Update from 11:20am press conference by John Davidson:
Car accident rumor was true, happened in Brooklyn. Car U-turned and hit the vehicle driven by Shesherkin, air bags deployed immediately and seat belts worn by both were a big help.
Full press conference on Buch/Igor:
Pavel Buchnevich - quite shaken up. No significant injuries. Day to day.
Igor Shesterkin- small upper body non-displaced fracture. Reassessed in a few weeks. (This means Lundqvist and Georgiev shares the net while Igor is sidelined)
Credit goes here for breaking the news first:
Chris Kreider signs a seven year contract. AAV is $6.5 per year. No word on NTC/NMC
The trade deadline is here. Where the Rangers head right now is still up in the air. All signs point to Chris Kreider heading out of town, as the two sides have failed to reach an agreement as of this morning. Jesper Fast is potentially in play, Marc Staal could be moved, same with Brady Skjei. The white elephant in the room is the status of Henrik Lundqvist along to a certain extent similar for Alexandar Georgiev.
Larry Brooks and Brett Cyrgalis wrote segment sections below last night:
The divide on the contract term, with the Rangers offering six years and Kreider asking for the seven years he will almost certainly command on the open market July 1, remained an immovable obstacle neither side was able or willing to hurdle in order to make a deal. There was also a difference on the money, with the Blueshirts believed offering under $7 million per.
So barring a late change of heart by Kreider, who apparently is in his last day as a Ranger after nearly eight years as a member of the organization, the Blueshirts will spend Monday sifting through trade offers
There has been interest shown in 25-year-old defenseman Brady Skjei, with four more years left on his deal at $5.25 million per. Same for 24-year-old winger Pavel Buchnevich, with one year at $3.25 million before reaching restricted free agency. Even veteran defenseman Marc Staal, with one more year at $5.7 million and a no-move clause he would have to waive, should garner some phone calls for playoff-bound teams in need of shoring up their blue line.
And this is nothing of the three-goalie carousel which has spun for almost seven weeks now, with living legend Henrik Lundqvist getting relegated to cheerleader while Igor Shesterkin has emerged as his rightful heir apparent and Alex Georgiev wonders if he will share the net again next season or ply his trade elsewhere after reaching restricted free agency this summer.
My understand, as Brooks wrote, is the Rangers have offered six years at $6.5 million. Kreider likely wants seven and seven, similar to what Kevin Hayes received from Philadelphia. Personally, I would give it to Kreider but understand all the arguments that both the term and dollars are too much based on his history and age. This is not an easy decision. The hope is that the heart strings Kreider feels for New York will result in him bending. For New York, having doled out nearly $20 million to Artemi Panarin and Jacob Trouba coupled with other long-term deals, Staal, Lundqvist, Brendan Smith, hat are eating up cap room, going another year for those dollars is likely viewed as distasteful.
Unstated is the mental impact. Kreider is a leader in the room, someone who I think could be the team's captain. Moving him will impact the locker room, as Kreider has taken a major step forward on the ice the last two months but especially off it. Quantifying how the team reacts is somewhat impossible, but don't be surprised if there is a materially let down if and when he is moved, which would be reflected in the play on the ice and how the team handles a deal
If Kreider is dealt, the question is to where and for what. Boston might be out after moving their first rounder in the Ondrej Kase deal. The Islanders could be in, which would make dealing Kreider even harder to take for some, seeing him remain in New York on that team. St. Louis has been long rumored to be in the mix with Jordan Kyrou a possible target. Colorado hasn't moved a first rounder in years, maybe this is the year they do so, impacted by all their injuries.
Dealing Kreider should ring back a haul. Balancing the heart and the head is the key here. While I want him back, I understand drawing a line and the possible return received could potentially propel New York to another level in the future, hopefully in the near-term. It will be painful to see him in another jersey, but as of this morning, that is what we are looking at by the trade deadline.
The 28-year-old Swedish winger is wrapping up a three-year, $5.5 million deal that carried an annual salary-cap hit of $1.85 million, and could garner a second- or third-round pick from a contender trying to shore up its bottom six and penalty kill.
Fast was an unheralded sixth-round pick by the Blueshirts in 2010, and made his debut in 2013-14. He has played 413 regular-season games for the Rangers, notching 54 goals and 145 points, while adding 39 playoff games. He scored two goals in Saturday night’s 3-2 win over the visiting Sharks, including the game-winner coming after numerous hacks in front, bounding over the goal line at 6:54 of the third period.
His 11 goals and 27 points through 60 games has him on pace for a career year.
Quickie is a Swiss-army knife, you can use him in multiple ways. He is somewhat miscast on the second line, but has shown recently, he can be productive there when needed. Fast is better suited to the third line while also playing on the penalty kill. If New York does move him, he will make a fine addition to a contender at a very reasonable cap hit.
Since returning to the lineup Dec. 6 following ankle surgery, Staal has been on the ice for 16 goals against in 456:40 of five-on-five hockey. Only nine defensemen in the NHL have played at least 450 minutes of five-on-five in that time frame and have been on for fewer goals against than the 33-year-old (Thanks naturalstattrick.com).
Staal has been the whipping boy - along with Skjei - of the Rangers' defense. While his speed is not where it was when he first broke in and the offense never fully developed after his injuries, he has been more than solid this season mainly paired with Tony DeAngelo; another player whose status is up in the air today and beyond due to his potential contract expectations. With defense in demand, Staal could garner interest. But Staal would have to waive his no-trade and the Blueshirts would have to agree to assume up to 50 percent of his pay (a total of $4.2 million next year) and cap hit.
With Buchnevich, my view is not to move him. He can be maddening and inconsistent. but the talent level is through the roof. For that reason alone, coupled with the expected return for him, I would keep Buch. Skjei has not panned out as expected after a very good rookie campaign. He will be exposed in the expansion draft if he remains. Skjei has been better, though the pairing with Jacob Trouba has been far from a lock down first duo. If someone if willing to take on four years at $5.25 mil, then sayonara. But don't be shocked if he finds his game and excels somewhere else and we bemoan the trade in the future.
Now for Lundqvist. The situation has been managed mildly okay, as I am unsure there is a great way for his exit. He has been surpassed by Igor Shesterkin between the pipes, as he is the future. With a year left at $8.5 million and a no-movement clause, Hank controls all the shots here, unless the team buys him out in the off-season. For now, how many teams will trade for him in general and be willing to take on at least $4.25 mil in cap room for a goalie whose play has gone south. But he is a proud athlete, so I expect his play would get a boost if moved. As the Face of the Franchise for years he has earned the right to go out as he wants, though that must be balanced by the impact to the team, especially from a cap perspective.
Georgiev could be in play as well. I have advocated keeping him, which especially becomes the case if Lundqvist is moved. His play this season and potentially cap hit as an RFA should warrant a decent return.
Deadline is at 3pm, stay tuned.