Finding creative ways for the Rangers to keep Chris Kreider

As more time progresses, it looks more like the Rangers are going to have to trade Chris Kreider. While that trade alone is not enough to get them under this year’s cap, it looks to be the path of least resistance in staying under the cap next season as well, before the Rangers clear $25.2 million in salary. This especially holds true if Kreider is looking for $7+ million in his next deal. It is worth noting, though, that we don’t know what Kreider is seeking, and it is all conjecture until then.

However in the event that the Rangers and Kreider have actually agreed on terms, but are concerned about the cap crunch next season, there are ways to keep him around that haven’t necessarily been talked about yet.

Option 1: Go the route of Mats Zuccarello and Henrik Lundqvist

Remember when the Rangers were in their cap crunches and had to worry about signing, at separate time, Hank and Zucc to contract extensions? They didn’t have the cap space to do so at the time. Instead, both accepted one-year “bridge” deals at a pay raise but not necessarily market value, and then signed their full extensions the following season.

For Kreider, this would look similar. He’d sign a one-year deal at, say $5.5 million, covering his age-29 season of 2020-2021. In January of 2021, he’d be eligible for an extension. In the wink-wink-nudge-nudge agreement, the Rangers would ink him to his extension at that point.

How this would work is simple. Let’s say the Rangers and Kreider agree in principle to a five year extension at $6.5 million per season this summer. Kreider signs a one year extension at $5.5 million for the 2020-2021 season. In January 2021, he then inks a four year extension at $6.75 million per season –preferably front loaded– and that covers the full dollar amount.

It’s a path the Rangers have taken before with two players they wanted as part of their future. If the Rangers view Kreider as part of the future and a leader in the locker room, then this is one way to get it done. It doesn’t necessarily solve any current issues with the cap, but then again trading him doesn’t really solve those issues by itself either.

Use Ottawa to gain LTIR space

Ottawa is a joke right now. I feel bad for their fans, since the Sens are basically making trades to save money and don’t care about dressing a competitive team. The player that I’d like to target here is Clarke MacArthur, who is on LTIR and has one year left on his deal at $4.75 million, both in salary and in cap hit.

This is admittedly a stretch, but if for some reason Brendan Smith is ok going to that mess, the Sens would save some cash. Smith has a $4.35 million cap hit this year, but is making $4.525 million. That’s still less than MacArthur by $200k, so there’s monetary savings for Ottawa. The kicker is that Smith only gets $3.35 million the following year, so the Sens get free money against the cap that year. The Rangers would simply LTIR MacArthur this season.

This is full on galaxy brain, since first Smith would need to waive his NTC. Second, and this is something we don’t know, is if MacArthur’s contract is insured. If it is, then insurance pays his contract and Ottawa gets his $4.75 million cap hit for possibly zero (depending on how much is insured) out of pocket dollars. Third, LTIR doesn’t work as “freeing up” cap space – it means a team can go over the cap by that amount, but they cannot accrue cap space all season. That makes the trade deadline difficult to navigate. However that may not be a big concern because the Rangers are likely not adding on salary at the deadline just to make the playoffs.

Is there a match with Kevin Shattenkirk and Tampa?

I’ve been beating this drum for a while, which likely means I’m way off on my analysis here. But I think there’s a fit with Shattenkirk and Tampa. Shatty still has the offensive mind and skills to be an effective RD. Tampa’s RD depth behind Victor Hedman is…Jan Rutta? That’s a legitimate question, I don’t know.

Kevin Shattenkik with retained salary makes an interesting match here. However the problem is two-fold for Tampa. The first is Brayden Point – he’s unsigned and is going to command a ton of money. The second is that they will have to dump a roster player to make room, and I’m unsure there are any players there that work. The guys that jumped out at me – Rutta and Brayden Coburn – were both signed this offseason. That’s a bad look.

Perhaps there isn’t a fit here anymore.

Toronto needs RD help

Speaking of Shattenkirk and matches, Toronto is run similarly to Tampa, and they also need RD help. Cody Ceci is my target here. Ceci for Shattenkirk, both at 50% retained. The Leafs take on an extra $1 million in cap space, but Shatty is miles better than Ceci. The Rangers free up a little space this year, but a full $3+ million next year, the important year for Kreider’s extension.

This is less than ideal for both clubs, so I doubt anything materializes here. First, Toronto still has to sign Marner, and that’s going to cost a ton. Second, they just landed Ceci, albeit in their own cap dump of Nikita Zaitsev. If the Ottawa thought is galaxy brain, double it for this one.

"Finding creative ways for the Rangers to keep Chris Kreider", 5 out of 5 based on 12 ratings.
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  1. None of these are going to happen in the short term. We need 2019-20 Cap relief and it seems like only a buyout and/or a trade is going to make that work.

    Ottawa seems impossible to deal with. The CK deal is a good idea for next year, but not the immediate problem and Toronto is in their own version of Cap hell. We need a team that thinks they have a shot AND has money to spend, like Winnipeg or Columbus. They can eat some salary if the player fits a need. The Jets are an interesting team, that could use some veteran leadership. Not sure Shatty, Smith or CK would go there, but at least they have the Cap space.

    The Wild is another interesting team. Young team with Cap space who probably should be thinking playoffs. They could use a middle 6 center like Names or Strome. Not sure we ever deal with them.

  2. I’m fine with keeping Kreider if the price and term are right. I do have to wonder on some level if the team is concerned with his play considering his play post the trade deadline. He was injured, but the results we’re mixed. It’s also concerning they we’re not able to get a first for him.

    That said. Namestnikov for MacArthur may make sense if the Sen’s don’t have insurance. You can call it a give away, but what do we think we are going to get for Namestinikov with a $4mill cap hit and him being a UFA next season? So far nothing. If you are going to LTIR MacArthur you can even retain a little salary if necessary. Obviously we need the cap space, but Namestinkov alone won’t clear up the cap space and another move or 2 will be required. Ottawa may also need a contract to get to the cap floor. Another option here, for LTIR, is to take back our old friend Gaborik. Obviously he has 2 years left on his deal so that would change the offer price. Not optimal, but choices.

    As much as I would like to keep Fast around, he will be a UFA next season and he will get a decent size raise in 20-21 which will most likely make him a luxury we can’t afford. add his $1.85 to Namestnikov’s $4 mill(if we retained a Mill it would be $3 mill) you have $4.85 to $5.85 mill in cap space.

    Send Smith to Hartford and free up another Million. Get’s you to $5.85 to $6.85 mill and now you can sign Buch, ADA and Lemieux. Avoid a buyout. Now you’re out of immediate cap trouble.

    Shatty should be less difficult to move with some salary retained at the trade deadline. You have 2 play off runs and 1 full season left. Which is easier to mange. And hopefully some small cap increase for 20-21 season. Plus with Shatty as 3rd D he will get sheltered minutes and that may help his performance. (It may not too and that is a risk) You can also keep Fox in Hartford until the deadline and keep our second round DP next year, by keeping him under 30 games.

    Not the best road map, but when you’re in a pinch sometimes you need to do things to fix the problem. This issue won’t be solved over night, but we have options.

  3. Funny thing is the Rangers do not have to be creative to keep Kreider. They are more than willing to give him 4/5 years at $7M per.

    But that’s not the issue. The issue is that CK wants 6/7 years, which isn’t going to happen unless the Rangers have a big change of heart.

    Just get cap compliant for this season and next year is no problem to fit CK.

    1. Again, that’s not true, they want him but at 50% cap retained by the Rangers.

      He’s not traded already because the Rangers are trying to have to retain as less as possible.

  4. I guess I’m the only one who’s not certain that Kreider even wants a long term contract. Maybe he does, but I don’t know that he’s ever said that, or anyone with real knowledge about his thinking has ever said it. He’s someone who could probably do something besides play hockey if he chooses to. Smart, well educated, fluent in a couple of languages, I’m sure he could support himself well outside hockey, and not take the physical beating into his 30’s.

    1. If I’m management, I’m selling Kreider & his agent that a deal to year 34 is his best play as his skating will get him a 3 year deal(at least) as long as the skating holds up(which it should.$

  5. this topic makes me feel like I just lost at ‘asses up’ and I’m about to have classmates take turns tossing dodgeballs at me…

    don’t take this wrong, its excellent info, I am just on the cliff waiting for this all to get going!


    nothing at all against Dave, not even close…

  6. “Shatty is miles better than Ceci.”

    Um, earth to Dave? There is NO market for Kevin Shattenkirk. Repeat: Everyone and his uncle in positions of management around the NHL knows that Shattenkirk can be had for a song from the NYR — but they literally cannot give him away, even with retaining salary.

    Cody Ceci returned Nikita Zaitsev in a trade. Can anyone with a straight face imagine Toronto making that trade for Shattenkirk with the NYR?? In a thousand years??

    1. Here’s the simple fact, if you take into consideration the advanced stats that more reflect the current state of the NHL’s play, than does the old ways of hitting, grit, etc., then Shatty was actually one of our better D men last year. BTW, +/- is the worst stat in all of sports, always has been, and yet it still exists.

      To go one step further, Shatty’s play was actually very good towards the end of last year. Which is not surprising because he was finally over the knee injury that he had the first year here as a Ranger, and made worse by the Rangers themselves by continuing to play him when they should not have.

      I am a 55 year Ranger fan, the league has changed in the way it plays the game now. While I do not think that any set of stats, traditional or advanced, are absolute, a mix of the 2 probably gets us to the right conclusion.

      I, for one, would not be upset if the Rangers kept Shatty, if other players are traded or gotten rid of to be cap compliant this year. But Shatty SHOULD NOT be taking spots from Fox nor DeAngelo, so that would mean that Shatty would have to play on the left side, or someone would have to play on the off side to have the 4 RH D men (including Trouba) on the team.

      The real issue is Staal. The FO’s love for this guy is totally misguided. YOU PLAY THE BEST ROSTER THAT YOU CAN, which means that Staal should not even be on the team. All things being equal and putting in your best 6 D men, it SHOULD BE:

      Skjei, Trouba, Shatty, Hajek, Fox, DeAngelo. How ever pairings they need to be in. Staal isn’t even 7th, Rykov is and Lindgren, and Ruanen (spelling?) after Rykov.

      So, the simplistic narrative is Shatty is garbage, especially at $6.65M per, which is not right, IMO. Now I agree that the Rangers are not getting fair value production for the contract, but the circumstances are not Shatty’s fault (the injury and the Rangers changed direction of the team AFTER they signed him. Coach Dumb-ss played the McD-Shatty pairing for like 2 periods that first season, which is laughable). So the RIGHT thing to do is trade him, even at 50% retained, if that’s what they have to do, to allow the right side to be Trouba, Fox, DeAngelo. But again, Shatty has no spot because of Staal, which is ridiculous.

      In conclusion, sure pile on Shatty, but he came here, WANTING to be here, took LESS to be here, and circumstances beyond his control turned this into a less than desirable result. He’s not a #1 D man, never was, never will be. But he’s also not being paid like one either. He’s not getting $11M per. I mean look at the Doughty and Karlsson contracts, talk about toxic? The Kings are looking to trade Doughty already, just one year into his deal, lol. The Sharks will hate that contract very soon as well. Trust me, the Shatty situation is not as bad as Ranger fans make it out to be, it was 4 years, not 7 to 11 years.

  7. It’s amazing that there are people here and on the other BSB who have talked themselves into believing that there is a market for Shattendrek.

    The whole world of hockey knows that we would give him away for 50% retained and accept a 7th round pick in return. Yet no one wants to go anywhere near him. Gee, I wonder why?

    1. Totally Czech…..even dopes over there having him on the left side instead of Hajek Lindgren Rykov or Crawley….other BSB is a joke

    2. And I find it amazing that people believe it will stay that way. The market is always changing, all it takes is one injury or one desperate GM. and if history has taught us anything, players who have been deemed untradable have been traded. I dont have enough fingers or brain cells to count all the times people have said there is no way we can find a buyer for certain players. Rozsival, McIlrath, Gomez. Hell, there was even a market for Wade Redden.

      The smart move would to wait it out and not try to force something. We have the luxury, no matter how pumped everyone is for the new season, to still act like a team in the “build” stage. We have suffered worse, overpaid defenseman for longer.

    3. He is a dead man walking. Might have to keep him, let him play 25 healthy games and then move him (if possible). Everyone knows our dilemma and won’t deal with us unless it is a truly lopsided deal in their favor.

    4. Attaching a significant “sweetener” may work, then again it may not. Should not buyout this guy. But if Pionk is worth 3 million per, then there has to be a dumb enough GM that thinks he’s worth 3.3 million.

    5. Please don’t bring up that guy’s name up again, hes stinking up my computer. My 10 year old grandson Jake even knows how bad he is, and he verbalizes it as often as he can!!!!!!!

    6. Not true my friend. My guys say the Rangers can trade him for 50% retained but are holding out to have to take back as low amount of cap as possible.

      So the Rangers are waiting it out right now, but I do hear that there may be deals out there to be made if the Rangers were willing to take back 50%.

      1. Tony

        I don’t know who your friend is but, I hope the hell he is right, the thought of losing a kid because of his contract is just too much to handle………………………….

        1. Walt, Girardi got $3M per after he was already pronounced dead as an NHL player.

          Some team will pay $3.3M per for someone that can still play somewhere in the top 6.

      2. Ok… then my question is what do the Rangers do with Shattenkirk if they can’t get a trade with no salary retention? Do they:

        A. Keep him
        B. Buy him out
        C. Trade him with no salary retention with a “sweetener”
        D. Give in and trade him with salary retention

        I know it’s all hypothetical and we know nothing that’s going on but it’s kinda fun to speculate.

        1. The most likely scenario? I think is D.

          A. They can keep him if somehow Smith and Names are traded with no retention.
          B. The least likely as the 2nd year’s cap hit for a buyout is massive.
          C. I think this is the 2nd possible scenario.

          So, IMO, based on probability: D, C, A, B

  8. Shatty or Staal will be bought out. CK will be traded. Smith and Belesky to the AHL team. Buch, AD and Lemieux re-signed. Not really that hard.

  9. Ditch Fast, Namestnikov & sign & flip ADA.

    Frontload Kreider’s deal to make the FVM deal be the equivalent of a $7mm AAV, which would slot in around $6mm

  10. What players would other teams want to have on their own team from the Rangers?
    Pavel Buchnevich
    Filip Chytil
    Tony DeAngelo
    Kaapo Kakko
    Chris Kreider
    Brendan Lemieux
    Henrik Lundqvist
    Brady Skjei
    Jacob Trouba
    Mika Zibanejad
    Libor Hajek
    Alexandar Georgiev
    Kravtsov, Vitali
    Fox, Adam

    Teams don’t want
    Fast, Jesper
    Namestnikov, Vladislav
    Shattenkirk, Kevin
    Staal, Marc
    Smith, Brendan
    Lundqvist, Henrik
    Beleskey, Matt
    Lettieri, Vinni

    Not Sure about
    Lundqvist, Henrik
    Andersson, Lias
    Nieves, Boo
    Strome, Ryan
    Lindgren, Ryan
    Howden, Brett

    I broke it down to simple idea about who is wanted and if your not wanted you should be gotten rid of. If you can’t easily be rid of. and I don’t care what your name is, you are a anchor to the team. Get rid of the anchors so the boat can sail.
    The rest is the easy decision. I don’t hear people knocking on the door asking what do you want for Fast? Or any of the Don’t wants. The budget is balanced without the Don’t wants.
    So it is settled that we get rid of the Don’t wants starting with Fast and ending with Lettieri.
    Problem solved

    1. Lettieri is a AAAA player who can stay buried in HFD, but it would take a plane crash for him to get top 6 minutes(which is the only way he stays in the lineup.

    2. And who is going to take any of these “don’t wants”? Other teams don’t need boat anchors either, no matter what the cost. Add a $4M+ salary to a boat anchor and you have an immovable object – you need to wait them out, or buy them out.

  11. The comedy of all this is that the best option for a buyout, Smith, is also the best one to keep. He can at least backup both defense positions and pitch in on the 4th line. Adds a little grit and has spurts of competence. Staal and Hank will not be not be bought out… unfortunately.

  12. Include prospects and eat salary to teams willing to
    trade for Fast, Namestnikov, Shattenkirk, Smith until your under the cap. The questions are which prospects you willing to lose that interests the other teams? Do you you trade a core players like Buchnevich or Kreider? Hank or one of the young goaltenders?

  13. I think they’ll find a way to clear enough cap to keep kreider for at least this season. it is probably the difference between making a legit playoff attempt and not. if in march they are clear sellers then so be it, you’ll probably get a better return then since the cap situation is a non factor in terms of leverage.


        id be surprised if your SAT verbal is above 450.

      2. To the moron who gave the thumbs down, he is signed for this upcoming season……Take care Moe, and say hello to Larry, and Curly!!!!!!!!!!!!

    1. If your going to be a critic of anyone’s verbal skills, please start your sentences with a capital letter, you putz!!!!!!!! Read your own post and see how smart you really are, and appear, you condescending prick!!!!!!!!!!…….

  14. People, why are we so upset, and even having this discussion in the first place? Isn’t Chris signed for at least one more season, if so why panic?????????????

    We would like to sign him before the season starts so we don’t have another Hayes debacle on our hands, but I suspect that Kreider will resign with us, or we trade him for picks, and maybe some kids as well!!!!!!!!

  15. For fans who think CK would give NYR a discount, you should wake up. CK is a Boston fan, and I bet he would not sign with NYR for at least Hayes money, 7X7.

  16. Were zucc and hank about to become UFA or the one year bridge deal was there last year of UFA with arb rights? That would be a huge difference. With the CK health issue a couple season ago, I don’t see him taking that risk. I would love it, but I just don’t see it either.

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