The Rangers have made it their "priority" to sign Chris Kreider to an extension rather than trade him, according to a Friday afternoon report from Larry Brooks of the New York Post.
They have work to do before Monday's 3 p.m. deadline -- Brooks notes that the two sides still have to "bridge the gap" -- but the Blueshirts appear to have a clear preference in mind.
Kreider, 28, is set to become an unrestricted free agent July 1. The left wing has spent his entire career with the Rangers after he became the 2009 NHL Entry Draft's No. 19 overall pick in the first round.
After TSN's Pierre LeBrun reported Feb. 3 that eight NHL teams had expressed interest, he added Feb. 7 that the Rangers were open to extension talks. It carried into Monday when LeBrun said that the Rangers and Kreider's representatives were still discussing an extension.
The Boston College product and Boxford, Mass., native logged his first full season in 2013-14 after he came up for 23 games on the 2012-13 campaign.
Through 58 games in 2019-20, Kreider boasts 45 points on 24 goals and 21 assists. Over the past eight years, Kreider has compiled 157 goals and 159 assists for 316 points.
As the team navigates a potential extension for Kreider, the Rangers (31-24-4) face the Carolina Hurricanes (34-21-4) Friday at 7 p.m. from PNC Arena in Raleigh, N.C.