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2020 Trade Deadline Summary: NY Rangers make two big splashes

Re-sign Kreider, trade Skjei

On what could have been a very busy day for the Rangers, they only made two moves, but boy were they big moves. First the Rangers announced a contract extension for Chris Kreider to the tune of seven years and $6.5 million. This will keep Kreider on Broadway until he is 35 years old.

Kreider was the big fish on the market, and he stayed put. Details of the contract are still unknown, but it has been speculated that a lot of the deal is in signing bonuses, which makes him a little more tradeable towards the end of the deal. No word on any no-move clauses.

The second was the big move, sending Brady Skjei to the Carolina Hurricanes for a first round pick (Carolina’s, not Toronto’s). This move took a while to get confirmed because the Canes had to pull some fancy LTIR magic with Dougie Hamilton to get it to work. Skjei’s name popped up in rumors late this weekend, and with the Kreider extension, the Rangers needed salary relief for their summer plans.

The Rangers also made two paper transactions, sending Julien Gauthier and Brett Howden to the Hartford Wolf Pack so they can be eligible to play in the AHL playoffs this season.

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  • Thanks for the clarification on the pick Dave …. would have preferred it be our option or TO’s …. but still, the Canes need to make the playoffs and if they do, they’ll need to get past a Top team.

    • Carolina’s is a better pick for the Rangers as they are more at risk of missing the playoffs than Toronto (by virtue of the divisions they play in).

        • No. Toronto’s pick is lottery protected (It switches to 2021 if it’s in the top 3) and I believe that means if it is in the top 3, we get Carolina’s pick and the Canes have to wait.

      • Don’t be so sure. Florida is behind them by 2 points with a game in hand. The way TO is playing they could easily slip out of 3rd — and they’ll more than likely not get in with a wild card.

    • He wasn’t sent down, it was only an administrative move to allow Howden to be sent down for the AHL playoffs, if the Rangers wanted to go that route.

      Trust me, I wish that were the case too. He’s awful.

  • Re: Fast, I suspect there’s some sort of gentlemen’s agreement and that he’ll sign well before the draft — just a hunch.

  • Keeping Kreider is huge. Who knows about years 6-7, but at least we know the NYR won’t be looking for a power forward with speed who’s a beast in front of the net when they’re VERY competitive starting in year 2.

    Trading Skjei is just as big. Now, there’s the cap flexibility to keep Tony D and maybe some pu-pu platter of Fast, Lemieux and Strome. And he’s very replaceable.

    I would have traded him for the Zamboni guy who played goal for the Canes over the weekend. To get a first, and a pick that will probably not be late in the round, is a coup for Gorton.

    A great day short-term and long-term!

  • Happy with both moves.

    Keeping Kreider was a priority, especially at less than $7M per.

    And getting rid of Brady’s contract without cap retention, while getting a first, was huge. Home run deal.

    This offseason and next step is seeing Staal, Smith, and unfortunately Hank go out the Ranger door.

    Now that the team is basically intact, tomorrow against the Isles starts the real season.

    On a down note, the Rangers are a jinxed franchise, with this Igor injury. I mean, you can’t make it up. Thank God both were not seriously hurt, meaning life threatening injuries.

    • Calling the Rangers “jinxed” may be true but, we’ve been SO jinxed, I’m going to take the “glass half full” view. Perhaps the jinx is losing is power! It’s only 11+ years ago we had a promising Russian star actually die at 19. Igor & Buch are going to be fine. In context, this is actually a karmic improvement.

      In the alternate reality in my head, btw, Cherapanov is the difference in 2014 and we win the Cup.

      • Cherapanov, RIP. 🙁

        I remember when Jagr played with him in the KHL and Jagr said that he was the real deal. You may very well be right about 2014.

  • Even though I like Kreider and believe he has ‘the intangibles’ to satisfy the fans on the ‘old school’ end of the spectrum and skill and speed for virtually everyone else, I thought he should be dealt as I didn’t want another Girardi situation. Kreider is a fitness freak and blocks wayyyy fewer shots so if anyone can make this deal look good it’s him. I know Kreider struggles at times but maybe if he sticks with Zib that can be minimized.

    • It’s funny, Kreider’s only 6 months older than Panarin (exactly 6 months: 4/30/91 vs. 10/30/91), but no one seems worried about Artemiy slowing down. Keeping CK makes even more sense to me because of that. Now we have the same offense that’s been clicking lately (plus an improving Chytil and Kakko) available for at least the next few years while the defense catches up. Works for me. (Thank the hockey gods that Buch and Igor are going to be OK, as well)

  • I wouldn’t pile high so hard on Brady. A good kid, a good player … but 1st pairing minutes were tough for him to handle on a consistent basis. That said he’s still youngish and might settle down in the next few years. So be careful what you wish for …

    • Come on. Look at the venom directed at Staal; look at the venom that was directed at Girardi. Even Hayes probably got more flak than Brady. All Skjei ever got was he wasn’t a star and his cap hit was too large.

      • When Staal and Girardi got “venomed” their play had slipped dramatically — and they could barely play 18-19 minutes a night, even when sheltered. Skjei is just inconsistent as a 1st pairing guy. Now that Brady has been traded though, I can see the beginnings of the “good riddance” from the peanut gallery. I won’t join in … not one bit.

        • Tanto

          Brady gave his all, but it wasn’t up to his contract.

          Now having said that, he would be a decent 2nd pair guy, and that’s where the problem stems from. He was over matched with who he had to play against, and should have been put on the second pair so that the pressure would have been off of the guy. I suspect he put the vast majority of that pressure upon himself.

          I wish the kid good luck!!!!!!!!

          • Agreed Walt … but let’s be honest, there were times when he looked like he could handle the 1st pairing minutes — not in an elite way, but he was good at times. I wonder if we rewarded him a bit too soon and put too much pressure on him to step in for McD at too early an age. He can still get it all together and I suspect there will be less pressure on him in Carolina.

  • A year from now the peanut gallery here will turn on Kred the same way Trouba is being dissed, but oh well.

    Skjei will be missed on the Blueline as he was one of the Rangers best skaters. His lack of physical play is what held him back from becoming a legitimate 1 pairing Dman. Yet it was a good return for the Rangers as this year’s draft is deep.

  • Was a little disappointed that Fast wasn’t traded – not because I dislike Fast – I like him quite a lot – but I was thinking that if he went then Kakko would get moved up to the 2nd line where he’d be able to make better use of his talent. I’m also still hoping to see a Panarin-Chytil-Kakko line one of these days.

    • Jonah

      We both would like to see that line formed, and may well see it real soon!

      Fast should be on the 3-4th line, and have the kid Kakko given a real shot on the second line, but time will tell…………

    • Agreed, that’s on the coach though … I still think he needs to be resigned. The only pedestrian aspect of his game is scoring, he does everything else though at a high high level. He’s a good example for all the kids, especially the ones who’re going to play bottom 6 minutes. Hate to use this term, but he plays the right way.

  • I like what the Rangers did and didn’t do with perhaps one exception. I really like Fast and every team needs someone like him on the roster, more importantly anchoring a 4th line. I really fear that DQ is going to play mind games with Kakko and Buch over the next year with Fast taking 2nd line ice time. Otherwise everything looks good on the cap front as we have pretty young guys to fill some remaining roster spots at a cost of 750-900k a year for the next few years. Things won’t get too complicated until Fox Chytil Buch and Kakko get their next contracts. ADA, Fast, and likely Strome will get resigned at reasonable costs following Kreider’s lead in taking less money than he could have gotten elsewhere. Strome may be a one hit wonder but if it works with Panarain then leave it alone as it will look us to have 3 scoring lines the next couple years.

    • I mean we can all see the amazing skill Kakko possesses, but let’s be honest here — he hasn’t played like a Top 6 talent just yet. Fast for all his failings at least brings a top notch defensive game to the line and that let’s Strome and Panarin really do their thing (not to suggest Panarin isn’t brilliant in his own way defensively, he is).

  • If there is an upside to Igor’s injury, he only played 10 games. So the Rangers do not burn a year off of his contract given how unlikely it is he will play again this year.

  • I would say no splashes. They did not improve the team for a run at the playoffs, and they shipped off one of their 2 top defensive pair defensemen. Sure a first rounder will help – in 2023!

    We needed a young forward who plays with an edge and can find the back of the net – we did not acquire that. We did not move Strome or Fast, who both may leave for nothing at the end of the year.

    We bought some Cap flexibility and signed CK – big deal. Gorton gets a B- in my book.

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