Image Courtesy of Men's Journal
Chris Kreider could possibly play for the Rangers this weekend and what it means to the club going forward.
By: Chris Yackel
Chris Kreider has not played a game for the Rangers since a December 27th win against the Capitals. That could change this weekend as Kreider, who has been skating with the team for a few weeks now is slated to return to the lineup this weekend. Kreider suffered blood clots and left a December 27th tilt against the Capitals early with this serious injury. The blood clot required rib resection surgery and left Kreider out indefinitely. Some even questioned if Kreider would ever play again.
He however is answering those questions with a strong yes with his impending return this weekend. It will be interesting to see how Kreider fits into the Rangers lineup with all the possible moving parts and deals on the horizon. Kreider, who has been a force in every Rangers playoff run since 2011-12, will definitely take some time to adjust. However, there will be no doubt he will be a force to be reckoned with on opposing defenseman when he returns.
The 26-year-old from Boxford, Massachusetts has come a long way, as he has become a leader for the Rangers and is no longer considered a "young guy on this roster. It brings up the question of how he might feel about the impending rebuild? The Rangers were firmly in a playoff position before Kreider went on the shelf. Kreider has never played on a Rangers team that didn’t make the playoffs. It will be foreign for Kreider to play meaningless hockey and some might wonder if he even wants to.
The Rangers are willing to trade anybody not named Henrik Lundqvist right now, so maybe a guy like Kreider could be moved. Maybe not this deadline, or not even the draft, but eventually it is possible. Every team in the league would love to have a guy like Kreider on their team. He’s like a monster truck with a Ferrari engine as the 6-3, 225 pound Kreider also is among the fastest players in the league. His combination of size, speed, skill and physicality is almost unmatched. Should they trade him however? In my opinion the answer should be NO.
The Rangers will be trading a lot of key pieces for young players and picks from now until their done rebuilding and although Kreider would bring a lot of assets, he is the type of guy you need to keep for a rebuild. He is a leader off the ice with his insane diet and workout regiment. He sets a great example for younger players on how to be a pro and be in the best possible shape to perform. He also leads on the ice with his good play, as he works hard and competes every shift. The Rangers can benefit from keeping a guy like Kreider around, but who knows? Maybe they see it differently? In any event though, Kreider’s return to the lineup this weekend is certainly good news both for the player and the team.
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