|Chris Kreider getting his new Rangers jersey made at practice today. (Photo Credit: New York Rangers)|
Chris Kreider is officially a New York Ranger. The team introduced Kreider to the New York media today following the team's practice, where Kreider practiced as the fourth forward rotating in and out on a line with Brandon Dubinsky, Brian Boyle and Ruslan Fedotenko. Kreider, who will wear No. 20 with the Rangers, said he fully understands Coach John Tortorella's mantra that you have to earn your playing time if you want to be in the lineup.
“They definitely sent the message if you want to play you’re going to have to prove you’re ready to play and you’re going to have to earn your ice time, which is the way I think it should be,” Kreider said. “No expectations coming in, I’m just going to try to be a sponge.”
Also of note: just by practicing today, the first year of Kreider's three-year Entry Level deal was burned off. He's now signed from this point forward through the 2013-2014 season.
Click below to read more on Kreider's first day as a New York Ranger.
John Tortorella only issued this statement after practice today about Kreider, and said he would not be answering any other questions about him:
“We’re happy he’s here and he’s a Ranger,” Tortorella said. “From there, we go day by day. I’m not going to tell you our lineups. But this is a young man that we feel has a great future and it started with us today. So he’s signed, he’s us and we move along about our business.”
It doesn't seem likely that Chris Kreider will be in the lineup tomorrow night for Game 1 against the Senators, which is understandable. I'm sure the last five days have been pretty insane for Kreider, going from winning his second NCAA title with Boston College on Saturday to signing with the Rangers last night to practicing with the team today as they get ready for their first playoff game tomorrow. Oh, and he's only 20 years old. When I was 20 years old I was doing...well, nothing close to any of that.
Kreider will likely get into the lineup at some point this series, though, otherwise signing him this quickly and burning a full year on his Entry Level deal would've been an absolute waste. By Game 2 on Saturday, Kreider will have had two practices with the team and a chance to watch Game 1 in the press box, so I would think there's a good chance we could see him in the lineup on Saturday. Then again, if the Rangers win Game 1 then John Tortorella may show some reluctance to make any changes to the lineup. But we shall see.