chris kreider

Will Kreider break 30? I say yes.

Another week of the postseason has passed us by and it’s time to Muse once again. While the Rangers remained somewhat active, a lot of league wide signings have generated a lot of discussion.

Arb Season signings

It’s still the arbitration season and lots of teams are getting their houses in order. We’ll wrap up some of the bigger signings below but one worth talking about is Calle Jarnkrok of the Predators. David Poile managed to get Jarnkrok to agree to a 6 year deal for 12m total. For a young man trending upwards coming off a 16 goal, 30 point campaign that’s an awful contract to sign. There is a very good chance he will be awfully underpaid in one or two years time. Poile once again has shown he’s among the very best GM’s league wide.

Noteworthy signings around the league include Brayden Schenn’s new pact with the Flyers. A hot streak got Schenn 20m over four years. If he carries his season ending tear into next season it’s a bargain.

Zborovskiy signs

So the Rangers signed Sergey Zborovskiy to an entry level deal. It’s hard to see the upside in a player that has yet to be an impact player at Junior level but time is on his side.

Bad spending Wings

A team that usually spent its money wisely was once the Detroit Red Wings. No longer is that the case. While the new deal for starting goalie Peter Mrazek is sensible (a prove it, two year deal worth around 8m) they now have over 9m tied up in net with Jimmy Howard now providing a major headache financially. For a team with cap issues them there are not good cap mathematics.

It’s not what you know, it’s who

What? You thought the Rangers now had enough aging bottom six forwards under NHL contract? Never! Andrew Gross confirmed the Rangers have offered Maxim Lapierre a camp-try out. His history with AV is obvious, so is his limited upside. That said, it costs the Rangers very little to take a look so, given the injury to Oscar Lindberg, there’s no harm in bringing in a veteran presence. I for one thought Lapierre was an effective depth player way back when however it was a long time ago. Don’t expect another Vinny Prospal moment.

My Ranger summer prediction: The Rangers will have five 50 point scorers next season.
My Ranger summer prediction II: Marc Staal will not be Ranger this time next year.

Cross Mike Hoffman off the wish list of several Rangers fans (mine included). Hoffman got a four year deal worth 5.19 per year from Ottawa this week. If he continues to score 29 goals per season it represents great value. If he doesn’t, then the frugal Sens will regret giving him four years – such is life as a stingy franchise.

My Chris Kreider gut feeling

You hear Jeff Gorton talk about the ‘chip on shoulder’ motivation for several Ranger players. I think Chris Kreider is going to have an enormous year and is one reason why I would be exploring moving Rick Nash for a good return. I think this is the season Kreider scores 30 and becomes the Power Forward the Rangers long for. He gives off the right vibes and I cannot wait for the new season, if only to see how Kreider starts the year.

East vs. West disparity

I can’t help looking at the East and still seeing a ton of mediocrity. I see a ton of teams getting better without breaking off from the pack, I do not see many ‘bad’ teams and I don’t see any team without a major flaw.

Rangers tinted fan boy glasses to one side, the Rangers can absolutely do well if they sort out the special teams this offseason and manage to repair (to some extent) the blueline. The West however, is clearly where the better quality still resides.

Kudos Canes

One team whose direction I like is the Hurricanes. Slowly but surely they are building the right way. There’s clearly a concept in place. Do they have the pockets and the player-appeal to follow through on that concept? Will players stick around and be patient for the eventual growth? Perhaps not, but the franchise is making solid moves at every level.

Question Time:

• Who will score more goals: Rick Nash, Chris Kreider or AN Other?
• What are reasonable projects (offensively) for Brady Skjei?
• Can Mats Zuccarello improve on his 61 15/16 point season?
• Who will be the Rangers best powerplay producer and why?
• Will Kevin Shattenkirk be a Rangers and if so, when?
• What are your expectations for Nick Holden?



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