New York Rangers right winger Chris Kreider is the top target ahead of the Feb. 24 NHL trade deadline given his attractive combination of size, offensive skill and playoff experience.
The problem for the Boston Bruins and any other team interested in Kreider is that he's in pretty high demand.
In the latest edition of TSN's "Insider Trading" from Jan. 30 -- so, before Kreider's injury (more on that below) -- Pierre LeBrun reported that almost a third of the league has shown interest in acquiring the veteran forward. He also gave an example of the type of trade package it'll take to land Kreider.
"There are at least eight teams, we believe, that have expressed interest in Chris Kreider, who tops the TSN trade bait list. No surprise there," LeBrun said. "The asking price will be similar, at least, to what the New York Rangers got last year for Kevin Hayes when he went to the Winnipeg Jets. You may remember that the Rangers got Brendan Lemieux and a first-round pick from the Jets, so, a hefty price if you're getting Chris Kreider this year. We should note the Rangers have not lost hope on trying to re-sign Chris Kreider, but as of Thursday, no contract talks yet between Kreider's camp and the New York Rangers."
A highly rated prospect and a first-round pick is a lot to give up, especially for a rental, but it's a cost the Bruins should seriously consider parting with. Kreider is very familiar with Boston -- he was born in Massachusetts and played three seasons at Boston College. His power forward-type of skill set also would fit in well with the B's, and he'd upgrade their secondary scoring behind the Perfection Line of Patrice Bergeron, Brad Marchand and leading goal-scorer David Pastrnak.
Kreider has tallied 35 points (18 goals, 17 assists) in 50 games for the Rangers this season. He'll eventually hit the 20-goal mark for the fifth time in the last six seasons.
The immediate concern with Kreider is the hit he took Saturday when teammate Mika Zibanejad accidentally kneed him in the head. Kreider left the game and hasn't played since, but Rangers head coach David Quinn said Monday night that the talented forward is "close" to returning.