NEWARK -- Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather, who steadfastly refused to include Boston College forward Chris Kreider in a trade package for Blue Jacket Rick Nash, didn't name him in his pre-game comments on deadline day.

But Sather was more forthcoming in an interview with broadcaster Dave Starman on CBS Sports, suggesting that Kreider could join the team this season.

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"I don't say it's a guaranteed jump, but he has all the credentials. I don't think there's going to be a problem, if he's mentally ready," Sather said in a phone call during a Boston College game against Vermont on Saturday.

"He's developed his hockey sense. It's been a good move for him to stay in college for a couple years," he said of Kreider, 21, the club's 2009 first-round draft choice who will graduate in April. "Gordie Clark [director of player personnel] is very positive about him.

"We're looking forward to having him come here, especially with all the injuries we've been having," Sather said. "He's a great skater, he's got size [6-3] and he's one of the fastest players I've seen."

Ice chips

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Brian Leetch will be honored at the John Halligan-Dick McGuire Irish-American Good Guy Awards luncheon March 14 at Gallagher's Steak House in Manhattan. Tickets are $85 (212-972-5337). The fundraiser benefits the John Halligan Memorial Scholarship at Fordham . . . Defenseman Anton Stralman, who had played 40 straight games but was benched for the third period against the Bruins on Sunday after committing two giveaways, was a healthy scratch.