New York Rangers winger Chris Kreider continues to be one of the hottest names on the NHL market approaching Monday's trade deadline, and it's not hard to understand why.
The 28-year-old is having a fantastic season. He's appeared in 59 games, has 45 points and has notched 32 of those points in his last 30 games. With his contract set to expire after the season, Kreider is a premier rental option for several teams.
Prying Kreider away from New York won't be easy, though. According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers would prefer to re-sign Kreider rather than trade him:
The asking price for Kreider is likely to be high, which may explain why the Colorado Avalanche haven't made a move for him yet. Colorado has been linked to Kreider, and it has the pieces needed to get a deal done. However, general manager Joe Sakic would prefer to keep Kreider long-term—which wouldn't be guaranteed—and he isn't going to mortgage the future to land him.
"There are certain things he and the Avalanche are not willing to part with," The Athletic's Ryan S. Clark wrote. "Namely? Prospects such as Vancouver Giants defenseman Bowen Byram, Boston College forward Alex Newhook and Colorado Eagles defenseman Conor Timmins. Those names have all been thrown around during this edition of speculation season because of their promise, which is why Sakic would be reluctant to part with any of them."
While many teams may view Kreider as a rental option, the Avalanche do not. An extension would likely have to be agreed upon before Colorado would make a trade.
The Boston Bruins, on the other hand, may be willing to grab Kreider for a playoff run. General manager Don Sweeney certainly hasn't given up on the pre-deadline market.
"The two names Sweeney continues to chase, according to a separate source, are Chris Kreider and Kyle Palmieri. The question is whether either of the two will be available before Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline," The Athletic's Fluto Shinzawa wrote.
If the Rangers can extend Kreider, he won't be an option for Boston. However, Palmieri could be a more attainable target. The New Jersey Devils are sitting in last place in the Metro Division and appear to be in the midst of a fire sale.
Blackhawks at the Seller's Table
Like the Devils, the Chicago Blackhawks are sitting in the basement of their division. Also like the Devils, Chicago could be looking to move several pieces ahead of the deadline.
According to Scott Powers and Mark Lazerus of The Athletic, general manager Stan Bowman will at least listen to most offers:
"The Blackhawks are open to discussions about nearly all of their players as long as it makes sense to move the franchise toward its goal of winning more Stanley Cups. If a team is calling about Dominik Kubalik, Alex Nylander, Ian Mitchell or a number of other young players, the price would probably be too overwhelming for a lot of teams. But if someone came up with the demands, Bowman would be all ears."
One player to keep an eye on is Erik Gustafsson. He's set to be an unrestricted free agent after the season, and several teams have shown interest.
"At least four teams have expressed interest in him in the midst of all the action this week. The Blackhawks will have no problem moving him if that’s what they decide to do," The Athletic's Craig Custance wrote.
According to Powers and Lazerus, Chicago has placed a high price tag on Gustafsson, including first-round draft picks and prospects.