State of the Rangers

BSB Debates…Trading Chris Kreider

To trade or re-sign?

Happy Monday BSB faithful.  I hope you and yours have had a wonderful holiday.  Back to the mini-grind before NYE for a day or two, I suppose.  This afternoon, I wanted to introduce you to a new concept here at BSB.  It’s called “BSB Debates…”, which will put two of our writers (or more, if we decide to get crazy!) on opposite sides of a hot button Rangers’ related debate and they will try to make their case for you, our dear readers.

Our first topic up is becoming more relevant by the day: whether or not to trade Chris Kreider, or look to re-sign him to an extension.  Our inaugural debate will pit myself versus Becky, with yours truly taking the “re-sign” position and Becky taking the “trade” position.  As always, the “right” decision will be highly dependent on contract demands, trade return, etc., but it’s fun to argue about it none the less.  Be sure to vote in the poll and  drop your thoughts in the comments.   If you dig this concept, it was all Becky’s idea, so be sure to direct any and all props to her (@bhabs37 on Twitter).

Justin: So, Becky. Kreider is a pending UFA who is likely to command sizable contract and after the Taylor Hall trade, should be in high demand from the likes of Boston and Colorado.  Trade or re-sign?

Becky: Ok, so Kreider turns 29 in April and will likely not sign for less than 6 years — meaning we get saddled with a contract we probably regret in 4 years.  I say trade.

Justin: I agree, given his market value is probably 6-7 years at 6.5-7m per year, the contract will probably look ugly for the last two, but here are some issues I think tip it in “team re-sign’s” favor: 1. Having productive veterans to help with the kids coming up, 2. the overall cap hit should be a much smaller percent 4 or 5 years down the road and 3. I don’t think the return will be worth the value of losing the production.

Becky:  I would argue that you have even more productive veteran leadership in your legit stars – Panarin and Zibanejad – along with less expensive guys like Jesper Fast, who has quietly been with the team for 6 years now.

On the flip side of point 2, he will likely request a NMC.

For 3, how do you quantify that? What is “enough return” for a streaky Left (only) winger who is quietly getting older, who uses speed and physicality to score instead of finesse?

Justin: Fair points all around, especially re: Panarin. However, I would argue that since Fast is a pending UFA, same as Kreider and Zibanejad will be 2 years from now, you aren’t necessarily ensuring that leadership.

I agree that the NMC is problematic, and maybe that is the Rangers line in the sand for giving him the money/term he is looking for.

It’s very difficult to quantify that value in concrete terms, but I would wager the return at the deadline won’t significantly alter the trajectory of the rebuild and the team gets even thinner on the wing.

Becky: I think he’s definitely valuable, and if you can sign him for 5 years I would jump at the chance. But we could use some help with perhaps a high prospect at D or something to round out the bottom six.

I think finding a winger would be easier than for example a center.

Even Howden – bless his soul – is proving to be decent on the wing.

Justin: I agree with finding a winger being easier than a center, and if the return for Kreider is a top-6 center prospect, I’ll drive him to the airport myself. I just have a hard time sending a .6 ppg player in the prime of his career out of town for a late first rounder and a mid-level prospect.

Obviously, it all depends on the return and the contract demand, but I can’t escape the feeling he is more valuable on the team than in a trade.

Becky: Yeah, I would want good return on CK. I’m mostly concerned with how they structure an extension/new contract if he takes it to free agency.

Justin: Agree with that 100%. Any concluding thoughts?

Becky: If CK keeps producing then there’s really no way this could go wrong — and in a perfect world, we can re-sign him for 5/$6.5m.

Justin: I knew you would see it my way :).

So, there you have it.  There is obviously quite bit of overlap in how Becky and I see the situation, but there are a number of variables and good and bad outcomes on both sides.  What do you all think? I’m only giving you the two options because “trade if the return is good” or “re-sign if the terms are favorable” is a boring cop out.  Enjoy your week everyone!

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  • We can all agree Kreider has never lived up to the skills we’ve seen; his skating and his shot. We know what type of player he is- good for 20-25 goals a year and a bunch of stupid plays in between. In my opinion if a team wants to pony up a late first rounder and an intriguing prospect the Rangers better pounce on that and never look back. Keep in mind we took Chytil with the 21st pick in 2017, which would probably wind up being right around where the 1 st rounder in a Kreider deal would wind up being. Plus, Kreider isn’t nearly consistent enough to garner a 5 or 6 year deal at 6 million per. I think it’s a very easy decision to trade him but that’s just how I see it

    • This organization makes me pause when it comes to Hartford and prospects what with the Kravtsov and Lias situations.

  • Ok, let’s delve into the crux of the matter and how this will be determined:

    1) If CK is stuck on 7 years, he absolutely will not be here, too long a term.
    2) If CK “settles” for 6 years, then there is a much better chance that he stays.
    3) If CK settles for 5 years, the Rangers will re-sign him.

    This is ALL about TERM, the annual $$ are irrelevant, so CK can get $6/7M per but it will be for the term that the Rangers will go with. If re-signed, then Strome, Fast, and maybe Buch all go, to make room for CK.

    Now, let’s go the trade route. Look at the return for Hall, it was QUANTITY, not QUALITY. Everyone knew Hall was going to be traded, and also was going to restrict the Devs as to where he was going to be traded.

    So if you use the Hall model, expect a first (which will be a low first coming from a contender) and, HOPEFULLY, a better than average NHL ready prospect, similar to the Hayes’ return last year. Because the fact of the matter is that Hayes and CK’s #s are similar, but Hayes is a much better 2 way player, while CK scores more goals, so those facts wash each other out, giving them equal trade value as a rental.

    Now, if CK gets traded, AND agrees to an extension with his new team, then maybe a first and a top end NHL ready prospect.

    All my opinion. Thoughts?

    • Except one difference is that Kreider adds a dimension in his game that we are lacking. Hayes is more easily replaceable, even if he’s a Center and Kreider a wing. Kreider is that big body in the crease that produces even if he doesn’t get the statistical credit. He also keeps defenses honest with his speed — similar also to the effect guys like Hagelin and Grabner had when they were in their prime. That said, I basically agree with you … 5 is the optimal term, $6.25-6.5M the optimal AAV.

      • I think that we all agree on the “potential” play that CK gives, but that’s WHEN he is engaged. That’s the real issue, isn’t it?

        That said, I would give a 5 year, $7M per or 6 year, $6M per contract. No way I give him 7 years, unless he’s willing to take $5M per, so as to spread out the cap hit.

        • Sure, when he’s engaged. The unfortunate reality in today’s game is that most players, even a lot of good ones, aren’t consistent. The truly consistent offensive forces in the League (forwards) are probably less than 15-20%. … and the unfortunate truth is that the 2nd tier of players will all be making $6-8M per if they’re UFAs. That’s just where the League is … but you’ve cut to the chase and zeroed in on the major issue, not how much he makes (give or take) but for how long he makes it. Oh … and let’s not forget the dreaded NMC in the last half of these long term UFA contracts.

          • Yep, it’s a tough call, no question.

            But I am encouraged by the fact that CK has played better lately, indicating that, maybe, the Rangers’ FO has indicated a willingness to try and keep him if he is willing to take a hometown discount. I am purely speculating here, and jst trying to connect the dots.

        • Tony

          For the most part we agree, but with Kreider I’m 180 degrees from you. The question has always been which Chris Kreider will show up. The answer has always been, who knows???? When it’s the guy who wants to make a difference, he can dominate, when it’s the guy who goes thru the motions like he does 3 out of 4 games, he just takes a roster spot. Everyone is enamored with his big frame, and I am too, but what he does with it at times makes it useless. He suffers from the Jeckel & Hyde syndrome, which is it?????????

          As for the contract, no more than four years, and no more than $6 per year. We have to pay others who are more consistent, and deserving, and want to play everyday.

          I’d trade Chris for a first, and a young prospect, or two. Look at what we got for Hayes. In reality we got Trouba, and Lemiuex, for Kevin and Pionk. That trade I would make a 1000 times over, and still be laughing at the fool who made it with us. Bottom line, if Kreider were to play at his capacity, every game, he would get what your proposing, but based on his history, I’d take a decent return, and thank him for his services!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

          • Walt, I’m afraid that a 4 x 6 contract would probably not be acceptable to CK. I can see him leaving money on the table but if he can get close to $30M to $35M contract, which will probably the last of his career, then leaving $10M on the table is too much, I would assume.

            Potential suitors that have a shot at extending him will probably pay more. Teams like Boston and possibly Buffalo, only because of location, might be enticing to CK to stay in the area. I can’t see CK signing in Edmonton, a team that supposedly has a lot of interest in CK, so that would be a trade as a rental.

            So I think that, in general, a first and a prospect would probably come back. Hopefully the prospect would be a higher level prospect that can play in the NHL now. If CK were traded as a rental.

          • Agee Walt, if Kreider done anything to help the Rangers, other than his initial playoff, it’s give the Rangers a nice return because another GM thinks he can bring out the power forward we all thought Kreider could be.

      • I think it depends.

        The initial reaction is what you just said, I think. But if CK plays like he can 75% of the time then he is a beast that those 3 combined could never be. But that’s always the question with CK, what you’re going to get next.

        I just posted below how horrible Strome’s underlying stats are without Panarin on his line, so don’t get too enamored with Strome, as I have been saying all along.

        Buch, I would like to keep. Fast can go as far as I am concerned. I love him but he is replaceable.

        Krav will be here soon enough.

        • Strome is unrestricted. The Rangers could give him one year deal. This gives the organization another season to evaluate their young talent. No need to lock him up long-term.

          Kreds as much as I love the way he plays the game, will become trade bait at the trade deadline. He would be a great addition for a club who taking a seriously run at the Stanley Cup.

          • I think you mean restricted, based on what you are saying, and yes, he is next year. I think with arb rights, his last year of restricted status. Me, personally, I would sell high right now, especially since he has another year as an RFA.

            The only thing I say about trading CK, is that I do not think that the Rangers would get the haul that Ranger fans think they would. And, maybe, the Rangers are finding that out now, an may be amenable to keeping him, for the right contract term.

        • Fast isn’t easily replaceable. Fans constantly underestimate what guys like Fast bring to the ice — and off the ice. He’s a “model” for what a bottom 6 forward should be. He’s a modern day Jan Erixon and still has a good 3 years ahead of himself in the NHL. The real issue I suspect is that you don’t like seeing him ever put in a Top 6 role. 😉

          • I don’t underestimate Fast at all. He’s great along the boards and he’s a great teammate. I’m sure a DQ fave as Fast checks all of DQ’s boxes for what an NHL player should be.

            But here’s a simple fact, Fast has been on Panarin’s line for the past few weeks and has exactly 1G and 1A during that time. I mean that’s awful point production considering how Panarin has lit it up. So that means that Fast is off to the side watching Panarin and Strome play in the offensive zone. That’s useless and why Kakko needs to play with Panarin. Fast has lost whatever offensive game he’s had, which wasn’t a lot to begin with. He’s a 4th liner, plain and simple. And that role is not worth $4M per. It’s purely cap economics.

      • I’m not opposed to dealing buch this summer for an equitable return. I don’t think his ultimate upside is much higher than what weve seen so far.

        • Honestly, I don’t know what’s going on with Buch.

          He looked like he was ready to cry on the bench in the Toronto game, after he had a clear path to the goal and ended up losing the puck after not taking a shot.

          But the talent is there, and 50+ pts could be his annual production.

  • Good debate, you two. It’s a tough call with Kreider. When he’s good, he’s very good. But when he’s off, he can go invisible for games at a time. He is beloved by the fans regardless. He seems like a genuinely good guy and has upped his game as a mentor/leader on this team.

    The tough questions are is he worth signing at a cap hit over 6 mil for 5 or more years like everyone assumes he’s going to ask for? And if traded, is a late first round pick Plus a prospect worth it? It’s a tough decision for Gorton and company. The Rangers have a bunch of these tough ones to navigate this trade deadline and off season. My guess is they trade him to a bubble team for a first plus prospect.

  • Hall being traded early has put the Rangers in a great spot to trade Kreider. If they’re gonna trade him, they have to really hold teams’ feet to the fire in terms of what they can get in return.

    I think given the situation the Rangers should trade him. Kreider’s been a good Ranger, it’s always mystified me why people don’t appreciate what he actually does for this team. Instead they whine and moan about how he should be better. He’s a proven playoff performer, strong and fast, who has scored a ton of dirty goals. Kreider will be missed when he’s gone.

    • I don’t think the question is whether the Rangers will miss him when he’s gone, it’s more (IMO) is it worth a hefty contract for a guy in his late 20s? And sure, people will be sad, but he’s also one of the last of the “legacy” Rangers — he’s a constant in a team that’s rebuilding, and people memorialize his 2012 playoffs and those teams he was on. It’s why we’re fans, and why we aren’t in the front office.

      I hope the point came across that ultimately, should he sign a 5 year deal (the hometown discount perspective, I think), it would be a no-brainer to extend.

    • Captains should play like Giroux, McDavid, Crosby, Toews, Stamkos, Zibanejad, Panarin. Kreider with a C would not be the best look.

      • When Kreider smacked Cody Eakin in the head with his own helmet, he should’ve been given the C right there.

      • I’m not sure you understand what the Captain’s role actually is … it isn’t to score 80+ points (the guys you listed though are special talents — although I question how good a captain Giroux and/or McDavid has been throughout their careers and Zib/Panarin have never been one). To be a Captain you have to set a certain example, to be helpful, to know when to speak up and when not to … and to know what to say, to know when to close the door to the coaching staff and have an all-player meeting. It’s to inspire both on and off the ice, it’s to stand up for teammates (fighting or otherwise) and to argue intelligently/properly with refs and linemen (to work them).

        Kreider isn’t perfect and I’m not suggesting Zibby and Panarin couldn’t make good Captains, but we’ve gotten information over the years to suggest Kreider possesses the requisite qualities to make a good Captain. That has “extra” value and is needed on a young team.

  • When I think about what everyone said the Nash trade would bring us and what was actually produced, I think we got short changed. Keeping Chris is the way to go.
    This team doesn’t have many grinders, Strome and Kreider are the guys playing physical and screening the goalie.
    We got pushed around quite a bit in the last cup final we were in. The Capitals and more so, the Bruins are looking for physical players. We need more guys like Kreider, we have plenty of youth and finesse at this time. Re-sign him and build around him, he makes the guys around him better.

    • Are you kidding? The full impact of that trade will further reveal itself down the line BUT we got great value for a 33 year old soon to retire player. Spooner who was then traded for Strome … Lindgren and K’Andre Miller (Boston’s 1st rounder being packaged with a late 2nd rounder). Gorton utilized the assets from part of that trade and part of Grabner’s trade masterfully.

  • Max pacioretty signed for 4 years at 7 million with a no trade clause. Kreider is comparable to Max so I think that’s a marker they could use in signing him. also you can use the Kevin Hayes is a center reason for why he got the money/term he did. I’d be ok with 7/4/nmc or 7.5/4/limited (10 team) nmc or even because it’s him a 6/7/lnmc. I think this isn’t that hard a situation to be honest. If they guy is set on 5+ years at max value then you have to trade him. If he’s willing to resign for less term or a big Aav discount with with the term then you keep him.

  • Excellent concept!

    I would not be surprised if CK20 is NOT traded.

    I do not believe anyone has talked about the fact that even though he is going to be 29, he is a MAC truck compared to most players, I know he has gotten hurt but his injuries have not been your typical guys getting older stuff. I feel CK20 is 2.5 years younger then his age in years…

    the guys really only 26.5 (he is not going soft… like my holiday a$$ is. lol

    🙂 cheers, LGR!!!

  • It really does come down to term as Tony (Richter) stated above. I don’t see Kreider “disappearing” for stretches because he always does things like play a physical game and create traffic in front of the net, and force teams to guard him because of his speed. He is just a streaky scorer so that probably makes people believe that he ‘disappears’. I don’t buy it.
    A five year term at $7 million/year would be a great deal for the Rangers if they can get it done. They simply will not get equal value for Kreider. At 34 or 35 Kreider will still be a good player, so 5 years is a no-brainer. I’d keep him if they can get him to sign a five year deal.

    • Same – I do think if they re-sign him, it’ll be 6/6.5M with a limited nmc and I’m preparing for that. But if you could get him to go 5 years… 7 mil, even 7.5 is fine in my book.

  • I also want to add… this “disappear” thing is over rated. He’s 29 already, he isn’t rick Nash on Columbus, we know that by now. But he contributes in a lot of ways off the puck and he never disappears defensively. He may disappear offensively, but if he didn’t disappear offensively then he’d be like a 35g/70pt guy. And then we’re talking more like 8mil over 7, especially at left wing. We can’t have it both ways. Can’t say well we want you to produce more and we’re hesitant to keep you cause you aren’t a .75+ ppg player but then say we want him to produce more and then say oh but you’re too expensive to keep. He honestly hasn’t gotten any slower over the years. He’s a C+ to B+ player in all areas and his speed and size together make him seriously valuable. You can’t just find that. Also if you trade him what’re you looking to find? Someone as good as him or better eventually, which is hard to do with a 20+ pick as compensation. ( yes I know he was a 20+ something overall pick by the rangers lol). If he’ll agree for less term and more money. Or less money and more term you keep him.

  • The CK we’ve seen for the past 3-5 games is an absolute keeper because he’s used his size and speed quite often. I maintain that he doesn’t use it often enough. The price tag for CK going forward at 7 ish for 7 years?? No way. And a NMC to boot? Not a chance. CK for 4 years at 5.5 sounds do able, to me.

  • My gut feeling tells me Kredier will remain a Ranger, other players will be moved to keep Kredier past this season.

  • This is what someone on the other BSB posted about Strome, without and with Panarin. As I suspected, Strome is not nearly as good as the traditional stats would suggest:

    Strome without Panarin is
    CF%: -3.25% relative to team
    xGF%: -4.92% relative to team.
    So as you say he’s -5% below terrible….
    Of the 35 points in 38 games. 19 of them have direct contributions from Panarin and 5 of those are on the PP without Panarin contributions. That’s over 2/3rds of his points
    And of course everyone will get a boost playing with Panarin. The difference is it’s not remotely as strong of a bump for guys like Chytil or Buch. In fact Buch is a little better away from Bread.

    • There’s no doubt that when together, the “Stromboli” combination makes Ryan better. That being said a sandwich is more than just the bread. I believe we are seeing several ranger players benefiting from the so called bread crumbs. I think guys are feeding off Panarin’s game and it shows in their game.

      I hope Strome is having a late blossoming towards his high draft as well as reaping the benefits of #10…

      I wish Kappo could “kick it up” (like Panarin) a little bit!

      • I’m not saying that Strome has zero talent, but he does not have the talent that he showing now.

        And the fear is that the proverbial 5 x 5 contract is forthcoming. I hope not. They should sell high, now.

        And put Kakko and Chytil on Panarin’s line, where they both belong, IMO.

        • Strome was a high draft pick, maybe he is coming into his best years now. All I’m saying is a player like Pastranak is in stride now, like 5 years after his draft year, perhaps, and this is all speculation and opinion, Strome is a few years behind in his maturation years at top end production?

          I agree, all the upcoming decisions will be based on value, deals, time and contract sizes.

          should be fun… hope it is, happy healthy new year!

    • If he is keeps putting up these types of stats with Panarin then a 5 x 5 contract will be good value. It’s not like Panarin is going anywhere. Plenty of good players needed a great player next to them.

  • Kreider to Bruins for trent Frederic and 1st.

    Strome to Blues for Klim Kostin and 3rd

    Fast to Yotes for 2nd.

    Mckegg for 5th/6th.

    Maybe Preds want Haley for 7th.

    We immediately become bigger, meaner and add the picks. We aren’t making playoffs…no need for false hope.

    • McAvoy has concussion and cardiac issues, plus he’s a dirty cheapshotting punk. No thanks. Plus Rangers already have too many RD.

      • Are you serious, I never heard that Charlie has heart, and concussions issues. If that’s true, wow, he’s too young for that man!!!!!!!!!!!!

        • Yeah, Walt—concussed at least twice in the NHL already, and has also had a cardiac episode that resulted in him having heart ablation at age 20.

  • Ugh, it really pained to vote re-sign him because it’s so frustrating how he disappears for stretches at time.

    Ultimately, though, I think the uniqueness of his skillset, his value as a quiet leader, and that in trading him the rebuild is prolonged tipped the scale for me to bring him back. Plus, I’d like a realistic shot at winning the Cup while Hank’s still around, even if as a backup.

  • This is from The Hockey News worst contracts of the decade:

    1. Ville Leino – Six-year, $27-million contract (July 1, 2011)
    What in the world were the Buffalo Sabres thinking? Yes, Leino had authored two successful playoff performances and was coming off of a 19-goal, 53-point performance one season earlier, but he had just completed his age 27 season and had one campaign of 60-plus games under his belt. Somehow, though, the Sabres saw fit to throw $4.5-million per season at Leino over a six-year term. But we all know how this story ends. He managed 25 points in his first season in Buffalo, then appeared in only eight games during the lockout-shortened season and had a disastrous 2013-14 season in which he failed to score and registered 15 assists in the 58 appearances he made. He was bought out following that season and has since retired. This marks the last of six seasons in which the Sabres have paid him just north of $1.2 million as part of his compliance buyout.

    Kreider is 28 and has never had a 60 point season. I’m actually a big Kreider fan but the thought of giving him 6 years at 6.5 – 7 million per year is crazy. Good teams recognize this and get what they can for them. The team that offers him this contract will be on this list next decade.

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