A change of coaches hasn’t helped Chris Kreider’s status with the New York Rangers.
The former Boston College standout was one of seven players sent to the AHL as they get the roster cut down for opening day. Kreider had his struggles last season with former coach John Tortorella. Now with Alain Vigneault at the helm he had an opportunity to show the new boss what he had.
Apparently what he showed wasn’t good enough and fellow youngsters Jesper Fast and J.T. Miller are cracking the opening night roster instead.
Joining Kreider on the cut list are forwards Darroll Powe, Brandon Mashinter, Marek Hrivik, and Oscar Lindberg. Defensemen Stu Bickel and Connor Allen were also sent to AHL Hartford.
For Kreider he’ll need to get focused in the minors to get back to Manhattan. After arriving on the scene in a big way two playoffs ago, the talent is there, it just has to be harnessed.
Four veteran NHLers were placed on waivers on Thursday.
New Jersey goalie Johan Hedberg — bumped out of the picture after the Devils acquired Cory Schneider at the draft — Edmonton’s Eric Belanger and New York Rangers forwards Arron Asham and Darroll Powe were given notice as teams continue to try and shed salary/cap hits prior to the start of free agency.
Hedberg, 40, has one year remaining on a two-year, $2.8 million deal signed with the Devils on 2012. He has a full no-trade clause, but there was some thought he’d waive it in order to join a new club.
That didn’t materialize, so — assuming Hedberg will go unclaimed and be bought out — he’ll get paid $933,333 over the course of the next two years.
Belanger, 35, is heading into the final year of a three-year, $5.25 million deal signed in 2011. The veteran center had a forgettable 2013 in Edmonton, scoring just three points in 26 games, and his buyout will save the Oilers $1.75 million in cap space.
Asham and Powe were placed on regular waivers — not unconditional — meaning they’re not in line for compliance buyouts. The Rangers had already used one on Wade Redden and will probably hold the other to decide the future of Brad Richards next summer.
The Wild and Rangers swapped negotiating rights on Sunday, as Minnesota traded Justin Falk to New York for Benn Ferriero and a sixth-rounder in 2014. Both players are restricted free agents in need of new contracts.
Falk, 24, has solidified himself as an everyday NHL player during the last two seasons. He played in most of the 2013 regular season (36 games), although his ice time plummeted from 2011-12’s 19:30 minutes per game to just 13:13.
Ferriero, 26, played in just four games with the New York Rangers after spending parts of the previous three seasons at the NHL level with the San Jose Sharks. He spent most of this campaign in the AHL.
The two teams are familiar with trading depth players with each other, as they completed a trade involving Mike Rupp and Darroll Powe in 2012.