1. Kreider sending a message
While the hockey media continues to debate where Chris Kreider will end up by Feb. 24, the forward is instead focusing on doing what he does best for the New York Rangers.
It is hardly a secret that Kreider is the biggest name available as we rapidly approach the Trade Deadline but, as I’ve mentioned in a few pieces including this one, I don’t think it is cut and dry that the 28-year-old will be traded.
There is a belief that the player would love to remain in The Big Apple, something Kreider himself has repeated on a few occasions, while the front office could be tempted to keep hold of one of their most influential leaders.
After all, President John Davidson has been here before having rebuilt both the St. Louis Blues and the Columbus Blue Jackets, so he will know better than most how important an ingredient experience is.
Kreider has become a real mentor in that locker room and, not only that, the power forward is currently playing some of the best hockey of his career.
And he put on an absolute clinic in Winnipeg against the Jets on Tuesday, sending a clear message that he still has a major role to play for the New York Rangers.
It all started seconds into the first period when Kreider combined two of his biggest attributes, his blistering speed and sheer upper-body strength, to torch the Winnipeg defense before beating Connor Hellebuyck on the backhand.
The wing recorded his second point of the night with a power play goal, and Kreider now has 15 points (10 goals, 5 assists) in his last 14 outings.
In total, Kreider has recorded 22 goals and 18 assists for 40 points through 54 games this year, including 13 points on the power play.
On the flip side of this, you could argue that Kreider is only cranking up his trade value and that the front office must be rubbing their hands together in glee at the tantalizing thought of the package they may get back in return.
However, I don’t think you can underestimate John Davidson’s desire to have leadership and game-changing talent on this team, and it appears as if though Chris Kreider is doing everything he can to persuade his bosses to hand him a new contract.