The New York Rangers are 2-5 so far this year, which has resulted in immense panic. Here's the thing, you shouldn't be worried about the Rangers' record, you should be worried about how they're losing. Injuries aside -- and I do think injuries have played a major role in the Rangers struggles early -- the heart and grind simply hasn't been there. And that's a problem.
But does that give the organization the green light to blow everything up or make a panic move? I'm more patient than most, so it probably won't surprise you that I'm saying no.
Let's briefly touch on the rumor Bruce Garrioch threw into the pool on Sunday, mentioning the Rangers were dangling Chris Kreider for a top-six forward. I've spoken about the Garrioch rumor mill before, so I won't really dive into that right now, but I'm not putting too much stock in the Rangers moving Kreider this year. The main reason? Moving Kreider right now would be a panic move, and Glen Sather doesn't make panic moves.
I have a rule when it comes to youth with exceptional tools and talent: You don't trade that players unless, A) You're getting back a player of equal talent (and around the same age), or B) You're acquiring a player who is going to be a critical part of the team's Stanley Cup run.
Moving Kreider right now wouldn't fall under B, and I doubt the Rangers would be able to do A either -- although maybe Nail Yakupov really is on the market.
In his weekly 30 Thoughts column, Eliotte Friedman speculated the Rangers were in the market for a trade. From this week's column:
This isn't surprising, and is far more believable than the Rangers trying to move Kreider right now. But there are things to consider when talking about a potential trade.
The Rangers have a couple of options with how they can handle their current struggles. They can either do nothing and wait for their injured players to get healthy, try to shake things up by bringing up young talent (which they've already done with Kreider) or make a splash in the trade market.
I'm not saying the Rangers aren't kicking tires (general managers talk all the time) I'm just saying it doesn't make too much sense to move Kreider. His value is at its lowest point. I'll argue with you until I turn blue in the face that Kreider didn't get a fair shake under John Tortorella, but I'll also be the first to tell you that Alain Vigneault did give Kreider a true chance in training camp and he didn't take advantage of it. Now he has another opportunity. Let's hope he doesn't waste it.
As for who the Rangers might be looking to move? I think it has a lot more to do with who they're targeting (and where that player resides). A trade might be on the horizon. Will that move include Kreider? Maybe, but I doubt it.