Darren Dreger was on NBCSN and said the following about the Rangers:
- On Mats Zuccarello, “He is a veteran forward that is going to augment what some teams have in their push to contend for a Stanley Cup. Zuccarello has been an excellent Ranger, a quality leader, at 31 he has time left to deliver some good hockey but not in the direction the Rangers would be going in to sign him.”
- On Kevin Hayes, “The Rangers have not decided officially if they are going to trade Kevin Hayes because he is valuable and now and in the future but it’s all about what is being offered. They will gauge that interest and if the interest is there and it’s a deal that makes sense they will make that trade, otherwise they will explore the possibility of extending his contract.”
- On Adam McQuaid, “he’s 32-years old, if he stays healthy enough there is going to be interest in Adam McQuaid. Right shot D are always valuable. He can be a beast provided that he can stay healthy. It’s nice to have depth and a bit of bite and physicality in the lineup.”
Adam Rotter: I think it’s realistic to assume that Mats Zuccarello, as a rental, could bring the same type of return that Michael Grabner did last year (2nd round pick, prospect Yegor Rykov). Depending on the team acquiring Zuccarello the Rangers may be able to push for a conditional first round pick based upon how far that team goes, but it’s likely not going to be a guaranteed first rounder or top prospect unless Zuccarello heats up and starts producing like crazy.
McQuaid can probably net, at least, the fourth round pick the Rangers sent to Boston to get him in the first place, but as Dreger notes, he has to be healthy. I think he is valuable as a leader and a mentor of sorts for someone like Brady Skjei and Neal Pionk but he isn’t part of the future and the Rangers are likely going to want to get a look at Libor Hajek and/or Ryan Lindgren at some point.
Vlad Namestnikov could be another potential option to move since he can slot into almost any top-nine role and would provide great depth for a team, but I don’t think the Rangers are going to give him away.
Then, of course, there is Kevin Hayes and his situation has been discussed at length. Hayes could be a difference maker for a playoff team and the Rangers will ask a lot for him even though he is a rental. I think you can look at the Central Division and pick any number of teams where Hayes could have an impact. That bodes well for the Rangers because it should drive the price up and land them some nice assets. That is, of course, if the Rangers decide to move Hayes at all.