Rangers Updates: Kreider, McIlrath, Jooris + More

The one contract everyone has been worried about since the season began is the one Chris Kreider will receive this summer. Him filing for arbitration, while expected, didn’t help in calming people down. You have probably seen people saying everything from “give him a long term deal” to “one year might be the best option” (thanks for that laugh Daily News!), from “he deserves to get paid” to “trade him, he’s not worth whatever he’s going to get”. The reality is somewhere in the middle of all of this.

So, with his arbitration hearing still scheduled for Friday, both sides were required to give their numbers to the arbitrator. As usual, they were on slightly opposite sides of the spectrum:

Okay, that’s not what I was expecting but we’ll still throw this out there: No, apparently Kreider does not expect $4.75 million per year. And no, the Rangers do not plan on paying Kreider only $3.2 million per year. This is how arbitration works. The player gives a really high number (or at least usually does), the team gives a really low number and the arbitrator picks a number somewhere in the middle. So assume, if this gets to arbitration, that Kreider will get a deal for around $4.25 million.

That said, I still do not think this will get to that point and instead he will get that amount on a long term deal. Honestly, have no idea why this isn’t done if that is all he is asking for. Could it go all the way to Friday morning? Absolutely. Ask Derek Stepan about that. But I will be absolutely shocked if they actually step foot in that court room. We’ll see if I’m right in the next 48 hours.

**********

Now some news we need to catch up on from last week.

On Friday, the Rangers re-signed another of their RFAs as Dylan McIlrath agreed to a one year, $800k contract. I look at it as a similar show me contract to what Miller signed last summer. Let’s just hope he gets a chance to show what he can do. Vigneault might not have a choice as if he plays less than 42 games, he becomes a UFA next summer instead of a RFA. My guess? The next move the Rangers make will ensure there is a permanent spot for him in the lineup.

The Rangers also re-signed Hartford RFA Tommy Hughes to a one year deal as well as added ex-Flames forward Josh Jooris to the organization for one year at $600k. What do we know about Jooris? The 26-year old center scored two shorthanded goals last season so he is yet another penalty killer. (The Rangers saw a weakness and seem determined to fix it.) His other stats are nothing to talk about so I think it’s safe to assume this is Dominic Moore’s replacement, or at least his replacement until Oscar Lindberg is healthy.

And finally, not news but a note – I again attended the now annual Comm Ave Classic in Boston last week which pits alums from BC and BU against each other to raise money for ALS. While the game and evening itself were slightly disappointing, a good sign for the Rangers was the best player on the ice was probably Kevin Hayes. The BC alum led his team with five points (two goals, three assists) as the visitors took a 13-8 victory. But besides the points, it was honestly the best I have seen Hayes play. Yes this was a charity game where defense was basically non-existent but the Rangers center was moving his feet all night and genuinely looked ready for the season to begin. Now he just needs a contract…

 

(Photo: Melissa Andus)

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