[Edited, Front Page'd -- B]
TSN's Bob McKenzie is reporting that Chris Kreider has signed a three year deal with the New York Rangers.
The details are a bit unclear at this point. A player of Kreider's age would generally ink just a two year entry level deal. This was at the heart of the debate for most Ranger fans, specualting whether or not it was worth burning a year of Kreider's entry level contract strictly for the playoff run. A three year deal allows Kreider to join the roster immediately while keeping him under team control on an entry level deal for an additional two full seasons.
McKenzie further reports that Kreider will join the Rangers tomorrow. They open their Eastern Conference Quarterfinal series against Ottawa on Thursday night.
At present the Rangers carry just one additional forward on their roster, the hulking John Scott, and the nearly-as-large Mike Rupp currently skates on their fourth line. Both players are more of the enforcer type, and with very little fighting in the NHL playoffs, there may be a ready-made opening for Kreider in the Rangers line-up. Further, bottom six forward Ruslan Fedotenko was a frequent healthy scratch last month, while the Rangers dressed power play specialist Mats Zuccarello in his place. Fedotenko returned to the line-up when Zuccarello suffered a broken wrist, likely ending his season.
The Rangers have been looking for secondary scoring all season long, and Kreider certainly would help in that department. Coach John Tortorella has a history of supporting "his guys", so it there is some question if he would remove Rupp or Fedotenko - whose history with Torts goes back to Tampa Bay - from the line-up in favor of a rookie. There's also the question of whether Kreider can be placed immediately into the Rangers disciplined, defense-first system. If he does crack the line-up, he'll join fellow former Eagle Brian Boyle amongst the Ranger forwards.