The top rental on the open market this season as the trade deadline approaches is undoubtedly Chris Kreider of the New York Rangers. It shouldn’t surprise anyone then when Pierre LeBrun reports on the latest edition of TSN’s Insider Trading that “at least eight teams” have expressed interested in the big winger.
LeBrun does not expand on who those teams may be, but does suggest that the asking price would be similar to what the Rangers received for Kevin Hayes last year. That deal with the Winnipeg Jets included a first-round selection and young forward Brendan Lemieux. According to the insider, contract talks between the Rangers and Kreider haven’t been ruled out, but they also haven’t occurred at this point.
An All-Star this season, Kreider should be of interest for many teams around the league that need an upgrade in their forward ranks. The 28-year old has 17 goals and 32 points in 48 games, but more importantly also brings incredible speed and physicality to the ice every night. In fact, Kreider placed third in the Fastest Skater competition at the All-Star festivities, behind only Connor McDavid and Mathew Barzal.
That kind of dynamic speed is something that allows Kreider to fit in almost anywhere in a lineup, but add it to the fact that he’s 6’3″, 217-lbs and you have a player that has opposing executives drooling at the thought of adding him to their group. The question will be who is willing to pay the highest price for a player who is only guaranteed for a few months.
Kreider is currently on the final season of a four-year, $18.5MM deal he signed in 2016 and holds an 11-team no-trade list. He’ll be due a huge raise on that number in the summer, given he will almost definitely reach the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in six seasons.