As the Rangers retool continues, a name that has been brought up a lot recently is Kevin Hayes. Hayes was first mentioned by Larry Brooks mentioned him over the weekend, stating that Hayes would likely be involved in any big move the Rangers make heading into the draft. Then Josh Marshall noted that Hayes is on the Calgary Flames’ radar.
In terms of Hayes’ availability, it makes sense. He’s the most desirable of the three big RFA centers the Rangers have this summer. He’s also someone who could get a good haul. The kicker is that Jeff Gorton has said he’s not done making moves, hinting that moves involving players on the roster before the deadline will be made.
A couple of things to note about Calgary:
- Calgary has no first, second, or third round picks this year. If there’s a trade, it won’t be for a trade-up.
- Calgary is not trading Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan.
- Calgary doesn’t need to make a cap dump.
- This is going to be a hockey trade.
With all this in mind, there’s one more nugget of info:
Hayes fits the top 6/top 9 forward, and the Rangers have a few second rounders this year. There are two names on that list that stand out, and they are Sam Bennett and TJ Brodie.
Bennett, the 4th overall pick in 2014, has struggled mightily in Calgary. After a solid rookie year (18-18-36), Bennett has regressed to a pair of 26 point seasons. He has the talent to be a top-six winger, but he may be a kid in need of a change in scenery.
When you compare him to Hayes, the shot metrics are identical. Hayes has significantly better primary point rates, but Bennett’s aren’t exactly terrible. In the right situation, he could thrive. With one year left at $1.95 million, acquiring the 21 year old winger would be a shrewd buy-low move.
As for Brodie, he would certainly shore up the left side of the defense. Outside of Brady Skjei, the Rangers have nothing but question marks. Brodie has two more years left at $4.65 million, but does have an eight team no trade list. He’d give the Rangers a 30-40 point defenseman on the left side, but more importantly is a guy who can move the puck well without being a liability in his own end.
When looking at potential trade value, you need to look at how each team values its own player, and how that player would be received on the other end. Brodie is the 2LD for Calgary, and would likely fill that same role in New York. Hayes is the current 2C for the Rangers, and would likely fit that role in Calgary. There’s potential for that to be a one-for-one swap and be equal value. Hayes is 26 and likely getting a multi-year deal in the $5 million range. Brodie is currently 28.
It makes you wonder if Hayes and the 48 (or 39) is enough to land both Brodie and Bennett. I have no idea how to value NHL players anymore, since all of my logic is undone by Marc Bergevin or Peter Chiarelli on a daily basis. Either way, this is what makes sense in my mind, and is a solid hockey trade for both sides. There’s a deal to be made here.
EDIT: Totally brain-farted about Adam Fox. Brodie doesn’t really fit what the Rangers are trying to do at the moment, so his acquisition, while a good hockey trade, doesn’t jive with the direction of the club. Bennett’s acquisition does. As does Fox’s, who was paired with Ryan Lindgren."The smoke surrounding Kevin Hayes",