Kreider Represents Rangers at All-Star Game

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New York, NY – We’ve reached the NHL All Star Break and the Rangers find themselves well out of the playoff hunt. Their representative at the All Star Game will be soon-to-be-former Ranger Chris Kreider. Kreider will represent the Blueshirts in the place of Artemi Panarin who is dealing with an “upper body injury.” Panarin was the obvious choice to represent the Rangers. The Russian has 26 goals and 42 assists through 47 games this season. But Panarin’s injury has paved the way for Kreider to skate this weekend in St. Louis.

This will likely be Kreider’s last meaningful contribution to the New York Rangers as the team finds themselves 11 points out of the playoff hunt. Kreider has 17 goals and 32 points this season. Well under half of Panarin’s production, but not bad for a player on a team that’s 11 points out of the last wild card slot. Due to financial constraints brought on, in part, by the buy out of Kevin Shattenkirk and the contracts given to Panarin and Trouba the Rangers have no chance of re-signing the 28-year old winger. Kreider has been a great Ranger since he was drafted in 2009. Rumors are that the Massachusetts native could be heading home to play for Cheesy’s Bruins if a trade can get done.

The Rangers will have to navigate the summer signing season under tight constraints due to all the money they have tied up in current and former players. But there should be a substantial war chest for the summer of 2021 when the Shattenkirk cap hit goes down and Henrik Lundqvist’s contract comes off the books. The King is in the penultimate year of his contract and quite possibly his career. There’s zero chance of the Rangers winning a Stanley Cup this year or next so, unless he’s traded to a contender, Lundqvist will end his career without having hoisted Lord Stanley’s coveted hardware. It’s a shame for Hank who has been so good for so long. The Rangers came close a few times but some bad luck and bad coaching kept the Rangers from reaching the top of the mountain.

This week the Rangers sent Hank’s successor, Igor Shesterkin back to Hartford to get some work. Igor looked good in his time at the Garden but he still has a lot of things to work on positionally. Igor’s counterpart as backup, Alexandar Georgiev will be the backup for now. Georgiev will be a Restricted Free Agent this summer. With Lundqvist signed through next season and Shesterkin apparently the Rangers’ go-to after that, Georgiev will be the odd man out. Now is the time to move the 23-year old Bulgarian who has played well these last two seasons as Hank’s deputy. There’s no rush to trade Georgiev before the deadline since he’ll be a RFA this summer. The Rangers could even offer Alex a 1-year deal if they think Igor needs another year in Hartford. The Rangers should get something in return for Georgiev this summer whether they trade him or he refuses a qualifying offer and signs somewhere else. Time will tell what the Rangers will look like next year and beyond. But things are looking promising a couple of years down the road.

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Different Matt is our cunning Cornell grad/rugby player. "Diff" joined us just after the switch from being "Mets only" to an all-sports stop. He's a Yankee fan; thus he was "different." Aside from the Yanks, he's a diehard NY Giants, NY Rangers and NY Knicks fan. He also likes long walks on the beach and cappuccinos and nearly died in Las Vegas.

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