Update: Kreider inks four-year, $18.5-million contract with Rangers, Hayes signs two-year deal

Jared Clinton
Chris Kreider (Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

The Washington Capitals and Marcus Johansson avoided arbitration Tuesday by making a compromise. Johansson wanted $5.25 million per season, the Capitals wanted to pay $3.85 million and the two sides met almost exactly in the middle — $4.583 million — to get a deal done and avoid arbitration. The same can’t be said for Chris Kreider and the New York Rangers, but it turns out the deal isn’t too bad for either side.

The Rangers announced Friday that they’ve inked Kreider, 25, to a new deal, which is a four-year, $18.5-million deal that will pay the 6-foot-3, 226-pound winger $4.625 million per season, according to Aaron Ward.

The deal is an absolute win for Kreider, who was entering arbitration seeking $4.75 million with the Rangers countering with $3.2 million. And while it seems like there was no compromise on Kreider’s part, it’s hard to blame him for not wanting to take anything less after the deal Johansson received from the Capitals. Read more

Rumor Roundup: Shattenkirk possible target for Rangers after Brassard trade

Kevin Shattenkirk (Bruce Kluckhohn/NHLI via Getty Images)

After weeks of anticipation, the New York Rangers finally made a significant roster move this summer. On Monday, they dealt center Derick Brassard and a seventh-round pick in 2018 to the Ottawa Senators for center Mika Zibanejad and a 2018 second-round selection.

In shipping out Brassard’s $5-million annual average salary through 2018-19 for Zibanejad’s $2.65 million in 2016-17, Rangers GM Jeff Gorton freed up an additional $2.35 million. He can put that toward re-signing a restricted free agent forward such as Chris Kreider or Kevin Hayes. He could also use it to his roster via trade or free agency.

Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News speculates Gorton could use the savings to acquire St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. He could then re-sign the blueliner, who’s eligible next July for unrestricted free agency, to an extension worth $6-million annually. Leonard also wonders if Kreider could be swapped for Shattenkirk before the winger’s arbitration date on Friday. Read more

Rumor Roundup: All quiet on the Rangers trade, and signings front

Chris Kreider (Getty Images)

Heading into mid-July, the New York Rangers have yet to make a significant move to shed cap space or shake up their roster. Signing veteran left winger Michael Grabner to a two-year deal ($1.65 million annually) and acquiring defenseman Nick Holden from the Colorado Avalanche were their biggest deals thus far.

The Rangers carry $12.4 million in salary-cap room. With restricted free agents Chris Kreider, J.T. Miller, Kevin Hayes and Dylan McIlrath to re-sign, there’s not enough space to retain those players and bolster the lineup via trades or free agency.

Larry Brooks of the New York Post reports Blueshirts GM Jeff Gorton hasn’t been idle in the trade market, but he’s been unable to find suitable deals. Brooks claims Gorton is reluctant to move center Derek Stepan, won’t trade defenseman Ryan McDonagh, can’t find equal value for left winger Rick Nash and isn’t shopping Kreider.

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Five salary arbitrations to keep an eye on as NHLPA announces hearing dates

Petr Mrazek (Bill Wippert/NHLI via Getty Images)

Free agency is well under way but the opportunity to negotiate a new deal has led a number of restricted free agents to salary arbitration.

The NHLPA announced the dates for the 24 arbitration hearings that are slated to take place between July 20 and Aug. 4, though some players have already reached agreements with their respective clubs ahead, helping both sides avoid arbitration.

The most productive player to avoid arbitration thus far is Kyle Palmieri, who posted 30 goals and 57 points in 82 games with the New Jersey Devils in 2015-16. Palmieri had filed to take the Devils to arbitration to hammer out a new deal on July 5, but New Jersey and Palmieri landed on a five-year, $23.25-million deal just two days later. Others who have filed but since settled include Detroit Red Wings minor-league goaltender Jared Coreau and Philadelphia Flyers winger Jordan Weal, both of whom signed deals worth over $600,000.

There are some big names still without contracts for the upcoming campaign, however. Here are five key arbitration hearings that could impact some important players: Read more

Red Wings will take Mrazek to arbitration, close to a deal for DeKeyser

Petr Mrazek  (Photo by Scott Audette/NHLI via Getty Images)

The most notable exclusion from the 24 players who filed for salary arbitration Tuesday was Petr Mrazek, but that doesn’t mean the Detroit Red Wings goaltender won’t be included in the process. Sources have told thn.com that the Red Wings will take Mrazek to arbitration before teams are required to file at 5 p.m. (eastern time) Wednesday.

This is a bit of a chess game here. Had Mrazek filed for arbitration, the Red Wings would have been able to choose either a one- or two-year reward. With the Red Wings filing, Mrazek will now have the choice of a one- or two-year award. Regardless, it means Mrazek is guaranteed to have a deal with the Red Wings for at least one season and will be available to the Red Wings for the start of the season. Mrazek is expected to be the Czech Republic’s No. 1 goaltender for the World Cup of Hockey.

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