NHL Rumors: Trade Chatter Surrounding Chris Kreider, Vladislav Namestnikov, More

David KenyonFeatured ColumnistFebruary 21, 2020

New York Rangers left wing Chris Kreider (20) during a break in action against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period of an NHL hockey game Sunday, Feb. 9, 2020, in New York. (AP Photo/Adam Hunger)
Adam Hunger/Associated Press

The NHL is entering the final days and hours before the 2020 trade deadline, but the market has already been pretty busy.

Among the notable deals are the Vancouver Canucks acquiring Tyler Toffoli from the Los Angeles Kings and the New Jersey Devils sending Andy Greene to the New York Islanders and Blake Coleman to the Tampa Bay Lightning. Several other top producers will likely have a new hockey home soon.

And for now, much attention is on New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider.

While the 28-year-old is often mentioned in trade discussions, he could also sign an extension. Larry Brooks of the New York Post said "it's probably about 50-50" whether Krieder and the Rangers agree to a long-term contract over the next week.

Kreider has notched 24 goals and 21 assists in 2019-20, both of which are closing in on career-high marks. He'll be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season, so the Rangers are facing a critical decision before the Feb. 24 deadline: Trade or re-sign him now, or risk Kreider leaving for nothing in the summer.

Paul Beaty/Associated Press

TSN's Bob McKenzie reported the Rangers are asking for a first-round pick, a good prospect and either a lesser pick or lesser prospectand possibly a conditional pick. He noted the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Islanders, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals have expressed interested.

Fluto Shinzawa of The Athletic reiterated the Bruins' interest in Kreider but noted the patience Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton is expected to show in trade talks.

"According to a source familiar with Gorton's style in negotiating trades and contracts, the Rangers boss does not mind waiting until the last minute to get his preferred price."

Colorado, meanwhile, may have a "Plan B" in former Rangers center Vladislav Namestnikov.

TSN's Darren Dreger said Ottawa Senators GM Pierre Dorion is considering multiple offers for Namestnikov. Dreger pointed out the Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, Winnipeg Jets and Columbus Blue Jackets as teams that have inquired.

Namestnikovwho has 13 goals and 12 assists this seasonwas a healthy scratch Thursday against the Jets, so a trade feels somewhere between likely and expected.

Ottawa teammate Jean-Gabriel Pageau fits a similar mold to Kreider, being an impending free agent and extension candidate.

Pierre LeBrun @PierreVLeBrun

The Senators and J-G Pageau’s camp have finally commenced contract talks. More on Insider Trading.

Pageau is enjoying a breakout season with a career-high 24 goals along with 16 assists. Possible suitors include the Bruins, Avs, Islanders, Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers, though TSN's Pierre LeBrun specifically noted the Philadelphia Flyers.

Shinzawa also reported Bruins general manager Don Sweeney is chasing Devils winger Kyle Palmieri.

Palmieri, who recently turned 29, is having another solid year. He's reached the 40-point plateau for the fifth consecutive season, notching 22 goals and 19 assists so far.

Unlike his counterparts on the list, however, Palmieri is under contract for another season. The Devils have clearly been sellers in February but can be more patient than the Rangers or Senators.


Follow Bleacher Report writer David Kenyon on Twitter @Kenyon19_BR