Kevin Hayes Kevin Hayes Rumors Mats Zuccarello Rumors

The chance that Zuccarello and Hayes are traded but return this summer

Larry Brooks wonders, in the NY Post, about the idea of the Rangers trading both Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello prior to the trade deadline but then re-sign them as UFAs on July 1.

Brooks notes that this is a rarely seen move in the NHL but that Antoine Vermette, in 2015, and Keith Tkachuk, in 2007, both returned to the teams that traded them. (NY Post)

Mats Zuccarello Rumors

Mats Zuccarello has a foot infection and is day to day

1:20PM: Zuccarello will not play tomorrow but the Rangers think he could return on Thursday against the Devils.

11:21AM: The Rangers have announced that Mats Zuccarello is day to day with what they are calling a “foot infection.”

Zuccarello did not practice yesterday and is not practicing today. (Brooks)

Mats Zuccarello Rumors

The Mats Zuccarello situation the Rangers are in

1/17/19 | Elliotte Friedman wrote at Sportsnet that it’s believed Edmonton has checked in on Zuccarello and that the Rangers are likely looking  for the same type of return that they got for Michael Grabner. (Sportsnet)

Larry Brooks writes that in addition to Edmonton, Carolina is also believed to have interest in Zuccarello.  (NY Post)

Brooks adds that there have not been any talks about a possible contract extension for  Zuccarello. (NY Post)

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Players the Rangers may look to move before the deadline

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.

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The latest rumors on the Rangers, Hayes and Zuccarello

On the 31 Thoughts Podcast this week, Elliotte Friedman spoke about the Rangers, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello and Artemi Panarin.

On Panarin, Friedman said that while Chicago might be trying to clear space to bring him back, “until I’m told differently, If I’m putting money on it, I’m betting on the Rangers.”

On Zuccarello, Friedman said, “Zuccarello is an interesting one, I could see Nashville liking a guy like him. But if you told me that Zuccarello signed an extension to stay, I wouldn’t be surprised.”

On Hayes, Friedman said, “The one thing with Hayes is that they really tried to sign him and the two just didn’t agree. I don’t have a problem with that if you perceive your value one way and you disagree with the team, then there is nothing wrong with going to open market but it says to me that if they couldn’t get it done last summer, why are they going to be able to do it now. I think Boston will be in on Hayes, Winnipeg will be in on Hayes and Colorado and probably more. He’s a center there is going to be a lot of people in on Hayes.”

Hayes is ranked 3rd on TSN‘s Trade Bait Board, Zuccarello is ranked 11th and Vlad Namestnikov is 19th.

Adam Rotter: The belief from many around the NHL is that the Rangers are really high on Panarin and that Panarin has serious interest in coming to the Rangers. He’s going to get a high cap number, maybe double digits, from anyone, so he will have his pick from the teams that can afford him. The Rangers can afford him and he would be a big-time addition.

With Zuccarello, he wants to stay and I believe that the Rangers would like to keep him, but Zucc would have to leave a lot of money on the table to stay in New York. Over the past two years there has been so much talk about the Rangers trading pending UFAs and them possibly returning and while it hasn’t happened, I think Zuccarello is the best candidate for that. Again though, for that to happen, it will have to be on the Rangers terms.

With Hayes, I really think it comes down to no-trade/no-move protection. There is likely an easy outline of a deal in terms of money and length (probably 5-6 years around $6 million+) but if Hayes were to sign long-term I’m sure he would want the security to know he would be in control. The Rangers are in a spot where they want to keep everything flexible and, similar to Derek Stepan, have the ability to move Hayes if they choose. That is where I believe the main issue lies, though it’s entirely possible that the main issue lies with the actual term and dollars.

Hayes has worked extremely hard to get to this point in his career and more than deserves to cash in. He can certainly make a lot of money staying with the Rangers but there are likely to be situations around the league that could land him more. If he is unsigned around Feb 1, a month after they can start talking extension and little less than a month before the deadline, I think he will get moved to a contender and the two sides could look to re-engage before July 1.