2/19/10: Elliotte Friedman writes at Sportsnet that the Stars have checked in on Zuccarello but that the Rangers may have to wait until after Duchene/Panarin/Stone are moved. He adds that teams like Boston, Calgary, San Jose and maybe the Penguins or Vegas could have interest. (Sportsnet)
Friedman notes that the Blue Jackets would be a fit for Hayes. (Sportsnet)
2/16/19 | 8:23PM: Brooks writes that it’s more likely that the duo will be traded than re-signed and that contract length could be a sticking point. (NY Post)
He adds that if both players are traded, after these contract talks, the chances of them returning this summer would “seem remote.” (NY Post)
Colin Stephenson of Newsday confirmed that the Rangers have had contract talks with Hayes and Zuccarello.
8:15AM: Larry Brooks writes that the Rangers are now “engaged” in contract extension talks with pending UFAs Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello. (NY Post)
Brooks says that Rangers GM Jeff Gorton is weighing the idea of contract extensions against the possible return each player could bring in a trade. (NY Post)
He notes that there is “considerable distance” between the Rangers and each player but that is to be expected at this early stage of discussions. (NY Post)
Brooks expects that the total cap charge for both players would likely result in around $11.5 million to $12 million. (NY Post)
Right now both Hayes and Zuccarello account for $9.675 million against the cap.
Adam Rotter: It’s not surprising that the Rangers are now going through contract talks. It’s good due diligence and gives the Rangers a better of what each player is looking for. This is probably more about information gathering on Zuccarello than Hayes as they went through a process of trying to sign Hayes long-term over the summer before agreeing to a one-year deal. I think that the Rangers will get close on money, and maybe even term, with both players but that contract structure and no-trade/no-move protection, as it was with Ryan Callahan, will be the biggest sticking point. Both players will want control over their futures but the Rangers will want flexibility to move them if needed. What this also does is signal to other teams, that might be interested in either player, that they will have to increase their offers if they want to pry them from the Rangers. It should be an interesting next week for the Rangers and two of their best players. My guess is that with Zuccarello it’s 50/50 on whether he gets signed with Hayes probably 60/40 more towards being dealt.