m a player today I’m asking for a nice signing bonus, very LITTLE salary this season, and an increase in year’s two and three.

        • So you don’t understand the future value of money, you don’t understand how lower salary vs AAV can make for an attractive contract to other teams trying to get to the floor.

          I’m trying to be nice, but the next time you get a clue might be the 1st.

          • Maybe you should learn how to read…

            “The only positive would being able to move the player in the later years of the contract to a CAP floor team with poor ownership (ex. they get say $5m towards the CAP floor but only pay say $1.5m)… and even then that’s is only if there is a team out there that fits that description and you can make a deal.”

            So the very same thing you accuse my of not understanding… I even used that exact case in my example… So I don’t see what you’re problem with me is…

            So I do understand perfectly “the future value of money”… which I believe you are overvaluing in regards to this topic… And my comments on why players would want to “less” salary this year vs next (due to escrow) in their contracts and so on… are only more evidence of my understanding value of money for all parties involved.

            And I’m sorry but I didn’t convey any malicious tone in my reply before… so I don’t see the need for your “trying to be nice” but then being a total ass response to a simple friendly discussion. Nowhere in my comment do I try to argue with, or even single you specifically out… quite contrary, I even said I’ve seen these comments lately… “NOT all from you”… so again I really don’t see the need to belittle my well thought out comment.

            Hope the rest of your day is better than the first half.

  • Let him spend some training and conditioning with Gary Roberts, not so much for conditioning, maybe Roberts attitude towards how he played the game, would rub off on Kreider. Give me a in his prime Gary Roberts on my team any time. Good for 200 + penalty minutes, mean streak, knock you on your ass, and score 30 + goals. Kreider has that potential, it’s his heart I question.

    • The 200+ penalty minutes was nice back in the day, but not of value in today’s NHL. The rest, Bobby, I largely agree with. How much does Kreider “want it” and does he understand what it takes to be an elite NHL player? As pointed out before, a lot of scouts questioned whether his approach would translate on the NHL level, which is why he was not a high first round pick.

      • There is a lot of parity in the NHL right now, thus many tight games. Often games are won and lost by specialty teams. A team with a proficient power play or a stingy penalty kill can go a long way. So yes, it is more important then ever to play discipline hockey and stay out of the box. This includes Chris Kreider.

        Kreider could still blossom into a high scoring power forward. But that is an unknown, the Rangers should sign him for what he is: a 20 goal scorer with great wheels.

    • Actually you can, hence the royal road. When you’re on the off wing, no goalie can cover the whole net.

  • the money that pamieri got is not out of line for the devils give it to kreids because he deserves it and then watch out he will play better

  • If the Rangers can get a 5 year deal at 4.8 or something, do it. Kreider is a good three zone player and is reliable. I also echo another persons comment that Kreider should be tried on the RW instead of LW. He often performs well there.

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