The New York Rangers don’t want to see key pieces sold off at the NHL Trade Deadline in the coming days.
The Blueshirts have seen impact players such as Ryan McDonagh, Mats Zuccarello, Rick Nash and others shown the door this time of year the past two seasons and hope their 6-3 win over the Chicago Blackhawks Wednesday can change Jeff Gorton’s mind.
Chris Kreider had three points and Artemi Panarin recorded his 30th goal of the season in the Rangers’ fourth victory in the previous five games.
“We got to make the GM’s job tough and wins like this will do that,” Ryan Strome told Bryan Boucher on NBCSN following the game.
Dominik Kubalik scored twice and Drake Caggiula added another, but the Blackhawks fell for the second consecutive game and for the seventh time in the last eight games.
Value of Rangers assets keeps increasing
Kreider is the top rental available and the Rangers’ front office hopes a bidding war develops over the next few days. The speedy power forward converted a slick breakaway midway through the third period which turned into the eventual game-winner.
NHL insider Bob McKenzie reported on the pregame show that five teams were interested in Kreider’s services. The Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, St. Louis Blues and Washington Capitals have expressed interest, according to McKenzie.
In addition to Kreider, the Rangers have several other commodities that could intrigue playoff contenders. Ryan Strome netted his career high 51st point, Pavel Buchnevich scored, and Tony DeAngelo returned to the lineup.
“Honestly, we have been doing a pretty good job,” Strome said when asked about the potential movement. “We have got some guys that have been around and some young guys that are probably a little bit oblivious. That probably helps a little bit.”
The playoffs are a longshot for New York this season, but the question they need to answer internally is, how far away from the postseason are they?
Keith’s milestone assist
The alternate captain has been the foundation of the Chicago Blackhawks defense since arriving in the NHL for the 2005-06 season.
In the second period against the Rangers, Keith delivered a beautiful no-look, cross-ice pass to set up Kubalik’s game-tying goal. It was Keith’s 500th career assist.
Keith became the seventh player in franchise history to reach that accomplishment and joined Doug Wilson as the only defensemen in that group.
The 36-year-old was rightfully included in the 100 Greatest Players in NHL History announced during the League’s centennial celebration and continues to ensure that his No. 2 will float in the rafters with his three Stanley Cup championship banners at the United Center.
Scott Charles is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @ScottMCharles.