As the NHL trade deadline on Feb. 24 at 3 p.m. looms, questions continue to surface regarding what the Rangers plan to do with left wing Chris Kreider.
After missing Monday's 5-3 loss to the Stars at Madison Square Garden with an upper-body injury that he suffered during Saturday's 1-0 road win over the Red Wings, Kreider is close to a return, Rangers head coach David Quinn said. But other teams are calling.
With Kreider set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1, eight teams are interested in the eighth-year pro, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported Monday. In fact, those eight teams, according to LeBrun, have Kreider at the top of their wish list as they contact the Rangers.
LeBrun added that the Blues size up as an ideal partner for the Rangers in a potential trade scenario where St. Louis sends a 2020 first-round pick and center Jordan Kyrou for Kreider.
Kreider, who turns 29 on April 30, has spent his entire career with the Rangers after he became the 2009 NHL Entry Draft's No. 19 overall pick in the first round.
The Boston College product and Boxford, Mass. native played his first full season in 2013-14 after he came up for 23 games on the 2012-13 campaign.
Through 50 games, Kreider boasts 18 goals and 17 assists for 35 points. Over the past eight years, Kreider has compiled 151 goals and 155 assists for 306 points.
With Kreider's future dependent on what happens in February, the Rangers (25-22-4) resume action for the 15-game month Wednesday at 7:30 p.m. from MSG against the Maple Leafs (28-18-7).