Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Reports: Chris Kreider Agrees To 3-Year Entry Level Deal With Rangers

Multiple media outlets, including the always reliable Bob McKenzie of TSN, are reporting that the Rangers have signed their 2009 first round draft pick, Chris Kreider, to a three-year Entry Level contract. The Rangers have not officially confirmed the deal yet, but Larry Brooks of the New York Post says that Kreider will report to the Rangers tomorrow to sign his contract, which will then make the deal official.

Larry Brooks reports that Kreider's deal will be worth $1.3 million per season. According to Bob McKenzie, he'll get no signing bonus for this season or have a salary for the playoffs, but will get bonuses for the remainder of the playoffs for games that he plays in.

Click below to read more on the Rangers signing Kreider.

Kreider, 20, just won a National Championship with Boston College on Saturday. The Rangers had people from their front office in attendance of every Boston College game throughout the Frozen Four tournament so that they could immediately open negotiations with Chris Kreider as soon as Boston College's season was over.

Kreider will also be eligible to play in the playoffs.

Bob McKenzie also says that as soon as Kreider reports to the Rangers tomorrow and officially signs his contract the first year of the deal will count for this season. So, it's essentially a two-year deal, plus the remainder of this season. I originally thought the first year of the deal would only count if Kreider dressed for a game, but apparently I was wrong.

I have a few thoughts on the Rangers signing Chris Kreider. First and foremost, it's absolutely a huge deal to get this kid under contract. The Rangers clearly have high hopes for him judging by their reluctance to include him in trade talks for Rick Nash earlier this year. If they weren't completely sold that this kid is the real deal I think it's safe to say that Rick Nash would be a New York Ranger right now.

Secondly, this means that Kreider now has to suit up for the playoffs. The Rangers wouldn't have signed him this quickly and wasted a full year on his Entry Level deal if they were just going to have him sit in the press box for the rest of the postseason; that would just be flat out asinine. John Tortorella and Glen Sather must be convinced that this kid can step in and immediately provide some huge offense for the team down the stretch here. If they weren't, financially, this wouldn't make any sense.

Finally, it'll be interesting to see how and where Chris Kreider fits on this team for the remainder of this season. The Rangers view him as eventually being a dominant force on the first line, but I'd be surprised if he's immediately slotted in there. I think he'll likely start out on the third or fourth line (with John Mitchell being a healthy scratch) and he'll likely see some more minutes and power play time as the game moves on.

This kid must be on Cloud 9; three days ago he won another title with Boston College, and today he's on a first-place team to help them win a Cup. But as excited as Chris Kreider must be to be joining the Rangers, I think the Rangers and their fans might be even more excited just to have him in the lineup.

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