The New York Rangers have been very busy over the last couple of days, and it has been announced that the team has re-signed restricted free agent Chris Kreider to a two-year deal worth just under $2.5 million a season, according to Tim Wharnsby of CBC:
#NYR Kreider settled 2 yrs @ $2.35 M and $2.60 M.— Tim Wharnsby (@WharnsbyCBC) July 23, 2014
Larry Brooks of the New York Post later followed up with this tweet:
Kreider, Rangers avoid arbitration by agreeing to two-year deal worth $2.475M AAV.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 23, 2014
Kreider is one of the Blueshirts’ top young players, and this is an amazing deal for someone who could potentially score 25 to 30 goals this season. The 23-year-old winger had a career rookie year in 2013-14, tallying 17 goals and 20 assists for 37 points in 66 games.
He finished 10th in the voting for the Calder Trophy.
This is a great deal for the Rangers, especially when you consider that Kreider was seeking $2.8 million a year, according to Larry Brooks of the New York Post:
Re Kreider arb for Weds: NYR in at $2.05M AAV (1.9, 2.2) for 2 yrs, Kreider in at $2.8 per. Figure settlement or award at $2.2-2.5M AAV.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) July 21, 2014
There is no doubting the potential of the 6’3”, 230-pound winger, but the Blueshirts ultimately want to see if Kreider can continue to progress as a player. It would be foolhardy to simply pay Kreider for what he’s done and what he could do, so this two-year “show me” deal makes perfect sense.
Kreider will be 25 once the deal is over, at which point the Rangers can sign him to a long-term deal based on what he brings to the table. Based on his performance in the regular season and his amazing playoff run that saw him total 13 points in 15 games, Kreider appears to be the real deal.
He has amazing speed, a great shot, is physical along the boards and is just a tremendous specimen who should continue to grow. It will be interesting to see how Kreider continues to develop under Alain Vigneault, because the Rangers’ bench boss can be credited with allowing the former Boston College star to grow at his own pace.
There were times in which Kreider showed growing pains, but he wasn’t stapled to the bench during those moments. Instead, Vigneault allowed Kreider to play through adversity, and the Rangers’ budding winger had his breakout moment after recording a hat trick against the Vancouver Canucks and his former bench boss John Tortorella.
A late season injury cost Kreider the opportunity to play a full season, and if not for that injury he would have more than likely finished with 20 to 25 goals and 45 points. With this new deal, Kreider now has the opportunity to show why he can become one of the NHL’s next big wingers.
He has the frame, he has the speed and he has the offensive acumen to essentially become the next Rick Nash.
While Kreider still has a lot to prove before this happens, he will have that opportunity over the next two years and the Rangers will benefit financially in the meantime.