Chris Kreider

After his record-breaking playoff performance, lockout pushes Kreider to AHL


Chris Kreider went straight from the NCAA to the NHL playoffs and held his own in the New York Rangers’ run to the Eastern Conference finals.

With five goals in 18 postseason contests, Kreider broke a 59-year-old NHL record for most playoff goals before making a regular season appearance.

He seemed poised to be one of the most closely watched rookies in 2012-13, but until the lockout is over, he’ll be playing with the AHL Connecticut Whale.

“It’s still hockey,” said Kreider in a Bergen Record report. “I don’t look at it like that. It’s still a huge jump up from where I played most of last year. I have to be ready and mentally focused.”

Even if it’s not the league he was projected to start the season in, playing in the AHL should still be a great learning experience for the 21-year-old.

“His timing will be better, for one thing,” Rangers GM Glen Sather said. “He’s getting competition that a lot of these guys aren’t experiencing right now. Playing and practicing are two different things. When you’re playing, it’s a lot more competitive. It’s harder work. It takes more out of your body but it’s putting more back into you. It’s a good experience for him.”

Kreider will be playing against a lot of other people in the same position as him. If the lockout extends into the regular season, there will be quite a few young players who have already established themselves to varying degrees in the NHL leading the charge for their AHL clubs.

It looks like Havlat won’t make Panthers

Martin Havlat
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As PHT’s mentioned before, the Florida Panthers stand as a fascinating contrast between youth and experience.

Let’s not kid ourselves, though; fresh faces usually beat out gray beards, at least when it comes to teams that are still trying to build toward contender status.

While it’s by no means official, two Panthers beat writers – the Miami Herald’s George Richards and the Florida Sun-Sentinel’s Harvey Fialkov – report that the Panthers are likely to pass on Martin Havlat.

It wasn’t just about the likes of Jonathan Huberdeau and Nick Bjugstad leading the charge. Other young Panthers (maybe most notably Quinton Howden and Connor Brickley) made the team, thus making Havlat less necessary.

One would assume that it might be tough for the 34-year-old to find work, at least if he insists upon only an NHL deal.

Health issues continue to dog him, but he’s no longer one of those guys who tantalizes with talent when he is healthy enough to play.

Havlat also doesn’t really bring much to the table defensively. While other veterans can kill penalties and show a little more verstaility, Havlat’s greatest selling point is scoring.

Could this be it for a solid career that may nonetheless end with a “What if?” or two?

Silfverberg is set to practice again after Torres hit

Jakob Silfverberg
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Considering all of the controversy surrounding the 41-game suspension for Raffi Torres, some might have lost track of the guy who received that hit: Jakob Silfverberg.

The good news is that, at the moment, it seems like he’s OK.

The Anaheim Ducks announced that he skated on his own and will be involved in the team’s next practice:

That falls in line with some of the fall-out from the hit, as head coach Bruce Boudreau let out a relieved “thank goodness” at the young forward seemingly dodging a bullet.

Here’s video of the hit and the suspension decision:

Silfverberg, 24, enjoyed a nice breakout in 2014-15, especially during the playoffs.

Keep in mind that injuries can sometimes crop up later than expected, especially potential head injuries/concussions. Still, it seems like the initial reaction is that the damage was minimal.