It's been a month since Vitali Kravtsov refused assignment to the New York Rangers AHL affiliate and returned to Russia to await a trade. While recent reports suggest he hasn't ruled out returning to the Blueshirts, the Montreal Canadiens and Ottawa Senators are reportedly potential suitors for the 21-year-old right winger.
Kravtsov is currently on loan to the KHL's Traktor Chelyabinsk. Rangers general manager Chris Drury recently stated his organization still thinks highly of Kravtsov and hopes to one day bring the winger back into the fold. Earlier this week, however, Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli reported league sources said the Canadiens and Senators expressed the most interest in him.
Drury could recall Kravtsov once the KHL season ends. That's assuming, of course, he doesn't get a suitable trade offer from a rival club. He gave Kravtsov's agent permission to speak with other teams after his client requested a trade last month.
Allowing Kravtsov to play in the KHL enables the youngster to stay in game shape while awaiting a trade or a possible return to the Rangers. It also provides rival clubs an opportunity to evaluate his performance.
The rumored interest by the Canadiens and Senators is understandable. Both clubs are mired near the bottom of the league in the standings and goals-per-game average. Drury, however, has reportedly set a high asking price. On Oct. 23, Sportsnet's Jeff Marek said the Rangers GM seeks a top prospect in return.
While the Canadiens and Senators have depth in promising young players within their system, they might not be keen to part with any of their better ones. That could change, however, if both clubs continue to flounder in the standings.