Rangers' Kreider leaves game after taking knee from teammate

Mike StephensNHL analyst
Yahoo Sports Canada
Kreider did not return to the game. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)
Kreider did not return to the game. (Photo by Jamie Sabau/NHLI via Getty Images)

It’s the type of scene you never want to witness.

In the first period of tonight’s matchup between the New York Rangers and Detroit Red Wings, Rangers winger Chris Kreider was accidentally struck in the head by the knee of teammate Mika Zibanejad during a freak play. Kreider looked visibly dazed in the moments following the collision and eventually left the ice before heading down the tunnel.

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Shortly after, the Rangers officially announced that Kreider will not be returning to the game.

The possibility of losing Kreider for what could be an extended period of time is somewhat of a double whammy for the Rangers.

Not only is the 28-year-old a valued member of their roster with 34 points in 49 games to this point, but Kreider is also widely thought to be Rangers’ most valuable trade chip ahead of the upcoming trade deadline.

Needless to say, if his injury were to keep him out beyond Feb. 24, a deal involving Kreider would be impossible, effectively stripping Rangers GM Jeff Gorton of his most lucrative avenue through which to acquire premium assets for the future.

No update on Kreider’s status beyond tonight’s game has been provided as of yet. Stay tuned.

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