The New York Rangers have just a little under $12 million in cap space, with three players filing for salary arbitration. One of those three is Chris Kreider, a player who really showed his impact to the team during the 2013-14 NHL season. According to Sportsnet’s Elliotte Freidman, Kreider wants a two-year deal worth $2.8 million a year. But the two camps seem to be $750,000 apart, as the Rangers offered $2.2 million per-year.
Both New York and Kreider have explained their contract demands because of the mandatory “briefs.” With salary arbitration, both sides must exchange their desires of the contract 48 hours before an arbitration deadline. This could help a deal be made before the arbitration meeting. Kreider filed for player-elected salary arbitration, which means the Rangers can try and sign him for a one-year or two-year contract. It sounds like New York wants to lock him up for two years.
Kreider was one of the team’s key spark plugs through last season. In 66 regular season games played as a rookie, he tallied up 37 points (17 goals, 20 assists) and had a plus/minus of plus-14. But he stepped it up during the Stanley Cup Playoffs, playing the puck more while using his deadly speed. Sometimes his speed got the best of him while he played in front of the net (see: Carey Price) but resulted in the Rangers advancing to the Stanley Cup Final.
With both sides being less than $1 million apart, I wouldn’t be shocked if a deal is reached before the hearing. The Rangers have upped their offers by $300,000 with each brief, and they want to keep the 23-year-old. They don’t have a lot of cap space left, and signing one of their most valuable younger players before arbitration would be the best scenario for the Rangers.