Adam Fox of the Rangers, K’Andre Miller, Alexis Lafrenière out of the world
Adam Fox and K’Andre Miller have declined invitations to play for the U.S. team at the upcoming world championship tournament to be played in Riga, Latvia, The Post has learned, while Alexis Lafrenière is expected to decline an invitation to represent Canada.
NHL players have lived for months under restrictions that did not apply to the general population and will be faced with COVID-19 protocols during the tournament which runs from May 21 to June 6. Lafrenière would face quarantine on his return from Latvia to his home in Quebec.
Additionally, Miller has been in the New York area since last July and has not been home for almost 10 months. Lafrenière has been in the region since the first week of November and has not seen his parents or family since then. Both need time at home and off the rink.
Fox, who hasn’t scored a point in the last six games of the season, leads the clubhouse in points by a defenseman with 47 (5-42). But Edmonton’s Tyson Barrie is one point behind (8-38-46) with three games to play while Tampa Bay’s Victor Hedman is two points (9-36-45) with one game to go.
Only three regular Rangers have scored more goals against than five on five, Chris Kreider (27/29), Lafrenière (29/31) and Brett Howden (12/15). Fox led defenders in goal percentage at 58.11 (43/31) while Filip Chytil’s 61.36 (27/17) led the team, just ahead of 60.0 (33/22 ) of Artemi Panarin.
Kaapo Kakko, meanwhile, made the most dramatic improvement not just for the Rangers, but for the entire NHL. After finishing with the league’s lowest goalscoring percentage among players with at least 700 minutes played at 28.57 (14/35) last year, the Finn has registered 55.81 (24/19) . All issues courtesy of Naturalstattrick.com.
Kreider, out of the last six games with lower back problems, has had the worst statistical year of his career since rebounding from New York to Hartford in his 2012-13 rookie season.
The winger scored 20 goals to tie Pavel Buchnevich for the club’s second behind Mika Zibanejad’s 24, but nine of his goals came in a six-game streak from February 20 to March 4 that included a pair of hat tricks. Kreider has scored 11 goals in the other 44 games.
Beyond that, Kreider’s five-on-five for 60:00 fell from 2.47 last season to 1.42, the lowest since 2012-13. His 60:00 shots of 5.29 were significantly down from 8.2 last year.
Chytil led the club with five-on-five shots by 60:00 to 8.59 while Julien Gauthier was second at 8.01. Ryan Strome was third at 7.73 and next Buchnevich with 7.59.
Kreider’s 11 power-play goals, however, are fourth in the league behind Leon Draisaitl’s 14 and Joe Pavelski and TJ Oshie’s 12.
Buchnevich, Chytil, Gauthier, Howden, Ryan Lindgren, Libor Hajek and Igor Shesterkin are restricted free agents on hold, with only Buchnevich eligible for salary arbitration.
Brendan Smith and Phil Di Giuseppe are the pending free agents on the list.