The New York Rangers and Chris Kreider barely avoided an arbitration hearing – again – as the team announced Friday morning the 25-year-old left wing had agreed to a four-year, $18.5 million deal with an annual average value (salary cap hit) of $4.625 million.
Kreider had an arbitration hearing set for Friday at 9 a.m. in Toronto.
The Rangers bought back two seasons of Kreider’s unrestricted free agency with the new deal. It’s a similar deal to the one 25-year-old right wing Kyle Palmieri recently received from the Devils, though Palmieri got five years with a $4.65 million salary cap hit.
The Rangers and Chris Kreider also came very close to going through with a scheduled arbitration hearing two years ago before reaching a last-minute agreement on a two-year, $4.95 million deal.
The sides submitted their salary requests on Wednesday for arbitration and while Kreider was seeking $4.75 million, the Rangers offered $3.2 million.
However, such divides are common when it comes to arbitration…