Mailbag: More rumors about trading up, more shakeups in mock drafts

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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  • Regarding Hayes Trade to Chicago, that will not happen.

    Hayes spurned Chicago to sign with us. No way he decides to sign long term there now.

    Maybe a Vlad or Spooner, both of whom should be cheaper for Chicago to handle and maybe we will need to add in a mid level prospect + 26.

  • This morning I saw a video with Bob McKenzie’s final listing of the draft order, and I have to say it’s not what it looked like last week. I can’t get too excited about the order until the draft begins!!!

    A point of interest if some have not heard, Zadina was held out of the combine due to what was thought a heart condition. He went to the Czech Republic to have himself tested, and by all accounts, he has been declared fit to play. This may explain why he fell like a rock, and may be available at the 9th spot. Also, there were others who shot up in the standings, making Oliver Wahlstrom available at the 9th as well. Bottom line, we are sitting pretty, and will get top quality at this draft!!!!!!!!!

      • A thumbs down for a statement of fact that helps clarify an error?

        Wouldn’t want to have that person’s life.

        • You did. But Zadina wasn’t sent home and he has no health issues! So what you said wasn’t right.

          Martin Kaut is the one who was sent home to have his heart examined. He had a procedure done and it should not affect his career.

  • Moving up in the draft:

    Hayes, Zuc, Chytil, etc. gets you to move up.
    Spooner, Nemer, late first round picks, etc. does not get you to move up.

    I would just stay at 9 unless we get an incredibly great offer that the Rangers cannot refuse, which is unlikely. We get any one of the 9 mentioned above and that does not even include Boqvist. We should be fine at nine (lol).

    If we do trade Hayes and/or Zuc, I want it to be for an impact NHL player(s).

    • Tony

      Like I posted above, I will get excited when the draft begins, because there are teams that have poor GM’s picking before us, and we may get a pleasant surprise just handed to us after all.

      Unlike many on this site, I look at the draft as a way to build the team, improve long term, and really don’t want to gut the team just to acquire a pick, or two, creating holes that require us to address after we just created a problem. It’s Tuesday, can’t wait til Friday night!!!!!!!!!!

      • Walt, first, good info on Zadina, first I am hearing of it, thank you. That would explain the drop indeed. Hope it’s not true for the kid’s sake.

        I have no problem building through the draft, but some here want to do it exclusively through the draft. It’s an impossibility, since teams are lucky to have 2 players from each draft make the team, no less be stars.

        Unfortunately I have to go out on Friday and miss all the fun, but I’m sure that I will get 1,000 texts telling me what’s happening, lol. We will get a good player, no doubt about it.

        • Tony

          We all know that there needs to be a veteran presents on any roster, and I suspect with our existing core, we have that. Let’s not forget we went to the cup finals with Kreider, Zucc, Hayes, Staal, Hank, and others. I believe we have enough vets to work with.

          Currently as we stand, we can make hay in the draft, something I can’t remember ever saying before, and the prospect of drafting very good kids excites me for the future. I’m not opposed to trades, or even signing UFA if need be, I am opposed to going down the same old, same old road that hasn’t worked for us over the entire history of this organization. That’s the reason I believe JG is such a breath of fresh air!!!!!!!


          • I think we’ll see a vastly different Smith who will be in the line up and another vet to add to the mix.

          • The issue for me about Smith is that he always sucked. If anyone that truly enjoyed hockey are happy about a Smith comeback should know he has been crapped on by Zetterberg and Babcock. Him and Quincey helped burn the Red Wings glory days much faster than it should have been. When you have time go watch Detroit’s 2012-14 playoffs.

            Older Klein > Smith

          • Walt, it was Kaut with the health issue but he’s ok, and not Zadina.

            Which means that Zadina may be falling in the rankings on his own, so he could be there at 9.

          • Tony

            Well thank you for the correction, I thought I was going crazy. In any case, there was a mix up, and I stand corrected!!!!!!!!!

        • Two real players may be a good result from a typical draft, but two would be a definite disappointment for a team like the Rangers with an armload of early round picks. Expected success should be close to twice average, just like expected success was low when the Rangers were dealing their #1’s away.

          • The media reported the wrong player, it was not Walt’s fault.

            It was Kaut who had the potential health issue.

  • To me. the Chicago pick does not do enough for us. We need to move to 6 to have a potential great player available. Move Hayes or Zucc later if you want a pick at say 15.

  • Thanks for taking my question, Dave. RE the Hayes trade, was thinking more along the lines of packaging a defenseman with Hayes and a later 1st or 2nd rounder for the 8th overall pick. Word is the Hawks are looking for some help on the back end. Would Pionk/Golmour/DeAngelo move the needle much? While we could use them ourselves, they wouldn’t be crippling to lose considering the potential return.

    • Hatrick,
      As i mentioned in my above post. Hayes will not go to Chicago. He was drafted by them and did not want to sign with them.
      Why would Chicago trade for a player that they know will not stay long term. Hayes would sign a 1-year RFA deal than fly the coop thru UFA.

      You would be better off packaging Names or Spooner. Both will cost less but you would need to give more in addition to grab the #8.

      Chicago realistically has a 3 year window with Kane and Toews as the foundation.

      • Thing is- he doesn’t have any say as to where he goes. I understand that it would be awkward for him, but as an RFA he has no rights. To your point, Chicago may hesitate to trade for him given the history but that is up to them.

        • His only right is to say im only accepting a 1 year deal and going to UFA.
          If he had a few years of RFA remaining i can see it working, but not with only 1 year before he has total say where he wants to play.

  • The more and more I think about it, the more I feel like we should trade our #9 for a quality vet and make a push for the cup this year. We should kick tires on all of the established vets who have a good track record. If we have to throw in Anderson with the #9, then that is the cost of doing business, so be it. Sign Tavares, sign Kovalchuk and go all in.

  • Hossa’s cap hit is $5mm, but only $1mm in cash. I’m guessing Ottawa would be that destination because they are dropping a MOAB on that team.

    If I’m Dorion, I give up their 1 to Colorado, deal Karlsson to Chicago for Hossa, CHI’s 1st and next year’s 1st.

  • This draft we stay put….this draft is different…too much talent this draft.

    Zadina will not fall to 9…whoever mocked that….well…I’ll take the 5th

    Zadina at 5 is possible not 9

    Dobson/Bouchard and Hughes/Bovqist could flip flop

    Wahlstrom, Dobson/Bouchard or Kotkeniemi at 9 and I am a happy camper, I trade for Edmonton’s 10th pick select forward/Defense with 9 and 10

    I do not trade our own picks.We still have incredible value at 26 and 28 of course this will be subject to change possibly based on how the draft actually unfolds. Even 2 and 3 we have awesome value to create depth we do not have.

    Morozov, kotkov, Lindqvist, Kaut, Bokk, Noel, Dellandrea, Hall, Clark, Olofsson, Ylonen, Bahl, Regula, Kupari, Barton, Wise, Berggren, McBain, Kravtsov, Wilde, McIssac, Groulx and few other names….players are there and we have the picks.

    Bottomline is we need to be bad next year too…it’s part of the process. If you want to make something out of nothing you’ll get nothing but if you do your equations, plan in place and EXECUTE you will have a far better chance to succeed. Equation says we need to be bad again next year as well…simple

    • Exactly! Hold at #9. Trade Vlad + low first + prospect to Edmonton and get the #10 pick. Then we get a ‘D’ and a forward and Edmonton gets a player for McDavid

  • I, of course, would rather trade all of our first rounds picks and trade Hays for the 1st Pick. Also, trade Spooner and that other guy for draft picks. Or any combination of the above. Then go after JT and the Russian.

    • if you did that why would either of them want to come here?

      They both want a chance at a cup and get to pick their destination, how would the glamorous look of a 3-5 year rebuild look to them when the amount of money to offer them would be in ballpark to other teams with a more established team ?

  • I believe Hossa’s cap hit can only be cleared when he is put on LTIR once the season starts. During the offseason he counts against the cap so it does limit CHI in terms of what they can do over the summer. Hence why they would probably put his contract in play to move out salary during free agency. Contracts like these typically land on cap-floor teams like Arizona.

    • That is incorrect. Players who were on LTIR can now continue as counting towards that number due to some Toronto shenanigans a few years back. Not in CBA, but allowed.

      You’re still allowed to be 10% over the upper limit anyways.

  • While I would like nyr to make all ten picks… if rather walk away with less and better quality. The org desparately needs the elite talents, specifically at fwd. If it means pulling a ny jets, than so be it.

    • We will get elite talent this and next year via the draft if we stick to the plan and play well but be a lottery pick next year…Stick to the rebuild

    • I thought Zib and Kreider were elite? If those two were actually that and if Stepan could have brought a haul that didn’t involve wasting a #7 pick on a 3c than we would be in a different situation. Kreider by default is the best winger that the Rangers have now since Nash is old and gone. We need to see a whole new top line and push Buch to the 2nd line. This was why I was in favor of IT and Kovy signing.

        • KBZ isn’t a serious line on any team unless they play a shelter role as a 3rd line. If you have a true 1c than you either put Kreider or Buch with them. Zib’s 5 on 5 production is crap and that might be due to playing a 200 ft game as a center. I think he could be a decent top line scoring winger and could benefit the 1c as well as the others or maybe even better than them.

  • Hi all,

    Shattenkirk is coming off injury, also I think Mika Z. suffered another concussion. If Tavares does sign here (hope not) mika can be the 2nd line center, hayes would be traded and if kovachulk signs with NYR that’s a lot of money invested in two players. My point is those signings only address the need for a top center and sniper but doesn’t not help the team long term. We need a defensemen or two that can be leaders are defense, the defensemen that can allow Lundqvist to play well, clear the crease, etc. Also, NYR needs 3rd and 4th line players that can give the team depth. My personal opinion no on Tavares but yes on Kovachulk, Kovachulk can still shoot and score, I can see Mika setting up Kovachulk.

    Doesn’t Coach Quinn have a say in the players that are moved and UFA signed? Sure, some trades have to happen, Staal trade, Smith trade, maybe even Zucc if the deal is right. Just saying hope Quinn has a say in these moves, if Gorton can at least give Quinn a team that he can work with, and fills in the needs, realistically speaking NYR can be in the playoffs in 2yrs and then move towards being a contender. Its these deals/signings that can make the difference.

    I am truly excited for this off season and upcoming season. Youth, the idea that there is a coach that will finally hold all players accountable. There is light at the end of the tunnel, NYR has to try and get through the tunnel. It will take time, but I think they can do it.

    • Gorton brought Quinn in for a reason, a reason that was noted many times during the initial presser and interviews.

      Gorton and Quinn (along with Drury) are all on the same page. I dont see any deals happening without input and collaboration among the three of them. Of course they wont always agree but this will be a far cry from Gorton trying to fit his model in between the ears of AV.

    • Kovy isn’t coming here anymore. I wanted to see that too but as I expected he could give two craps about helping our young Russians.He obviously thinks our top 6 sucks. If JT signs than Zib is either gone or it’s Kreider who will be out with Zib turning into a winger. JT needs his spot on the PP and a 2c who can play against stiff competition. Zib against Barzal probably solidified that he isn’t the one to put in that type of role.

  • Hayes is an efficient primary points machine who has likely been held back in terms of his counting stats by the role in which AV put him. I don’t know why the Rangers would be eager to include him in a trade for #8, even aside from the likely “emotional” factors involved that Mike references above that could certainly lead to no interest there from Chicago in the first place. I’m not saying he is untouchable by any means, and I personally subscribe to the philosophy that when you have a chance to pull off a clear and without-question fleecing, you gotta go for it no matter who it takes…but if I was Gorton, #2 or a legit young 1D are the types of scenarios I’m more open to trading Hayes as part of the package, outside of the fleecing concept.

    • My guess is Gorton is approaching teams about Namestnikov and Spooner and teams are asking about Hayes instead.

    • Add consistent top 6 mintues, PP minutes, quality name or two and a chance to play more during OT and shootouts. Hayes could very well lead this team in points or always be in the top 3 on this team. I can’t see Zib ever out producing him more than 5-8 points. Give him a quality PK partner and D men who can make stretch passes or read the ice well enough to see where he’ll skate too. After Quinn was hired it sounded like Vally thought that the 1c is still up in the air an that Hayes could eventually take it.

    • I actually don’t deal Hayes even up for #8. Draft choices aren’t sure things. McIlrath was a #10. In the last decade, both Reinhart and Bennett were #4’s. Yakupov was a #1 — and I haven’t even looked at the list.

      Seriously, would people trade Hayes for Andersson if he were on a different team?

      • I agree – Hayes is a known quantity, and even in a draft that many consider to feature well above average depth, #8 is still a question mark. I don’t think I’d make that deal either. Maybe I am overvaluing Hayes, but I just cannot get over the fact that he’s been as good as he has without actually being deployed the way he found success – and dominated many of his peers at some stages – growing up in the game.

        I do wonder what sort of discussions Quinn and Gorton have had so far about personnel. I’d have asked about some names in the interview, if I was Gorton – Hayes, Buchnevich, and Chytil specifically. I may be setting myself up for disappointment, but I am really looking forward to the possibility of Quinn giving Hayes much more offensive responsibility, finally taking the training wheels off Buch, and getting his take on whether Chytil does remain at C long-term or he’d like to try him on the flank. If that answer is the latter, then Hayes becomes even more important.

        • Maybe I am off base here, but I really don’t see Quinn as a major player in personnel so far. Sure, he might offer some suggestions as to the sort of player he’d like to have, but he just doesn’t know the players the way the organization and scouts do. If I am in his shoes, I trust JG et al to make the right calls until I have a much better idea what I’m dealing with.

          By the end of camp, he’ll have some opinions — and after the team plays some games, he’ll have an idea what the strengths and weaknesses of the current group are, but so far I would view a very open mind as ideal.

          Personally, I was not unhappy with AV’s deployment of Kevin Hayes. When you have a team without elite forwards and the center you put out there against the opposing top line shift after shift is a +1, that’s a prescription for a very successful team. The Rangers came up short because of what happened when Hayes was not on the ice. You can win with zero elites, a solid two way line and depth. But you can’t forgo the depth.

          • You are very far off base due to the fact that both JG and Drury told the press that Quinn will have a big input on roster moves and who gets a roster spot. They went into detail even with the local Boston ties around the area that he’ll have to pursue whoever they like along with his NCAA ties.

            Now my guess is that after the 200th those 3 mentioned about how they have known each other since the beginning of time played a role into that. Maybe by theory Quinn is just a yes man who will always agree with those other two but it was well documented that he will have those rights in his back pocket.No offense but it’s just lazy to not know about how Quinn will get a huge say in who stays and goes. I suggest that you go watch the introduction and press conference involving those 3, it was one of the perks to why he left BU.

          • I don’t think AV punted Hayes’s development. It’s hard to mess up a player of that size who skates well, has adequate hockey IQ, and has such soft hands. That said, he also did not appear to maximize the natural skill set. As for plus/minus, you know that I pay no mind to it except for the whole team basis over the course of a season. That said, even though that stat can be just rife with anomalies for individual players as it is a flaw, I would actually agree here that it could have quite easily been well into the minus territory for Hayes had he not executed his role the way he did.

          • You agree that team plus/minus is important and it is just the sum of its parts. I absolutely agree that it is dangerous to apply it to individual players, but if you understand the dangers and limitations and are careful, there is something there.

            I won’t go into an explanation here as it’s likely only 50/50 you will even see this late comment, but I prefer a stat that needs lots of adjustment to much more accurate stats that measure 20% of the game.

  • Hi all,

    Should have asked this before. NYR bought out Richards, Girardi, I am not sure if they are both entirely paid off. I read on numerous websites (tsn, outsidethegarden.com) NYR cannot afford to buy out Staal.

    What are the outlines for teams and their buyout limit? Can they have 3 players they are still paying off and those players don’t have to be on their roster? How does buying out Staal or Smith further hurt the NYR financially? Anyone know, LOL!!! It would be nice to finally see NYR without any buyout/bought out players.

    After years of seeing ridiculous contracts that ended up being failures, buyouts, etc. it would be nice to see NYR take a risk to reward approach with free agents. I would accept reasonable contracts where the risk is minimized, and if the player is still relatively young signed to a 4-5yr contract not 7-9yrs after they are 30 or older.

    • Look at capfriendly.com and all will be answered.

      Buyouts save a lot of cap space in the short run but have longer term penalties. As the Rangers are not going to be up against the cap this year, they should postpone any buyouts.

    • Richards was a compliance buyout and has no bearing on our Cap.

      Girari is the only player currently affecting our cap through the buyout.

      A Staal Buyout would look very similar to Girari, a heavy penalty the first 3 years, a little over a Million the next three.

  • NYR have placed Sergey Zborovskiy on unconditional waivers & will release him from his contract,waste of 3rd rd pick,hopefully lesson learned.

    • This does point to one nice feature of European players. You sign a North American player to an ELC and he doesn’t pan out, you are stuck with the contract as he still gets decent money playing for Hartford or Greenville. OTOH, when you tell a guy like Zborovskiy (or Stromwall or Kovacs) that he has no future in the organization, he is as eager to terminate the contract as you are (so he can go back home).

      • It ain’t decent money considering the opportunity cost: $10k in junior, minimum $35k with a max of $70(which most nobody is getting) in the minors.

        They can go to Europe and make more money, but NA kids have to finish out their ELC just to build a resume.

        • Almost everyone on Ranger ELCs gets $70K. My point was that that is good money for a Dawson Leedahl if he wants to continue playing hockey (better than if he tore up his ELC) whereas it is not enough to hold a Zborovskiy.

      • You are correct Ray,I do believe the player has to agree to the termination of contract,I know in the case of Stromwall,Kovacs & Bereglazov it was reported that they asked out of their contracts & the NYR happily granted their wishes.

    • That 2015 draft is one for the ages: Only Gropp & Huska left. I know it’s a long way to the top, but when they wash out that quickly, how are you supposed to build organizational depth?

      • Yeah that wasn’t a great draft for the Rangers. Don’t think Gropp is in the long term plans of the Rangers and with Shestyorkin in the system Huska doesn’t have much of a future either.

        • Gropp is only 21 & just competed his first year in the AHL so it might be a little early to write him off,he’s got good size & is a very good skater but may be a little soft this upcoming year will tell us more,Huska isn’t under contract yet & plays for a weak UConn team so we shall see what upcoming year holds for him.

      • One of many bad drafts for the NYR,lets hope they make up for some of those in this years draft & Gropp & Huska pan out,organizational depth is sorely needed.

    • A third round pick that does not pan out is not a waste.

      3rd Round picks have such a small chance to make it to the NHL, it is a complete crapshoot and anything you get from them is a blessing, including becoming just a marginal 4th line/3rd D Pairing.

      You take chances. ZBor’s draft year only 2 players drafted in the 3rd and 4th Rounds have played more than 10 NHL Games, Cirelli from TB (18 games, picked 7 spots ahead of ZBor) and Malgin from FL (98 games, pick #102 -4th Round)

      • Yeah I hear what your saying Mike but he was projected to be a 6th round pick by many & the fact that the Rangers reached & took him in the 3rd round makes it a wasted pick in my book,when there was much better talent available for them with that selection.

      • Also 2015 wasn’t that long ago many of the players taken in that draft are only 20-21 years old now & still have a good chance to make the NHL,guys from the 2012 draft class played their first NHL games last year.

      • But they blew him out after 1 season. To be fair, he wasn’t good at Traverse and had a mountain of players ahead of him, but it just seems like the process in drafting is seriously flawed after the 1st round, like a monkey throwing darts.

        • It could be he asked out of his contract,but the fact that he could only manage 10 games in the AHL when RHD is our biggest need tells me something,the NYR have had pretty good success with some later round players,but this was an extreme reach,NHL Draftsite had him going in the 6th rd,#176 to St Louis in their final rankings,the same site that nailed the Ryan Gropp pick @ 59 in 2nd rd to NYR.
          I just hope the scouts who made the call to draft Zbor in the 3rd Rd no longer are employed by the Rangers.

  • I was never a Hayes fan until last season when he seemed to mature as an overall player. I definitely would not trade him. I would rather see Zucc go as much as I like him. To get to an 8th position is not worth it. I could see a deal maybe to upgrade to 4 or 5.

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