Kreider saw exactly half of his ice time at even strength during the preseason with Rick Nash and Brad Richards, according to the line combinations tool at DobberHockey.com. It was the team's nominal top line during camp. The likely No. 1 center, Derek Stepan, was not practicing because he didn't have a contract, and wings Ryan Callahan and Carl Hagelin were still rehabbing injuries.
The 22-year-old Kreider was a breakout star in the 2012 Stanley Cup Playoffs, making his NHL debut and scoring five goals in New York's run to the conference finals. He had only two goals and one assist in 23 games during his first regular season with the Rangers in 2012-13.
The Rangers sent Kreider to Hartford of the American Hockey League, along with defensemen Stu Bickel and Conor Allen and other forwards Marek Hrivik, Oscar Lindberg, Brandon Mashinter and Darroll Powe. New York currently has 15 forwards on the active roster, but Callahan and Hagelin are likely to be placed on long-term injured reserve to start the season.