New York Rangers forward Chris Kreider is considered the top rental player on the market and has been for some time. Yet, through it all the Rangers have maintained that they would like to re-sign their All-Star winger. It seems GM Jeff Gorton has finally decided that it’s time to talk details if the two sides are going to work out a deal ahead of the February 24th NHL Trade Deadline. TSN’s Pierre LeBrun reports that Gorton and Kreider’s agent, Matt Keator, will sit down within the next few days to discuss a contract extension. While LeBrun thinks that it could be a tough extension to work out given Kreider’s status as arguably the second-best potential free agent this summer behind only Arizona’s Taylor Hall. In a weak market, Kreider could capitalize more on a bidding war than he likely would be able to re-signing with New York before testing the waters. However, the career Ranger may also see that he is on an up-and-coming team and wish to stay at the right price. Gorton and Keator will discuss what that number might be in the coming days and a decision on Kreider’s future, one way or another, will be made within the coming weeks.
- He may be 39 and noticeably declining with each season, but the Anaheim Ducks remain interested in bringing back veteran goaltender Ryan Miller for another year. That is, if he wants to play another year. The Orange County Register’s Elliott Teaford writes that Miller has earned the ability to decide how his career will end. Despite his struggles this season, Miller would have value on the trade market if the Ducks were to make him available, but Teaford believes that he will have the final say on a potential move. Miller could decline the opportunity to play for a playoff team down the stretch, as he did last season. He could also accept the trade with the knowledge that he would be welcomed back to Anaheim as a free agent this summer. Miller may also land with a legitimate Cup contender and decide to call it a career after a long playoff run. Or, and the only future the player himself is considering at this time, Miller may just stay in Anaheim and revisit his options in the off-season. While a decision on where Miller will play for the rest of the season must be made within the next few weeks ahead of the trade deadline, there is still time to consider his future beyond this season. However, the cushy role of backup to workhorse John Gibson in sunny Southern California is not a bad way for Miler to continue his career into his 40’s.
- A notable AHL rookie signed an extension on Tuesday. Former Brown and Boston University forward Max Willman signed on for another year with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, the team announced. Willman, 24, played five seasons of college hockey, a tenure extended by a senior season at Brown lost to injury. While Willman struggled to get back to full strength with BU last season, he still managed to make enough of an impression on the Philadelphia Flyers to earn a deal with their affiliate. Willman looked like his old self to begin the year, scoring at a point-per-game pace with the ECHL’s Reading Royals. Since being called up to Lehigh, he has three goals and five points in 15 games. The Cape Cod native works hard and plays a smart game and if he can stay healthy and continue to improve, it is not out of the realm of possibility that he could one day be signing an NHL contract.