The New York Rangers made their final roster cuts on Sunday morning. In a move that didn’t shock anyone and made too much sense, the Rangers sent talented forward Chris Kreider to the AHL.
Kreider’s play was flat out miserable all preseason. He looked absolutely lost in the defensive zone sometimes. He played undisciplined hockey and cost his team by taking bad penalties at bad times. Maybe its about time for reporters to stop bashing former coach John Tortorella for his “misuse” of Kreider and just face the fact that he is not ready to be a top-six forward in the NHL.
No one questions how much raw talent Kreider has, but right now thats all it is: raw. We have all seen him make amazing offensive plays in the postseason. His great speed and his size make him a top prospect for the Rangers in the future, but Alain Vigneault must have saw the same thing that Tortorella saw in Kreider: he needs to play more and learn to play on both ends of the ice.
He can’t become a great player until he learns to play on both ends of the ice. Even the most talented players in the league have learned how to play defensively as well.
Kreider is going to start the season in the AHL and is going to get a lot of playing time. We will see him again in the NHL before the season ends, but hopefully he improves his game before he comes back up.