Vitali Kravtsov likely to spend year in KHL

It looks like the Rangers will have Vitali Kravtsov spend the full season in the KHL. This confirms what we thought back in August, when the Rangers initially loaned Kravtsov to Traktor. The confusion was with the recall option. The Rangers have the option to recall Vitali Kravtsov from the KHL, but they likely will not use it.

This makes sense, as the Rangers are pretty loaded on wing and adding Kravtsov to the mix would complicate things for this season. This is an evaluation season for a lot of players, and some decisions at wing and center are going to be needed.

Of course, this doesn’t eliminate the options of Kravtsov coming over this season. The KHL season, including playoffs, ends in April. At that point, the Rangers will be at most three months into the season. At that point, injuries may have taken its toll and the Rangers need Kravtsov. Or perhaps they want him to play big minutes in the AHL.

There’s still a chance the Rangers bring Kravtsov over after the season for some AHL and/or NHL time. However it is now extremely unlikely the Rangers bring over Vitali Kravtsov via recall from the KHL. Expect him over in April, or whenever the Traktor season ends.

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  • Vitali needs to continue to play well in the KHL. Look for the possibility of a trade deadline move to open up a spot on the wing. If he continues to shine, and we move a player (or have a lengthy injury) we may get him back here before the KHL season ends, otherwise, let him grow into his skates.

  • As it stands now, I see him staying in the KHL for financial reasons, if nothing else. From his side, he’s going be paid a lot better there than he will in the AHL. From the Rangers’ side, they really don’t want to add his potential bonus money to their cap hit if he’s in the NHL, unless they see him as an immediate improvement.

    • Salary cap in KHL is a little above $10mm and only SKA and CSKA are spending anywhere near that.

      • The maximum salary he can get in the AHL on an ELC is $70,000 per year. In the KHL the max is $1,200,0000.

  • That is OK with me. Vitali just needs to play and develop. No sense in rushing him now, especially if he is experiencing success in the KHL. I expect him to either show up in the AHL or possibly with the big club at the end of the KHL season. However, it would make sense for him to get some AHL time to get to the rink and the style of play again.

  • The kid is playing well, and getting plenty of game time.

    If, and when the need arises after his KHL season, he will get a shot at a full time position. The kid will be very good, and will come back with some swagger in his walk!!!!!!!

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