Chris Kreider's future with the cap-crunched New York Rangers remains up in the air as he enters the final year of his contract.
Both Rangers president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton told NHL.com Thursday, however, that they expect Kreider to be on the team's roster when training camp opens next month.
"We'll deal with that," Gorton said of Kreider's future with the team. "We'll continue to talk to Chris and see what's next for him, but we'll start with training camp, get him going on the right path. Hopefully he's helping us win games, and then we'll figure it out."
According to Dan Rosen of NHL.com, neither Davidson nor Gorton would rule out the possibility of trading Kreider during, or even before, the season if the right deal comes along.
"I totally expect him to be in camp," Davidson said. "It's hard to make promises. Things change, but Chris is a valued member of the New York Rangers and I look forward to him having a great camp and a great run with us.
"He's got one year left, and that should be a whole lot of importance to him to come in and have a great camp and a great year, and we'll just see where it all goes."
The Rangers cleared $5 million in cap space for this season by buying out defenceman Kevin Shattenkirk last week, but the team still has just $1 million in cap space, per CapFriendly, with two restricted free agents still to sign in Brendan Lemieux and Anthony Deangelo.
The Rangers have a total of $5.39 million tied up in dead cap this season due to their past buyouts of Shattenkirk, Ryan Spooner and Dan Girardi, and that number will rise to $7.49 million next season.
Kreider, who carries a $4.625 million cap hit for this season, tied his career-high with 28 goals last season and posted 52 points in 79 games. Gorton noted that having the 28-year-old, who had 57 minutes in penalties last season, on the roster could benefit the Rangers' young core.
"I think that can go a long ways because he's been there, he's done that," Gorton said. "He's a good player. He's obviously a top-six forward and he's somebody that when he's producing takes the edge off young players, too. There's not so much pressure to produce if you have other guys leading the way. For a lot of reasons, Chris is an important player."
Kreider, who turned 28 in April, is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent next summer.