kevin hayes

AP Photo/Mary Altaffer

Two questions for the mailbag (well, two unique ones) this week. All draft related, which makes sense since we are four days away from the draft. As always, use the widget on the right to email us your questions, and they may make it to the post.

Mike asks: Saw some rumors that the Hawks are open to trade their 8th overall pick for an established NHLer. With Namestnikov and Spooner in New York, does it make sense to package Hayes to get the 8th overall?

This is an interesting question. Hayes on his own is not enough to get the 8th overall, which shouldn’t surprise anyone. So there needs to be more added. The interesting thing here is the cap space, since Chicago barely has any, and Hayes is due a long term deal at $5 million. For this to work, the Rangers need to take a contract back.

There’s the possibility of taking Marian Hossa’s deal, which certainly gives the Hawks space. The thing with Hossa is that his contract can be put on LTIR, so it’s more of a paperwork thing that doesn’t really save the Hawks money. It’s a nice idea, but taking the Hossa deal doesn’t move the needle much.

The Rangers would need to add, probably at a minimum the 26th pick and an additional piece. I say the 26th pick because Hayes and the 9th pick makes no sense to move up a slot. The Hawks need forward depth, so Hayes and perhaps someone like Vinni Lettieri with the 26th might be a framework. That’s a 2C, a 4C, and a late 1st for the 8th overall. I don’t know, still seems very light.

But then again, it’s tough to factor in the GM stupidity variable, which has reared its ugly head many times.

Dave (seriously, last names people) asks: What do you make of the recent mock draft that had Pavel Zadina falling to #9?

For those wondering, Dave is referencing this tweet:

This is another mock draft that, aside from the top-two, changes everything else up. This is the first time I’ve seen Zadina slipping, but I’ve seen others where Wahlstrom falls, and others where Hughes falls.

If the Rangers get one of Zadina, Wahlstrom, or Hughes, I will be ecstatic. I rank them all as rounding out the top-five for me, so one of them would be super. But I’ll also be ok with basically any of the other defensemen as well.

The one thing I learned is that outside of Dahlin and Svechnikov, everyone has different rankings for this year’s draft. It’s tough to gauge who is more accurate, so perhaps the best route is to take the median pick of multiple “experts.” That puts us in Bouchard/Dobson/Boqvist territory, which is A-OK for me.

As long as they don’t go off the board at #9, reaching for someone who would be available at 26, I’ll be happy. I have my preferences, but they are uneducated and just based off what I read. It’s tough for the Rangers to miss at this draft.


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