Rangers forward Chris Kreider agreed to a two-year pact Wednesday morning just before his arbitration hearing in Toronto.
Kreider, 23, who was seeking about $2.8 million per season, with the Rangers offering just over $2 million, essentially split the difference, according to people familiar with the deal.
This season, the left wing who scored 17 goals and totaled 37 points in 66 games, will earn $2.35 million and $2.6 million in 2015-16, an average of $2.475 million. Kreider had just completed his entry-level contract, with a $1.3-million cap charge.
Kreider's deal comes one day after Mats Zuccarello avoided salary arbitration by settling for a one-year contract. Zuccarello, the Norwegian winger who led the Blueshirts in scoring, agreed to a one-year deal for $3.5 million. He was on a one-year deal worth $1.15 million. Zuccarello finished the regular season with 19 goals and 59 points. Negotiations on a long-term deal will continue during the season.
The agreements leave the Rangers with about $6.4 million in salary-cap space. The team still wants to sign center Derick Brassard, whose arbitration hearing is scheduled for Monday, and defenseman John Moore, who was not eligible for arbitration.
Brassard had a $3.2-million cap charge last season. He had 18 goals and 45 points during the season and added six goals and 12 points in 23 playoff games.The Dolan family owns controlling interests in the Rangers, Madison Square Garden and Cablevision. Cablevision owns Newsday.