Unfortunately for young and promising forward Chris Kreider, and to the surprise of a lot of New York Rangers fans, Kreider was not one of the names on the team’s regular-season roster.
Instead, Kreider will start the year in the AHL, where he will have to prove that he belongs in the NHL and earn a spot on the Rangers’ roster. In my opinion, sending him down to start the year was a good move because he was practically invisible on the ice throughout the entire preseason, and did not earn the right to wear a Rangers uniform on opening night.
The question now is, do the Rangers wait for Kreider to learn more and develop in Hartford before being called up again, or should they let him go if they receive a good trade offer for him?
I know many Rangers fans like Kreider because of his flash of greatness in the 2011-12 postseason, but that was two years ago. Can Kreider consistently become that player again? In my opinion, the Rangers should keep Kreider for now, but if someone comes along and gives the Rangers a good offer for him, then I think Rangers GM Glen Sather should take it.
The reason why I say this is because whether it was former head coach John Tortorella or not, Kreider is an obviously shaken individual. His confidence in himself on the ice is just not there on a consistent basis. Regardless though, I do not feel sorry for him because he has to get over Tortorella and be a big boy, plus there should be no excuse for lack of effort.
The effort he showed in the preseason was almost non-existent and I find that truly disturbing since captain Ryan Callahan and forward Carl Hagelin will both miss the first couple of weeks. Kreider acted as if he believed he had a roster spot locked up, and that did not have to try. New head coach Alain Vigneault obviously did not agree, and this is why he is starting the year in the AHL.
Confidence shaken or not, there should be no excuse for that. It really is a shame because Kreider has the talent to be a 30-goal scorer in this league, but no matter how talented a player is, if they don’t have confidence and show effort on every single shift, they are not an NHL player.
The good news is that Kreider is only 22-years-old and still can develop, but at the same time, there really isn’t anything wrong with his skills. It is what’s on the inside that is hard to teach. This is why the Rangers should hold on to Kreider for now, but if I were Sather, I would jump up a great deal was sent my way.
Kreider was going to be depended upon greatly this season and now with him not even making the opening night roster, the Rangers could be in big trouble and really need an NHL power forward who can add some toughness and put the puck in the net.