The New York Rangers have announced that forwards Vitali Kravtsov and Jake Leschyshyn will be held out of tonight’s game against the Detroit Red Wings for “roster management reasons.”
While they used a less direct phrase, this move has presumably been made for the same reasons players such as Vladislav Gavrikov, Jakob Chychrun, and Dmitry Orlov, among others, have been healthy scratched: the team has a trade in mind they want to make, and doesn’t want to risk injuries to players they’re looking at trading throwing a wrench in their plans.
While they obviously have not yet been traded and it’s definitely possible that this is simply a precautionary measure, this is also the most official indication given out to this point that Kravtsov’s time as a Ranger is coming to an end.
The big 23-year-old winger was the ninth-overall selection at the 2018 draft, and was viewed as one of the centerpiece prospects from the Rangers’ rebuilding phase. The team envisioned him being the type of power forward that is becoming all too rare in the NHL, but since being drafted Kravtsov has largely disappointed.
There were significant challenges in his development process, with Kravtsov’s 2019-20 season spent mostly in the AHL as the standout point of tension. It was widely reported that Kravtsov was not comfortable developing his game in an AHL setting, and those reports were in large part confirmed when he departed Hartford mid-season to head back to the KHL. Kravtsov eventually made a trade request, but ended up remaining in the Rangers’ organization and developing in the KHL.
This season, Kravtsov finally made the Rangers out of camp and had a real shot to seize a valuable role given New York’s paper-thin depth at the right winger position to start the year. He hasn’t done much with that opportunity, though, and has scored in total six points in 28 games. His inability to seize the moment led to the Rangers’ acquisition of Vladimir Tarasenko from the St. Louis Blues, and the team remains interested in Patrick Kane to further add from the outside to their right-wingers.
Kravtsov still has intriguing physical tools and has at times looked very impressive in the KHL. But his performance in North America has left much to be desired, and it’s likely that a change of scenery would be the best path for both parties moving forward.
As for Leschychyn, he was a relatively recent waiver claim by New York who has played 13 mostly anonymous games for the Rangers. He’s averaged 8:21 time on ice per game for coach Gerard Gallant, and is likely being scratched due to cap reasons, as the Rangers would likely ship his salary out in any trade for a pricey incoming player.
Kane on the way?
Any GM that can work their cap to fit both Tarasenko and Kane is GM of the year.
Kane with 3rd party (maybe even 4th party if that’s allowed) retention isn’t even possible.
They have like $200,000 cap space.
Probably a smaller move. More grit on the bottom line or a depth defender (Schenn-type)
It CAN still work…here is how:
link to nbcchicago.com
I agree, and I think Drury will pull it off. That said, there are a fair amount of Ranger fans who do not want Kane, since he is “too old” and “too fragile” for playoff hockey, which is ridiculous to me. Rangers have one of the youngest teams that are Cup contenders, so they NEED some proven playoff veterans…
Yeah, if you can add Kane to that roster, you do it!
How about kravtsov and a 2nd for barbashev?
I think soft is a better description for Krav than using the word big
It was supposed to be “big disappointment”
dave frost nhlpa
The NHL PA needs to revisit this aspect of “protecting assets”. These are healthy players that need to play to accumulate enough games for full pension.
I think the answer is simple-when you healthy scratch a player and he is traded or returned to the minors,each game he sat out goes towards his pension. The club is carrying the player towards their cap,and should therefore pay into the retirement of the player.
random comment guy
So to get a pension, you need 10 years of service with 82 games accredited per year. They count a game as, “for any regular-season game that you’re on the Active Roster, Injured Reserve List, Injured Non-Roster, or have been designated Non-Roster”. Does healthy scratch fall within this category? The bigger concern would be if they were sent to the minors, as that doesn’t count towards games.
Healthy scratch means you’re on the active roster