Whether the New York Rangers ultimately trade Vitali Kravtsov is still up for debate, but if they choose to, there appears to be no shortage of teams that will have an interest. The latest two teams to be rumored as tire kickers are the Ottawa Senators and Montreal Canadiens.
The Rangers winger refused assignment to AHL Hartford and was given permission to seek a trade by the organization. He’s currently in the KHL where he’s playing extremely well, but there hasn’t been a lot of chatter about a deal being imminent or a team stepping forward and coming close to whatever the Rangers asking price might be. That is until Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli pegged the Senators and Canadiens as the two teams with the most interest in acquiring the 2018 first-rounder.
Even though he had just two goals and two assists in 20 contests in 2020-21, the Rangers had high hopes for Kravtsov this season. Still, he didn’t make the roster out of training camp and that news didn’t sit well with the player who thought he was being held back. He’d shown he could score, posting 16 goals in 49 games with Traktor Chelyabinsk of the KHL the previous season. In his single KHL game this season, he wowed with two goals and an assist, one of which might be a candidate for goal of the year.
Last week Kravtsov was officially loaned back to Chelyabinsk and the Rangers have been in constant talks with teams about his availability. The organization would prefer he come back to the team but it appears that the ship has sailed and Kravtsov has refused.
Ottawa has been in the rumor mill as a team looking for help upfront. Kravtsov would fit nicely as the team continues to rebuild and establish a young core that could be competitive for seasons to come. Montreal has not had a strong start to their season and could use some serious help getting back into the win column on a regular basis. He could play in a bottom-six role.
Asking Price Remains High
It’s not clear exactly what the Rangers want in any deal, but the asking price is rumored to be high. The team would like him to come back and they aren’t simply going to dump him because he doesn’t feel as though the relationship can be fixed.
As he continues to play well in the KHL, it’s likely his stock continues to rise and for the Senators and Canadiens, if they are truly interested, this could get expensive, especially if they are competing with each other.
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