The smoke surrounding Kevin Hayes

kevin hayes
AP Photo/Julio Cortez

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:

  1. Calgary has no first, second, or third round picks this year. If there’s a trade, it won’t be for a trade-up.
  2. Calgary is not trading Johnny Gaudreau or Sean Monahan.
  3. Calgary doesn’t need to make a cap dump.
  4. 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.

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99 thoughts on “The smoke surrounding Kevin Hayes

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 6:12 am

    Add Zuc to the Flames possibility. The Flames have a glut of D men prospects that might appeal to the Rangers.

    So if there an opportunity for a Hayes and Zuc for Bennett, Brodie, and Adam Fox type of trade, then I think the Rangers would have to think long and hard about that. I would love for the Rangers to somehow get Fox as well.

    Then you keep Spooner, Nemer, and Vesey, with a top 4 of Skjei, Shatty, Brodie, and Pionk. Not bad, not great, but not terrible. Then have the “buy-out” pairing of Staal and Smith as the bottom pair.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:56 am

      Spooner is as good as gone and it seems that the market isn’t high on Names. This is why teams are calling in on Hayes, the GM’ s have spoken.

      A trade involving Hayes will look like a lopsided deal for the Rangers if it falls through. I don’t think he was originally apart of the plans to depart with so a deal has to be better than ” not bad, not great but not terrible”. I’m shocked your inside sources aren’t jumping at this right now…

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:04 am

        Hayes is valuable, no question, that’s why there’s a good possibility that he will be traded to upgrade the team.

        • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:24 am

          Lol how could I forget about those two? JG is trying to gain Kovy’s attention that this team is for real. He won’t take back a medium package in a Hayes trade while knowing that he won’t win the Kovy sweepstakes.

          I don’t see it happening since that it looks like there’s no for sale sign on Hayes. Reports coming in already that Brooks mentioned how the FO won’t use him in a trade up up type of draft deal. That tells me that they’re reluctant and aware of his full value in different trade scenarios. Reports also say that they feel their pick at #9 will be there and that the mid 20s shouldn’t be a problem.

          As for roster player’s, Flames would have to pony up to grab a name that JG doesn’t have to include during a trade.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 4:38 pm

      I would think Zuc would shoot back to Norway if the Rangers traded him. I don’t think he wants to play anywhere else. I could be wrong but he has always taken less to stay here. My guess is he’s retained thru this fire sale.
      I understand Brodie is older but if the Rangers believe they have or will have players ready for the show in the next 2 years, why not get a stop gap. Staal comes off the books soon.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:02 pm

        Zuc has a year left with no restrictions on his contract, he would have no choice but to go to where he was traded.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 6:55 am

    Granted I do not watch much flames hockey but none of this excites me.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:26 am

      I have a sneaky suspicion that the Rangers believe that Chytil and Andersson are #2 and #3 centers this coming year, not #3 and #4.

      And if that is the case, then you can believe that the chance of Hayes being traded goes up tremendously.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:45 am

        How so?

        You’re taking information that was bound to come to our attention. I could have told you that Hayes would gain the most attraction. He’s a top 6 center who can play in all situations starting with matching against top lines. He’s a 5 on 5 beast and lead the league in shorthanded goals two season ago.

        The fact that Brooks said that they don’t want to use him to trade up should tell you enough about their value in Hayes. I think if he was really for sale than they wouldn’t have released that bit of information of not using him to move up or down in the draft. If he does end up getting traded than it should be for a landslide.

        I think you’re putting your own spin on it because you been a advocate of trading him for whatever intention that you want to see. You’re for it so much that you left out Howden in this scenario who imo will be better than Andersson. Nothing is set in stone, these are calls that they’re getting for him, if it as a for sale sign than we would have known by now. It’s obvious that Names, Vesey and Zucc wouldn’t get the job done in a trade so unfortunately this might be plan D which still might not happen.

        • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:00 am

          Let’s be clear, there is a big difference between what I THINK the Rangers are going to do and what I would do.

          You say that I want Hayes traded. Show me where I said that please. I have said NUMEROUS times that I have heard his name as a potential trading chip for a long time. And all reports support that by the fact that many teams are asking about him.

          So here is the scenario I will paint for you and you tell me which is better:

          Rangers keep Hayes and Zuc and trade Spooner or Nemer and have basically the same D corps as they do now


          the Rangers trade Zuc and Hayes for Bennett, Brodie, and Fox and then keep Nemer, Spooner, and Vesey, but also add a high quality D man and potential D stud to their roster.

          I would take the 2nd option all day long. Do you honestly believe that Hayes and Zuc are SO much better than Spooner and Nemer that adding Brodie and a 21 year old vet like Bennett does not make the Rangers a better team, overall?

          If you do think that Hayes is that much better, then we cannot have that conversation. I would do Hayes for Brodie straight up, without batting an eye.

          I like Hayes but at $5M per, we may not like Hayes. That’s the real issue, isn’t it? And the Rangers have other players that are comparable to Hayes. Hayes is not Zib, not even close.

          And I never said that I wanted him traded, you did. But let’s face facts, the Rangers are looking to make the playoffs next year, no matter what you call their current plan, make no mistake about that. And fixing the D corps is at the top of the list. They didn’t get Lindgren, Hajek, and Ryko for no reason, that was the plan, to get near ready NHL D prospects, because the Rangers do not have them in their own system. But Pionk is a keeper.

          • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:30 am

            Take the bull by it’s horns bro.. I’m not going to go through old comment sections to prove what you know you said. All I could say to that is when someone would question why had Hayes in your trade fantasy, you would than ball up and question what’s the big deal by not trading him for the greater good of the team.

            I never included to keep Zucc here. Yeah sure I gave that idea back in March but that was before I saw that Vlad doesn’t command a high market. I still don’t know why you included his name in this conversation about Kevin Hayes.

            Your explanation of doing Hayes for a straight up Brodie deal and thinking that Zib is so much better is self explanatory. As I said before you always wanted to include Hayes in your trade fantasy, it’s no secret. I didn’t need to know anymore about those idea’s. This is why I’m not going to go through a scrap book of comments to justify all the times that you wanted to see Hayes gone.

            Yes that package sucks because it’s about attacking Kovy and other big fish. That won’t do it and quite frankly I can’t see a old Dan Boyle take a discount to play with that if we were to relive the summer of 2013.

            • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:37 am

              Am I all for trading Hayes to upgrade the Rangers? Sure, why not?

              Am I on a crusade to have him traded? Absolutely not. I think he could do well as Quinn as coach.

              That’s where I stand on Hayes and every other Ranger other than Henrik.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 11:06 am

                Gentle men keep your shirts on!

          • Jun 18, 2018 at 10:40 am

            I personally think Hayes has been stunted by a solid 15 points worth of output given his deployment often being defensively-minded, lack of power play opportunities, and his linemates at times not being exactly optimal for assist opportunities. Maybe more. Fully just my opinion, and if the front office perhaps feels the same or not, we shall see. If it’s something like Hayes for Brodie straight up, I don’t do that. I want more than that for what I personally think Hayes is. Fox is a nice player based on what we know so far, but he’s not exactly lighting the world completely on fire, and I’m not sure how close to ready he may be. Bennett is a project. These aren’t the types of assets I’m looking for if I’m looking to move Hayes.

            Also, not really sure how much this is worth or how heavily the Rangers factor it in, but it seems Hayes is one of the more well-liked guys. He’s often showing up in pictures of them doing social things together, he’s seems really tight with Vesey and Skjei especially, etc. Might be something to consider, even if not a major factor.

            I also wish I was higher on Andersson in order to feel safer in considering a Hayes trade working out well for the Rangers. To be clear, I do not dislike Andersson’s game, nor do I think he was/is a bust. Far too early IMO for either notion to be decided. I just don’t feel like he really showed us much upside in his (albeit very brief) stints last year, preseason and of course games after the dismantling. I think I like him most at 4C right now, and he may not be able to even hang there IMO depending on how Howden looks this fall. While that has been Lias’s MO all along in a way – high floor/low-ish ceiling – it does seem to me a pretty good leap of faith to have him as 3C and Chytil at 2C if the Rangers really do want to be back in the playoffs discussion next season, as many of us suspect. As much as I like Chytil’s pretty dangles and an apparent nose for being in the right place at the right time, not sure he is ready for full time 2C duty, either.

            At the end of the day, the Rangers reached on Andersson and took a player out of positional need, even if why they did it seems a bit defensible. Unfortunately, he was not as ready to be an NHL player as they assumed, and I’m not sure jettisoning Hayes for any type of question marks is the right answer right now, as a result. If the Rangers were fully throwing in the towel for a few years here, different story, of course.

            • Jun 18, 2018 at 12:40 pm

              I mostly agree up and down the line. I think Hayes is basically the sort of mid-level player that makes up the Vegas roster. And I can’t believe such players have greater market value than worth. And he is certainly more valuable than Zibanejad.

              I think the key to a solid Cup run is for Chityl to be in the Hart conversation. But like you I do not if he can handle it this year.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 1:39 pm

                Hayes could totally push Haula down the Vegas roster. I blame Joe M for rarely showing Hayes hustle, board work and overall game. I think he still has a hard on for Stepan but that’s for another story. It’s a work of heart to see him consistently breakup other top line cycles or beat a player behind his net to go coast to coast. There’s this type of cycle that happens when he’s in the OZ. It involves both D man and he’ll always be the first one to set it up and the last one with the puck which generally opens up a lane from the blue line all the way to the middle of the slot. Teams top lines from like the Hawks, LA and Pittsburgh always perform those kind of cycles.

                I know people love Vally’s post game takes but if you faithfully watch him than you’ll see him pick apart Hayes game to perfection. Btw he still thinks Hayes could be a 1c over here. I want to see what he can do with more OT minutes, PP minutes, top 6 minutes and shootout selection. Screw AV and anyone that’s against letting the guy play with the puck.

            • Jun 18, 2018 at 1:58 pm

              I think Hayes will do well under this coach too. But will the Rangers pay $5M per to find out? That’s the question.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 3:35 pm

                My opinion is that they should. $1M/10 points of output/year is pretty standard market rate for these types of players right now. If Chytil/Andersson/Howden end up lighting the world on fire, Hayes at $5M per is not going to be a tough contract to move at the deadline or the next offseason, if they feel they need to – especially not if Hayes gets up in the 60+ point range, which I personally think he is fully capable of. He is a primary points machine as it is, and GMs in the know are probably licking their chops just hoping Gorton does something foolish here.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:04 pm

                Again, I have zero problem keeping Hayes, I never said that he SHOULD be traded.

                But if there is a top end D man available and Hayes going in a trade gets that player, then I am driving Kevin to the airport.

              • Jun 19, 2018 at 11:32 am

                To clarify, I didn’t mean to imply that you wanted Hayes gone. I concur – for a legit 1D, especially if young, if Hayes is the core of the asking price and that can’t be circumvented, then it is what it is.

              • Jun 19, 2018 at 12:13 pm

                I know that you didn’t think that, but some have said that, but I’m only passing along stuff that I hear.

                Other than Henrik, no one is untouchable for trade, not even Kreider, but it would have to be for a stud.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:55 am

        Not so sneaky..drafting a guy at 7 to play on line 4 is a real bad look.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:50 am

      I don’t think it will happen, this is to get Kovy on board because our top 6 must stink in his eyes. I feel or at least hope that we’ll see a title of JG quoting that Hayes is the type you build around after he doesn’t trade him.

      I would die of joy if Johhny Hockey came here instead. Kreider, Zib, Fast and a pick can go there way. I know why would the Flames do that? I’m just holding my breathe at this point.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:34 am

    I would go for a trade of Hayes, and a #2, or Zucc, for Brodie and Fox. Fox played the right side for team USA, paired with Lindgren, and that would be a nice pair for years to come.

    Any number of names are being thrown around, talk is cheap, but I suspect Quinn wants Hayes on his roster, and he won’t go. As much as I hate saying this, Zucc being my paisan, and I love the spunk he brings, he may well go the other way for the players mentioned, along with a #2 pick!!!!!!!!!!!!! I don’t really see Hayes being traded just yet…………

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:43 am

      How about my trade proposal? Hayes and Zuc for Bennett, Brodie, and Fox?

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:51 am

        Not too keen on losing Hayes, and as for Bennett, I’m not to sure on him??????

        • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:02 am

          Give to get pal, give to get. Brodie makes the Rangers D corps a lot better, just adding him. And they ain’t winning anything if they do not fix the D.

          They have more forward depth to replace Hayes.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 12:30 pm

        If you take Hayes out of it, maybe. I think Bennett alone is worth about a 3rd round draft choice. I wouldn’t bother with Brodie at all. The Rangers have so many left defensemen that they need to sort out that they should not acquire a 28 yr. old second pair guy with a high salary. I would expect to be compensated for taking him on.

        Now if Fox is for real as a right d-man, not sure what I’d give. Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson was an overpay, but it does give an idea what the market is. But it is wiser to convert a left d-man than to pay dearly for right handed guys who can’t cut, e.g., DeAngelo.

        • Jun 18, 2018 at 2:02 pm

          LOL, who are the Rangers’ LH D men right now?

          Skjei, Staal, and Smith

          You do not think that that group needs an upgrade?

          Quantity does not mean quality.

          • Jun 18, 2018 at 2:23 pm


            I have to beg to differ, we have Lindgren, and Hajek, and Day in the system. At least one, if not two will play this year!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

            • Jun 18, 2018 at 2:43 pm

              If you tell me that Lindgren and Hajek are ready now, then I agree. But can you tell me unequivocally that they are?

              And BTW, I have stated many times that the first 2 may very well be here this year, but i would not swear to it.

              Day stinks, forget him. Maybe a GM thinks he’s “all that” and trades for him.

              So yes, we need a vet LH D man.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 3:11 pm

                This is not about upgrading. This is about expressing contempt for Staal and Smith. Those two guys are under contract for three more years and it seems unlikely either can be traded. Whether those are good contracts is not relevant. They exist as part of the ground rules for building the team going forward.

                Now we can debate whether Brodie is an upgrade on either of them, but that is irrelevant. Trading assets to give a big salary to a small upgrade on players you have to keep is crazy, especially since the “allegedly needed” upgrade is perhaps for one year only.

                The official change in attitude announced in February says that the Rangers are not supposed to be making decisions which have short term benefit and long term negative consequences.

                And if having about $20M in salary devoted to left defensemen when that is where you have the greatest collection of prospects is just insane.

                For all we know, Crawley will be better than Brodie in a year.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 4:05 pm

                How about signing Ian Cole then we don’t have to give up anything?
                I agree that nobody knows for sure that any of these D prospects or any prospect for that matter will be ready to make the team either this year or next but am curious why you think Day stinks.
                Also regarding one of your earlier comments Hayes may not be Zib but I think its close(different skill sets) but Hayes has not had 7 concussions by the age of 25,I feel like Zib could be one hit away from being the next Tommy Sauer.
                I’d also like to add that for me Hayes would be the last of the RFA’S I’d consider trading,actually one of the last players on the team for that matter,I see him improving on last years performance this year.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:10 pm

                Raymond, if you or anyone else is going to tell me that Brodie is a small upgrade over Staal and Smith, then I don’t know what to say to that. Because Brodie is light years ahead of those 2.

                But you cannot buyout everyone, so one of those 2, Staal or Smith, is going to play the left side on the bottom pair. That leaves the 2nd pair on the left side. Enter Brodie. Having both Staal and Smith in the line up at the same time is a disaster and the Rangers might as well go full rebuild and trade everyone.

                Mjr, I do not think Cole fits the speed game that the Rangers want to play. Staal and Smith don’t either but they’re already here.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:49 pm

                Come on. Marc Staal was the Rangers’ second best defenseman last year (behind McD) and there is no intrinsic reason why Smith cannot rebound. Brodie has been -16 two years in a row, tying (with Bennett) for team worst year before last and being in the bottom four (along with Bennett) last year.

                I don’t believe Brodie is good enough to crack the lineup. But even if he can, you don’t take on a two year contract to solve a one year problem. IF the Rangers trade for a pricey left defensemen, either it should be for an unquestioned top pair guy or should involve one of the three incumbents going the other way (and only Skjei seems tradeable).

                Yes, Brendan Smith may come up empty this year, but he shouldn’t — and you can’t defend against every possibility. And – despite all the ranting against AV’s handling of players – no one has considered the possibility that there was serious friction between AV and Smith which led to the resulting outcome.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:59 pm

                “Come on. Marc Staal was the Rangers’ second best defenseman last year”

                Holy sh-t Raymond, did you just say that? You’re actually using the argument that Staal being the 2nd best D man (he wasn’t BTW) on an incredibly horrible defensive team, a team that was at the bottom of every NHL defensive category, is a reason to not get better D men?

                Wow, I don’t know what to say to that.

                Let me put it this way, if this is the defensive corps that we go with, then a lot of you will be happy because we will be picking in the top 10 again next year, Kovy or no Kovy.

                If Staal AND Smith are both in the line up then they both better be on the bottom pair, with Smith on the right. If they are 2nd and 3rd pair lefty D men, then we are royally f-cked.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 10:08 pm

                Richter,I’m not so sure about that he played on some pretty fast Penguin teams & won 2 cups with them, brings alot of experience & is still only 29,I wouldn’t want to sign him for more than 3 years but I think he could instantly become our 1st pairing LHD.

              • Jun 18, 2018 at 10:17 pm

                Oh & by the way I couldn’t agree more with you if Staal & Smith are both in the lineup we’re screwed,I hoping we can get creative & find a way to rid ourselves of Staal without having to buy him out.

              • Jun 19, 2018 at 5:43 am

                I will admit that I may have a misconception about Cole. I think of him as “plodding” and not a fast skater.

                I also think that you have to be careful about judging D men on the Pens. Their forwards have the puck so much that they “hide” the flaws of their back end very well.

                That’s my take anyway.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:56 am

    How hard are the Rangers willing to drive this team into the ditch? Sam Bennett is a scrub, Brodie is a placeholder.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:05 am

      William Karlsson was a young stiff too, meanwhile 43 goals later…

      And I like Brodie. Not a star, but a quality D man if added to the Rangers.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:43 am

        Apples and oranges, Karlsson was at least good at his role when he played for CBJ, shame on them for not seeing that. Bennet is a former top round pick who has only put up Hayes career low as a career high.

        • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:49 am

          Bennett is a talented 21 year old. I’m sure that we can find a spot for him.

          And don’t forget, you’re getting Brodie and Fox in my trade proposal, Bennett is not the main target here.

          • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:26 am

            Lol how could I forget about those two? JG is trying to gain Kovy’s attention that this team is for real. He won’t take back a medium package in a Hayes trade while knowing that he won’t win the Kovy sweepstakes.

            I don’t see it happening since that it looks like there’s no for sale sign on Hayes. Reports coming in already that Brooks mentioned how the FO won’t use him in a trade up up type of draft deal. That tells me that they’re reluctant and aware of his full value in different trade scenarios. Reports also say that they feel their pick at #9 will be there and that the mid 20s shouldn’t be a problem.

            As for roster player’s, Flames would have to pony up to grab a name that JG doesn’t have to include during a trade.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:44 am

        The Karlsson drop is brutally lazy.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:10 am

    Zucc & Name for Ferland and Stone.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:45 am

      Calgary really wants a 1st round pick. If JG adds that to the package that you names than a good combo might come out of it.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:12 am

    Calgary isn’t the only other team we can consummate a trade with. If JG moves Hayes in a deal, to move up in the draft, I’m fine with it. Zucc, Hayes, or anyone. If it makes the club better, bye bye………

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:13 am

    Hayes is an average 2C on a team that we have a glut of average centers. Brodie and Bennet would be helpful, but not earth-shaking acquisitions. I would rather use Hayes to jump into the top 4.

    Any one see that Montreal trade. Galynchuck (SP?) for Max Domi? Any thoughts on that?

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:22 am

      Amen Sal!

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:38 am

      Well since people are going by Brooks recent article. It did say that they won’t add Hayes in a future draft deal to move up.

      Average top 6 centers? Like who besides Zib? Chytil who might become victim like many in the past to resort to playing winger? Andersson who might not be able to play center let alone a top 9 role? Howden could push him down to play in the AHL for all we know.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:40 am

      I agree with you Sal, but Hayes will not get you in the top 4 (or at least it shouldn’t) but Chytil will. Want to trade him?

      No way, and that’s why it probably won’t happen, though the Habs are stupid and the Sens are a desperate team right now, so dangling multiple firsts might be attractive for their 4th pick.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:04 am

        I would not trade potential for potential (Chytil to move up to no.4). If I am going to move up, I want to move a known quantity (say Hayes/Vesey) plus our no. 9 for no. 5. BTW, I am not saying this is enough to make the deal, just know what I get from Hayes/Vesey while Chytil is an unknown with lots of potential.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:58 pm

        Richter – personally I like our pick at #9. I mean, if we move up that’s fine, but use players and later pick(s), but not our #9 overall unless it’s for that #1 pick – we will land a solid player in the top 9 in this draft and this draft has tons of promise late as well. I just don’t want to trade up for the sake of it.

        • Jun 19, 2018 at 5:45 am

          I’m definitely fine with that. I project the Rangers getting Bouchard or Boqvist, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

          Gutting the team for the 4th or 5th pick does not make sense at all. But I will say that if Zadina somehow slips, which some are predicting, then you have to consider a trade up very seriously.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:57 am

    Brett Howden, might be more part of this story as to who the centers are going to be. Personally I trade Zib before Hayes.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:12 am

      Don’t know much about Howden – any projections to what type of player he might turn out to be?

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:19 am

        2nd or 3rd line center

        He’ll be solid eventually

        • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:30 am

          He seems like he’ll be a better overall top 9 forward than someone like Andersson. It was known after that Czech D man that JG wanted him badly. I personally think that he’s a backup plan if Andersson doesn’t pan out as a 3c.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:26 am

      Howden is definitively a guy to keep an eye on. For a comparable he’s similar to Brayden Point.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:57 am

      Howden could very well be the #4 center this year.

      I do not agree about keeping Hayes before Zib, but I will say that Zib’s durability has to be questioned at this point, but it may be more unlucky than fragile. His injuries the last 2 years were based on individual incidences as opposed to wearing down.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:01 am

    Hayes is gaining in confidence in his game. Plus he has size and is durable. Only 26 I think…..I hope they keep him. Why is Zuke not being discussed is he considered too old, too expensive, too small?

    Can’t wait till the Fall.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:35 am

      What I got out of Brooks article from yesterday was that him and Vlad aren’t gaining much attraction. Surprisingly Spooner is with Hayes getting most of the attention. I don’t know if SNY did a follow up or what but now Brooks is saying that Zucc, Vesey and Names could be on the block. I guess the narrative of Zucc being more valuable to the NYR team oppose to other rosters had some truth to it.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 4:01 pm

        Larry Brooks will say almost anything, that way when one of the things he says comes true (hard not to) he can claim to be in the know.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:05 am

    I could easiqly see the Habs calling the Rangers and offering the number 3 for Hayes and Names. We may to addone of our late first round picks though.They are desperate for centers! At a minimum, I can see the Habs trading a 2nd and 3rd for Names since the Habs have 4 2nd round picks apparently.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:02 pm

      And then we pick Merkley at 3? 🙂

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 8:58 pm

        ?! The sad thing is that Merkley has the talent to be a top 3 pick. The stuff he does with the puck on his stick and his speed and shot are franchise worthy. But he makes ADA seem like an angel. But I would take a shot on him with the Devils pick we got for Grabner.

        • Jun 19, 2018 at 5:47 am

          Ryan appears to be flaky, that’s for sure bro. Extreme talent though.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 9:19 am

    I’d be a little leery of trading Hayes at this point. When you look at his trajectory from his rookie season he has really improved all around. I think he is going to thrive under Quinn. I’d rather keep him for next year and see what he’s got. If he has a great season and we want to look to trade him at the deadline or the 2019 daft he will have better value. Conversely if he has a big year with a reasonable contract maybe you end up keeping him.

    I realize we have a bit of a glut at center, but Zib has been here 2 seasons and he has had injuries and missed decent amounts of time in both seasons. If he gets hurt this year and we’ve traded Hayes and maybe even Spooner or Nametnikov are we comfortable with Chytil, Andersson, Howden(?) Nieves? Spooner or Name? if we get a center back in a trade that certainly helps. Also we have a lot of draft picks this year. it would help us to accumulate some draft picks for 2019. We don’t want to draft all our prospects at the same time. We need to spread them out a bit.

    Getting excited for Friday! draft well

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 10:01 am

    I would rather get LESS and trade either Zucc, Namenstikov or Spooner than trade Hayes. Put me down in the against camp.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 10:06 am

    We should propose a trade to Calgary centered on Kreider, not Hayes. Kreider+one of our firsts, for Fox and two prospects would make sense, and I don’t think Calgary would balk at that. If they say they want more, you tell them to find a new trade partner.

    Moving Kreider makes sense anyway if we’re going to need to create roster space for Kovalchuck.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 10:24 am

    This site has really taken a turn for the worse. Half my comments are deleted. That’s censorship.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 10:33 am

      Sal, as I told you via email, there is no censorship on this site. There is a spam filter on this site that for some reason likes your comments, to that reason I do not know why. If you edit your comment, it will get flagged every time. Perhaps that’s why?

      I work for a living. I do not check the spam filter as often as I used to. This site does not pay the bills. It is a hobby. Something again I have mentioned several times.

      I take offense to the idea you think I’m censoring you. Of all people on the site, you think you’re the special one? Of all the comments here, you think yours are the ones that I say, “You know what, screw that Sal guy, I’m muting all his comments.”?

      Get over yourself.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 11:47 am

        Thanks for the explanation Dave. Now I know why there can be such a delay in my comments being posted. It’s the editing that’s the culprit!

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 2:04 pm

        “I work for a living.”

        Dave, WTF!!


    • Jun 18, 2018 at 12:49 pm

      Just goes to show you

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

        Exactly what does it go to show you?

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 1:01 pm

      Upon further review of your comments, this is not the real SalMerc. The IPs don’t match.

      The IP of the person who posted this comment has changed his/her name and email dozens of times, often posing as regulars here.

      This IP has been banned.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 1:54 pm


        Good catch. I wonder if this is the same clown who used my name a few times before? In any case, good catch!!!!!

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 11:33 am

    Question for those who have more first-hand knowledge of this year’s top draft prospects. If Chytl was just one week younger, he wouldn’t have been eligible for last year’s draft. How high would he rank among this year’s group?

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 11:41 am

      This year’s draft: 6-10.

      If we redraft last year’s: top-five.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 11:53 am

        Thanks. That qualifies as a quite a coup for Gorton!

        It’s not exactly Red Auerbach drafting Larry Bird at #6 when he still had one year of college eligibility left but drafting Chytl at #21 is a steal.

        (Of course, the Knicks had the #4 pick but passed on Bird for Michael Ray (‘the ship be sinking”) Richardson.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 12:37 pm

    We have been building prospects of defenseman with trades last season. We will probably draft another great prospect ‘D’ at #9. For money reasons, we most likely need to keep Staal one more year on the 3rd pairing. Smith will actually play again for the Rangers if he gets his act together and I doubt we pay him that much money for playing in the AHL. So, he may be on the 3rd pair too. That only leaves 4 slots on the 1st and 2nd lines for ‘D’ and it’s a rebuilding year. Rebuild means lets see who thrives under Quinn from camp.

    Why trade Hayes? And before trading Hayes, we should see if Lias is more than a 4th liner and what potential there is from Howden in trading camp. Any potential Hayes trade could pull more value at the trading deadline. Gorton needs to be smart here.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 4:11 pm

      I believe in Andersson and Chytil … and Howden down the line as well, but until any of them actually prove capable of handling Top 6(9) center duties then I have to stick with Hayes and Mika. Too much pressure on any one of these kids to try and toss them into a Top 6(9) center role right now — in fact I would look to move one of them to the wing, at least in the short-term.

      Add to the list Namenstikov plus Spooner, we are solid up the middle and should at most only sacrifice one of the two. Again, there will be plenty of time to move players at the next trade deadline when the deals are more favorable.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 12:48 pm

    Rangers are not in a position of having to sell they can wait until the trade dead line. We are likely not a playoff team so no need to do anything until someone makes an offer you can not refuse. No horse trading, keep our powder dry and let’s see what we have. Let us be the ones holding all the cards and fleecing other teams. The only reason I would consider selling assets now is if we needed to make cap room and at this point the only way that happens is if we are signing JT or trading for and signing Karlson, both unlikely.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 1:15 pm

    Dave, I really think your post smacks of the kind of “do something desperation” that marked the Rangers during the late 90s and the aughts. It’s all undervalue what you have and overvalue what is out there. You don’t compare your best defensive center to another center simply by evaluating scoring.

    Here are my acquisition targets. 1. very young players with very high ceilings
    2. really really good players. 3. some veteran wings who will make the Rangers competitive next year. 4. a solid right-handed defenseman

    Here is my trade list: 1. Vlad Namestnikov. 2. Brendan Smith. 3. players I need to part with to get what I really desire.

    Here are my goals for next year: 1. Put forth a team that can win the Cup with a perfect storm – fountain of youth for Hank and stardom for Chityl and maybe Day. 2. Sort out the wealth of left-handed defensemen and see who I want going forward. 3. Find out how good Georgiev is and develop prospects in general. 4. Continue to build the farm system.

    Except for his trade value, I would not have extended a qualifying offer to Namestnikov. His stats scream “will be overpaid”. Brodie would be an absurd acquisition. I realize you don’t care that Marc Staal was +11 on Brodie was -16 on a better team, but it should scream that this is not really much of an upgrade. The Rangers do not need four left defensemen with substantial salaries – all incredibly going beyond next year with a large number of prospects coming of age.

    With Shattenkirk, Staal, Smith, Skjei, Pionk and a ton of kids, the Rangers don’t need defensemen so much as they need to sort out what they have and figure out which guys can be transitioned to the right side. And please, judge transitioning guys should be judged fairly, not skewered like poor Michael Del Zotto.

    I don’t think the rebuild/retool requires so many moves. It’s just a change of attitude. You don’t draft Lias Andersson when higher ceiling players are available simply because he will be ready sooner and may be able to fill an immediate need.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 1:38 pm

      Rangers need right handed shots everywhere but D as well needs depth with righties

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 11:23 pm

      Trading for a guy and not extending him is the height of stupidity.

      You offer fair value, but you front load the contract and max signing bonus in year one. Makes player easy to deal July 1, get more in compensation

      GMJG gonna be super busy between the end of the draft & July 1.

      • Jun 19, 2018 at 12:11 am

        ‘Trading for a guy and not extending him is the height of stupidity.’

        Oddly this happens more often than you think. While it would amaze me in this case, I would not be at all surprised if the Rangers failed to qualify O’Gara and Bigras.

        • Jun 19, 2018 at 8:47 am

          All RFAs were qualified

          • Jun 19, 2018 at 12:45 pm

            Where did you get this information? It doesn’t seem believable. It would bring the roster total to 47 and with a few necessary forwards, they would be right at 50.

            And why would they keep Tambellini? Or Fogarty?
            I thought Nieves, O’Gara, Bigras were possible, though not all three.

            I did think the other six were virtually locks (except maybe Gilmour).

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 2:05 pm

    Between young depth in the system at center and D, tons of cap space, a bevy of picks, experienced players we can afford to move (Nemestnikov, Spooner, not to mention Zucc and maybe even Hayes, it’s hard to believe Gorton won’t find a way to come out of the first 9 picks without at least Wahlstrom, Tkacuck or maybe even Zadina. And I’m betting on at least one other major surprise.

    We don’t need depth as much as we need elite talent. And Gorton has many cards to play.

    • Jun 18, 2018 at 2:17 pm

      I would bet a lot of money that not all the RFAs will be here and maybe add Zuc to that list of potential trade chips as well.

      The more I hear, the more likely that either one of Hayes or Zuc or maybe even both could be a goner, at some point during the offseason.

      • Jun 18, 2018 at 3:34 pm

        OTOH, so far the Rangers have 36 contracts and I put Peter Holland 8th on the forward depth chart (9th if you put Howden ahead of him). Even with all four RFAs in the fold, he is still 12th (or 13th). As a coach or GM, he is a guy I would like to see in the 15th slot. So the Rangers need two-three more decent (or better) forwards if they keeps the RFAs, Zucc, and Hayes and even more if they trade some of them.

        The principal weakness in the Ranger organization, both short and long term, is at the forward position. Sue, if they can sign both Kovalchuk and Tavares, that will change things, but I am not holding my breath.

        Seriously, how many Ranger forwards would you not trade even up for Lindberg, who did not even play in the SCF. Only seven obvious choices in my book (and two or three of those have not yet surpassed Lindberg).

        • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:16 pm

          I’m there’s a lot we don’t know Raymond, that there are things lined up that will make the picture clearer as time goes on.

          Originally, it was assumed that maybe both Spooner and Nemer were gone, well now it may be Hayes and Zuc instead.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 2:34 pm

    Well it’s draft week and were in for another crap shoot.

    From the 2012 draft. The 2018 crap shoot begins this week
    1. Yakupov

    4. Galchenyuk

    3. Grlgorehko

    9. Truba

    Please excuse the spelling.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 3:14 pm

    Reading the comments on other blogs, Ranger fans are so short sighted.

    Hayes, 9 and 26 for 2 add Sherstyorkin too….oh man

    Why are Ranger fans so uneducated???? Never learning from past mistakes? Overpay for a player so revered yet undersell our own.

    Unbelievable…..folks go read the comments section on blueshirtbanter in the Hayes article…it’ll make you laugh.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 5:09 pm

    Actually you can start with the premise of that article. If indeed there are so many teams trying to get their hands on Hayes, it does not mean there is a good deal out there. It means there is a perception, right or wrong, that the Rangers will deal him for less than he is worth and everybody wants in.

    We really don’t know if anything is going to happen. Management’s position that almost no one is untouchable means that lots of teams SHOULD be eyeing Ranger players and there should be lots of rumors out there. IMO, the trades of McDonagh and Miller along with the acquisition of so many picks and young talent (not to mention firing AV) have proved Gorton is serious. As long as he doesn’t turn around and start packaging picks and prospects for veterans on a broad scale, the rebuild is in full swing and he does not have to make further deals.

    That doesn’t mean he is done of course, just that he can stop now if he so chooses. One possibility that no one has mentioned is the possibility that JG is not really enamored with what he got in return for his trades. Guys like Spooner, Lindgren, O’Gara, Rykov were the most attractive pieces he could get from the teams he was trading with, but does that mean he really wants each and every one of them. He may want to turn one or more of the new guys for something more desirable to him. This has been discussed with the older acquisitions, but could also apply to the new kids.

    Were I a GM, I might take a highly regarded prospect in trade that I thought was a dud if I was pretty sure I could get something for him before the world came around to my opinion.

  • Jun 18, 2018 at 7:13 pm

    Barry Trotz resigned as Caps’ coach. Evidently an extension kicked in by winning the Cup which is way below fair market vale, and the Caps refused to renegotiate. No wonder this was known for a while, that this could happen.

    Let the rumors of Trotz to the Isles begin.

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