Young New York Rangers forward Vitali Kravtsov remains at home in Russia, having requested a trade from the organization when he failed to crack the NHL roster. The Athletic’s Arthur Staple reports that the team is holding out hope that he may return, but for now Kravstov is unwilling to consider rejoining the club. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman even notes that Rangers head coach Gerard Gallant called Kravtsov himself and asked him to come back, but to no avail. As Staple opines, the team needs to be cautious about potentially losing another top-ten draft pick and talented import after the Lias Andersson fiasco, but may not have another option.
Why the animosity from Kravtsov toward New York? While the official statement has been that the decision was made purely as a result of again not being afforded an NHL opportunity with the Rangers, Staple believes there is more going on behind the scenes. Multiple league sources have stated that the relationship between Kravtsov and GM Chris Drury is strained, to say the least. Dating back to his time as GM of the AHL’s Hartford Wolfpack, Drury and Kravtsov have had a number of run-ins and Staple feels that Drury’s promotion signaled to Kravtsov that his time as a Ranger was over.
However, other opinions on the situation do exist. The New York Post’s Larry Brooks believes that Kravtsov’s malcontent is actually more about opportunity than it is about Drury. Brooks reports that Kravtsov was not just unhappy that he did not make the cut this year, but that he would never get a top-six chance with the Rangers. It is actually a grounded theory, as established stars Artemi Panarin and Chris Kreider and recent top picks Alexis Lafreniere and Kaapo Kakko appear to have a stranglehold on the top-six winger roles in the short- and long-term. (The one top-six roadblock that was moved was Pavel Buchnevich, who also happened to be a friend and mentor to Kravtsov.) It is very conceivable that Kravtsov, whose work ethic and drive have been called into question before, sees these players not as a challenge but as an excuse to ask for a move elsewhere.
Regardless of his reasoning, the fact remains that Kravtsov has requested a trade and it does not seem likely that he will back off of that stance any time soon. Though the Rangers are reportedly asking for a high price for the skilled, but unproved forward, they very well might just have to take the best offer they can get and move on, just as they did with Andersson. A recent report claimed that upwards of 15 teams have inquired about Kravtsov, though Staple qualifies that claim by noting that many teams are merely curious to get the background on the current situation. Brooks echoed that sentiment by adding that interest has been “lukewarm” and there are no hard offers on the table. A trade may not be that far off though, as Friedman hears that those teams who have talked to Kravtsov’s camp have been told that he does want to return to North America and may even be open to an AHL assignment, just not with the Rangers. The Chicago Blackhawks, who hold the other most talked-about trade target early this season, Dylan Strome (brother of Rangers’ Ryan Strome) are considered a suitor which could result in the resolution of two bad situations with one trade. Only time will tell, but if Kravtsov really has no intention of ever returning to New York then a trade should materialize sooner rather than later.
The Preds can’t score yet again, so this would be a player to inquire about. But if Poile cared about that perennial issue, it wouldn’t be a perennial issue.
Can we circle back to the Eichel talks?
Rangers offer Kratsov, Zac Jones, Georgiev, Reunenan, an additional forward prospect, a conditional first based on surgery results and Buffalo eats some of Eichel contract can that get it done?
The salary cap exists
Yes and that’s why depending on what we offer Buffalo picks up a few million of Eichel contract to bring him down to a cap the Rangers can handle with the idea that we are signing Fox as well.
I just think it will be hard to sign Kaapo and Lafrenierre when it comes time but the jury is still out on both of them as it looks like they are not this far living up to the billing.
Buffalo would still have to eat considerably salary to make this work. But I like the idea
I think it’s cute the way so many people want their teams to give up the stable sweepings and the leftovers to get Eichel, and that furthermore Buffalo will happily eat salary to pull it off.
Guys, Buffalo IS NOT GOING TO DO ANYONE ANY FAVORS. We can already see that the Pegulas’ egos are in this. A team that wants Buffalo to eat salary is going to have to pay for the privilege, and I just don’t see any GM paying the price Buffalo wants for overrated damaged goods. No one would be desperate enough to try before the trade deadline, and Eichel still hasn’t had surgery yet.
And who knows: Chris Drury just might be one of those GMs who thinks that Eichel isn’t worth $10 million a season healthy.
Kreider’s NTC expires in 2 years (list of teams to be provided by Kreider), just in time for the kids.
Kakko is worth about $1.5 mil/yr at this point. So don’t worry about him costing a lot.
What do these kids especially European ones think they are come over here to NA and just put me in coach…Stay in Russia cry baby..that’s where u want to be …
i was thinking the same thing, but i guess the relative prominence of the KHL kinda allows for the sort of leverage that these guys use.
Come now. This isn’t a “European” thing. This is an ATHLETE thing. There isn’t one out there with pro aspirations who seriously thinks “I’m not good enough to play.”
This seems to happen more with European players than with North American players
I think Drury is going to have to realize he isn’t going to get a 1st rounder for a guy who hasn’t played well in NA and is a flight risk to the KHL. He’s going to have to settle for a prospect for a Brannstrom from Ottawa, Mahura from Anaheim, or maybe a Jenik from Arizona etc.
So you think the Rangers will trade there top prospect for a fringe prospect or average prospect in other organizations? Nahhhhh. I think Drury would rather have the kid sit in Russia than deal him for less value. Drury will have to get someone for the current roster that will help or a prospect of close to equal value. Say a team has multiple centers and needs a winger or Rangers send Kratsov and Hajek or Reunanen for a prospect of Kratsov value. Drury is gonna have to be creative.
Imagine that you’re an engineer (or any other profession), and when you finish engineering school, the only way for you to get a job is to enroll in a national organization that then tells you what company to go work for and where to live, preventing any other company from hiring you for the first 8 years of your career even if you quit your job (because, say, your boss doesn’t like you or you have no options to move up in the company), and capping how much you’re going to get paid for the first 3 years under a scale that pays such employees virtually the same regardless of their talent and what they contribute to the team.
There were labour systems that worked this way in the 20th century – namely, in communist countries. Ands in every other profession, there’d be a general outcry in North America if a system like that was put in place. Yet we seem to have unquestioningly accepted it for professional team sports in North America, and when a young employee finds a way to assert some limited power over choosing their employer – something that would be taken for granted and even protected as a right in almost every other profession – we deride them as selfish, a spoiled cry baby, a disruptor or troublemaker. Why the double standard?
Granted, if we had a perfectly capitalist, free-market system – i.e., abolishing drafts and restricted free agency, with players being major-league UFAs at 18 (or even younger) – we’d likely wind up with top talent streaming into a handful of top clubs who then become the only ones that realistically can win championships (as happens in the free-market system that’s European soccer). But then, trying to engineer parity (=equality) so that every team/company has a chance at success is also what they did under communism.
So in short, there is no perfect system. I feel let us take the one that is overall more beneficial to the whole and not skewed to the few… The NHL had that for a while and it didn’t work.
Dylan Strome to Rangers to play with his brother Ryan, for Kravtsov to Blackhawks , New York has $9 million in salary cap , thou Dylan does carry a $3 millon a year , and Kravtsov on has $900,000+ , so have to work out that it fits in for both teams and may possible a conditional 2nd going to Blackhawks if Rangers add Dylan and his contract.
I wouldn’t deal Ryan for Dylan Strome. I think Dylan is a third line center who can’t win face offs and is not a physical presence so he’s not a fit.
He’s suggesting Kravstov in the trade, not his brother.
Lol. No chance Sabres will eat ANY SALARY of Eichel’s contract. Adams and Pegula have both said that won’t happen in a trade. He’s an elite franchise center. 10 mill per contract isn’t an overpayment for that. There’s a reason there’s a cap so teams just can’t buy all the top players. No team will ever do that to help other teams pay for their other stats as well as trading them theirs with “conditions” and lower value prospects AND eat salary. You want Eichel your going to have to pony up and kiss signing other players goodbye. So in Rangers perspective, trade for Eichel what Adams wants and forget the Adam Fox pipe dream or forget the franchise center and sign Fox to the extension.
I think you meant Eichel WAS an elite center, now no one can say what he will be until he takes the ice. Eichel right now has almost no value. and I think it would be wise for the Rangers and other teams to let Buffalo sort out the mess they made for themselves, and then find out what kind of play Eichel will be going forward.
Yes I agree. Larry thinks we are trading for Eichel two years ago rather than this version of Eichel who is a risk. I think his trade value is very much diminished and any team who does trade for him will allow him to have the experimental surgery so how much can a team offer? Maybe Buffalo let’s him sit for season and not have any surgery but that makes zero sense. Buffalo is really in a bad spot here and it’s unfortunate and every team understands this and will not over pay.
I think the trade I proposed was fair.
I think your offer is absurdly high, maybe Krav, Jones, and a first and second round pick that are conditional.
That’s not close to being enough and you know it. If his surgery goes well and he’s 75% the player he was he’s still a top center in the league. Kratsov and Zac Jones plus two unconditional picks is light. You have to add to that with some fringe players like Georgiev and Reunanen and another center prospect like Henrikkson
I’d give them Georgiev, that I am fine with. It is not like we are going to resign him anyways.
I think people don’t understand that they have to trade Georgiev and Strome if the tree goes through. For a simple reason. The salary floor. Buffalo hast to reach it. They can’t trade away Eichel and not take salary back on. Because the second they try to go, they’re going to be under the floor.
Errr … Eichel has NEVER been an “elite” center. He’s never won anything. He’s never been in the playoffs. Only in two of his five full seasons has he led his own team in scoring by any significant amount, and his sole value is in offense: he’s one of the poorest centers in hockey at faceoffs and his defensive metrics suck. Only once has he finished in the Top Twenty of league scoring. Only in one season has he received ANY votes for an All-Star Team or a trophy. He has exactly ONE league honor under his belt — being named to the All-Rookie Team.
Even healthy, I could name 15 centers I’d rather have than Eichel. The only reason there’s been so much buzz is that he was the shiniest toy potentially available after Landeskog signed.
If the Oilers Oil and somehow don’t make the playoffs for another season I can see McDavid requesting a trade, and I would rather hold out on that possibility over a broken Eichel who Buffalo and their fans overvalue by quite a bit.