Pierre LeBrun lists the Rangers as sellers heading into the 2/25 trade deadline and notes that Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello are their “most promising items.” (The Athletic)
He notes that Adam McQuaid is “likely” to be moved and that the Rangers are listening on players like Vlad Namestnikov, noting that he can be had “for the right price.” (The Athletic)
Bob McKenzie said last week on NBCSN that if the Rangers could get a “first round pick and something” for Hayes it would be “fantastic” and a similar return for Zuccarello “would be great too.”
LeBrun says that clearing cap space to make a run at Artemi Panarin “and/or Erik Karlsson” are possibilities. (The Athletic)
LeBrun noted in December that Panarin would be a good fit with the Rangers as a UFA and that Karlsson and Henrik Lundqvist are good friends.
LeBrun notes that he likes Dallas as a fit for Zuccarello and Hayes as a potential fit in Columbus. (The Athletic)
Zuccarello currently sits 6th on TSN‘s trade bait board, Hayes is 14, McQuaid is 29, Chris Kreider is 32 and Namestnikov is 43.
It’s unlikely that the Rangers will move Kreider unless they get a significant return.
Adam Rotter: The Rangers were in a good spot with the trade deadline a few weeks ago but as Artemi Panarin, Matt Duchene and Mark Stone have come up players like Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello have fallen a bit to the back burner. It’s understandable as those three players are all potential top-liners while Hayes and Zuccarello are more likely second-liners. What this means is that Hayes and Zuccarello are likely going to be dealt after decisions on those three players have been made. The Rangers are surely having conversations with teams about Hayes and Zuccarello but those trades may not happen until much closer to the deadline.
Adam McQuaid could probably be moved at any time and will probably be the first Ranger to go in the same way that Nick Holden was last year. He’s a depth player and should be easier to move than the other two. I think there should be a lot of interest in Namestnikov as a top-nine forward that is pretty responsible and has offensive ability. I don’t think the Rangers will get a ton for him, but a second round pick for a player who is signed through next season would be a good return. I think the player the Rangers would love to move the mot would be Brendan Smith. That will be a tall order since he has two-years left on his contract, after this season, with a cap hit of $4.35 million and has been in and out of the lineup. The Rangers would likely have to retain some salary, take a bad contract back or package him with someone else for a lower return of assets. Any relief from Smith’s cap hit, or Namestnikov’s, would be big for the Rangers as they look to gain as much flexibility as possible this summer to sign or acquire players and get the team back to the playoffs. Most believe that Erik Karlsson will remain in San Jose but there are some that think he could join up with good friend Henrik Lundqvist and former Ottawa teammate Mika Zibanejad as a free agent. San Jose was willing to pay up to sign John Tavares so I’d think they will do everything they can to prevent Karlsson from leaving.