March 4: GM Jeff Gorton told NHL Network that a four to six week timeline would be realistic for Kreider’s injury, though the speedy forward is hoping to make it back sooner.
February 28: After getting winger Chris Kreider signed to a seven-year, $45.5MM contract extension just hours before Monday’s trade deadline, there was cause for plenty of optimism surrounding Kreider and the Rangers. However, that enthusiasm will have to be tempered for a while as the team announced (Twitter link) that he suffered a fractured foot in the first period of their game against Philadelphia on Friday night. Obviously, he’ll be out indefinitely.
This is certainly a tough blow for a New York squad that has had some bad luck on the injury front lately with goalie Igor Shesterkin and winger Pavel Buchnevich being hurt in a car accident at the beginning of the week. Shesterkin, who had taken over the starting role and had helped lead their recent resurgence, is still out for another couple of weeks while Buchnevich just returned tonight.
Now, they’ll be forced to continue their playoff push without one of their top forwards. Kreider has 24 goals and 21 assists in 63 games this season; his 45 points are good for fifth in team scoring. However, he’s also their only top-six power forward and they will certainly miss the physical dimension he provides. It’s a tough blow to a team that has had a couple of them this week (plus losing one of their better defensemen in Brady Skjei in a trade to Carolina) and as a result, their improbable march up the standings just got a bit more difficult.