According to Jeff Marek of Sportsnet, the asking price for Vitali Kravstov of the New York Rangers has been set and while there are interested teams, it’s unlikely that many, if any, come calling and willing to part with what the Rangers organization is asking for.
During the 32 Thoughts segment on Hockey Night in Canada on Saturday, Marek noted that he did some digging around the Kravtsov situation to see if there was any way that the two sides could either work things out or find out how likely a trade might be. The suggestion was that Kravtsov isn’t interested in returning and will stay in Russia, but the team isn’t willing to simply give the player away because he might not return. In fact, the Rangers are making it harder for teams to make a trade.
Marek said that general manager Chris Drury seeks a top prospect in exchange for Kravtsov and he noted that Drury isn’t budging from that asking price for the time being. He added that the reason the price is so high is two-fold. First, he doesn’t really want to lose the player even though Kravtsov didn’t make the roster coming out of training camp. Second, he’s trying to ensure the leverage stays with the team during this standoff.
Speculation is that Drury has set a high price because he doesn’t think a team will pay it. Should they, he gets a good return for a high-end prospect. Should they not, he gets to say to the player, ‘Look, teams aren’t interested at a level that we deem reasonable to move you. Come back to the team, play well and we’ll see where things go from there.’
The idea is to create a situation where Kravtsov is limited in his choices, especially if he knows other NHL teams are interested. All he needs to do is play well enough to convince a team he’s worth the higher asking price. For the Rangers, if he comes back to the team, there’s always a chance a fresh start could get things back on the right track.
In the end, the Rangers aren’t in a rush to trade Kravtsov or bend to any pressure. With both Kaapo Kakko and Ryan Strome on the verge of returning to the lineup, the team is deep enough and off to a strong enough start they can wait a little longer before pressing any sort of panic button.
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