And now we wait on Kevin Hayes

Now that the year has turned to 2019, all eyes are going to be on the Rangers and what they do with Kevin Hayes. When Hayes signed his one-year deal this summer, it was “known” he would be traded at the deadline. However with the year turning to 2019, he is now eligible to be re-signed. Remember what the Rangers did with Mats Zuccarello? Same concept.

Hayes is having a career year and is cementing himself as a top line center. With a line of 10-23-33 in 38 games, Hayes is tied for the team lead in assists and second in points. He has shown tremendous vision and playmaking ability, in addition to showcasing his three-zone game.

Re-signing Hayes would be a prudent move for the Rangers, especially if he comes at a discount (likely not). Hayes won’t turn 27 until May, which is the golden age for UFAs. On the open market, he could get six or seven years at excess of $6.5 million a year.

Keeping Hayes doesn’t automatically mean trading Mika Zibanejad, as the Rangers have enough cap and roster space to keep both. There’s no rule that says you can only have one player capable of being a 1C.

If the Rangers choose to trade Hayes, the haul will be relatively significant. It will likely be at least a first round pick and a good prospect. My guess is there would be an additional conditional pick attached, based on whether or not Hayes re-signs with that team. That’s a lot for a rental, but he’s a top-six forward, and that market has been set and re-set many times at that price.

There’s always the chance of a trade and re-sign, but let’s call that unlikely at best.

My guess is the Rangers will do something quickly with Hayes, whether it be re-signing or trading. There is nothing concrete here, just my educated guess that both player and team will want a resolution rather quickly. All eyes will be on the Rangers while this is going on. Hayes could be the first domino to fall for the trade deadline.

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  • 33 points is the same as tyler seguin who just got chewed out by his owner. with standards for top line set so low in rangerstown is it any surprise that they gave a 30 minute po to the blues?

    (My opinion here is well known – cash in on trade value, avs?)

    • Oh please, give me a break. Kreider has been put on a pedestal for being a 40ish point top line winger since 2013-16. I think he had 20-21 goals during that span?

      Tyler Seguin has had the pleasure to play with Jamie Benn and names like Radulov.

      Hayes should get the same treatment as William Karlsson and Sean Couturier. They were in the bottom 6 for most of their careers. The difference being that their linemates are superior to what Hayes had to play with..

      • I wonder if the Stars would want to shake things up. Maybe we could get Klingberg in NY for Hayes. That is exactly what the Rangers have lacked since Zubov and Leetch were Rangers. He’s still just in his prime at 26 and would be a perfect puck moving 1RD. The Rangers need young puck moving defenseman. When they were relevant a few years ago it was the one thing they really lacked. The year they went to the finals they were close because they had a guy in Strahlman who’s on the cusp of being that guy. They had a good cast around him as well.

  • I’m wondering how bad does Hayes want to stay in New York? I’m also wondering if the NMC/NTC is the true sticking point for Gorton? Who blinks first in this scenario? My money’s on Hayes, and he signs for 6/39 mil. With no movement clauses. However, I would rather get a good haul for him in a trade.

    • You will not get a good haul for a rented player…..I can see a scenario where the Rangers trade him then resign him during the off-season..

      • I don’t get where this narrative comes from. It would likely be a pick in 20’s , a b+ prospect and a conditional piece if resigning. Plus nyr own sink value. Thats a haul IMO.

      • I don’t know Rocky – I thought that the haul for Nash was pretty good. Rykov and a 2nd for Grabner was a great return.

        It really all depends on the situation – how close the contending team thinks they are to winning it all? How much of an impact the incoming player can fill a need and/or make an impact.

        Now for the Rangers – their process is to find a guy that they don’t need – say Eric Staal – and then overpay with two 2nd’s and decent prospect.

    • The bottom line is are they better with him or better with what the assets he can bring back?

      If this was a legitimate rebuild then you get the assets he can bring back. Since we still don’t know exactly is this a rebuild, remodel, revamp, or a re-whatever it makes it more complicated. And according to Brett @NYPost today because of our recent brilliant play we now have “revamped expectations.”

      I will say it again – The Ranger’s have what it will take to put together a package to get the Sens #1 from the Av’s. Hayes should be of interest to the Av’s since they need secondary scoring. A package with Hayes and other assets could get it if the Av’s think they are close. Or maybe a lesser package and target the can’t miss D-man Cale Makar who currently has 19 points in 16 games at UMass.

      • Pal, I’m going to disagree with you for the first time.

        That pick will not be traded, never in a million years. And if they did, then the GM should be fired on the spot.

        • Fair enough Bro

          This what I know – The Western Conferenece is very competitive right now and the Av’s are in the thick of it

          If the Av’s are feeling it come Feb 25 they will be looking to get over the hump. And if they do go shopping then everyone they talk to will be asking about that pick and throwing out theoreticals

          Their GM, Sakik, is then going to have to figure out whether he wants to go in front of the firing squad or bet the farm and go for the Cup big-time.

          They need secondary scoring and we have Hayes, Zucc, and a variety of middling forwards. We also have Tampa’s #1 after their Cup Mission concludes.

          If they decide to trade we have enough to make a deal. Obviously we need to be prudent and not do anything really stupid.

          The Av’s may end up falling out or we may end up signing Hayes so the whole thing could be moot. But in the meantime….

    • I would like to see Gorton resign Hayes but not long term. I’m sure that’s what Hayes would want in a deal but they could do better for a top line centerman. To sign Hayes long term with a NMC would block the assention of a young stud they draft in the next 2 years.
      As far as Zibanejad goes, he’s a righty centerman. Right handed forwards (like defenseman) are hard to come by like lefties in MLB. You need to have righties at 5v5 and off wingers are dangerous on the Power Play. The Rangers problem at 5v4 over the last few years was a lack of viable options on the left side with the extra man. Unless they can find a better (younger/cheaper) option at pivot I would stick with Zibanejad for the time being.

  • It really is a tough decision. I do think he will bring back a lot in a trade. His trajectory has really been impressive and he could be a piece to build around long term. I don’t see him taking a home town discount. He’s worked hard to get where he is as a player and I don’t think he will decline so quickly after he signs a new deal either. The biggest problem is contention timing. Are we a year or are we 4 years away from really competing? And that to me will determine f we trade him or keep him.

    • Andy, I do not see us getting a haul for a rental. Hayes has become a much improved player, but still isn’t an elite player…It would be nice to fleece a GM for picks and a prospect, but I don’t see that happening for a rental player.

      • Strongly disagree, there’s a big chance that Hayes will become the hot property among tradeable forwards who are impending free agents. He’s in the middle of his most consistent season, plays a good two-way game, and has a couple more good years left in him at least.

        Consider that when Martin Hanzal was traded in 2017—at age 30, and with a mere 26 points in 51 games to that point in 2017—he brought back a 1st, 2nd, and conditional draft pick. Last year 32-year old Paul Stastny brought back a 1st and a conditional 4th, along with a prospect. At the time of the trade Stastny had 40 points in 63 games, a pace that Hayes is also well ahead of. I’d say the Rangers should be able to get a 1st, a 2nd, and a defensive prospect for Hayes based on Hayes’ numbers this year versus what older and lesser players brought back at the last 2 deadlines.

        • also gotta factor in the chance to draft a dylan cozens, kirby dach, bowen Byram vs remnants at pick 14.

      • Then you need to look again because as Dave said, the going rates for these types of players have been set. It’s going to be a 1st and a very good prospect at least … PLUS something more. That said, I prefer to resign Hayes.

    • No Hayes= You hope Howden can either play shift after shift against top 6 lines right away. Or take advantage and put up some serious points in the OZ%.

      Chytil? I don’t think so, he’s a top 6 winger for now and for later.

      Zib? No way can he take a Bergeron type role or what Hayes did in 2017-18. He doesn’t even see half of what Hayes went against on the PK and yet he’s failing while shorthanded.

      Andersson? No way…

      That game against Toronto said enough for anyone that followed matchups. Babcock ran through circles to put Kadri against Zib and JT away from Hayes and against Howden. In return he settled to have Matthew’s line go against Hayes every other shift. JT burned Howden twice in that game.

  • I disagree with you Rocky. Look what we got for Rick Nash? Look what Martin Hanzal brought back for Arizona? Think about what we paid for Yandle or E. Staal? All examples of overpays. Trade deadlines makes teams do funny things. Especially if someone does something, then everyone else feels like they need to do something. Hayes’s numbers 5 on 5 are very impressive. A team looking to make waves in the play offs will pay up for him. Especially given his versatility, size and play off experience. We may have a different definition of a haul, but Hayes will be highly sought after at the deadline and will bring back a late round first and a solid prospect maybe even a young player. Compared to walking away after the season for nothing, i’ll take that haul…

  • I would believe Gorton is investigating the cost of signing Hayes. He has a number and a length of time he is comfortable with. Let’s say for example 5 years at $6.2M with a partial NMC. Anything more costly or restrictive makes Gorton look to the outside for offers. He may expect a mid-level prospect and a first rounder. If that is out there, then he pressures Hayes and does not move off of his number. As we get closer to the deadline, Hayes cost may go up, but so may the offers. Tough decision for Gorton either way.

    • It’s not only a Gorton decision in regards to signing Hayes…A few other tadpoles in his ear……

  • We can dream wet about possible Hayes trade return, but let me remind you, none of the 1st round pick is not going to return high draft pick, and is not going to return game changing prospect, in the best case it’s going to return another Hayes, if we are so lucky….

    IMHO, keep him, no single reason to get rid of him, he is still young, and he is not type of guy who is going to loose his speed, because he is not power forward, he is not block shotting D

    • I’m on the fence with Hayes….IMO I think Kreider is more valuable and the way Kreider takes care of himself, he could play at his current level or better for many years to come…..Kreider is a beast, who is finally playing for a coach that has unleashed the Kraken…….

    • The actual trade may not, (although chabot for example was taken at 21). However the process itself might this year , next year or both.

    • The reasons to possibly move him are costs and opening up more opportunities for your young centers. Is $6+M annually a fair salary for a second line center who produces 60 points? I cannot answer that, but I am sure Gorton has a range that works for him. As far as opening up a slot, If Chytil and (ahem) Andersson are pegged for mid-line centers, then that means one might have to become a winger. Neither has shown such great promise that I would offer them a 2nd or 3rd line center position at this point. To me, I would see if he accepts a fair salary with a limited NMC for under 6 years. If he does, sign him, if not see what returns you can get. A 25th pick in the draft is not a great return, so I would rather acquire someones 2016 first rounder who is tearing it up wherever they are. We might be smarter taking other teams picks rather than picking ourselves.

      • Lol I see you think we’re still in June 2018.

        JG had to understand that there’s a 50% chance that he will earn a 6+ million dollar deal. Word is that his camp has felt that he could get a 7 million dollar deal. Rangers had their starting price around 6.2 mill according to this source. They should come in the middle for 6.6×7 with a NMC for the first four or five years of the deal.

  • Good Salary Cap Article on Hayes at Forever Blueshirts

    Based on this article its either Hayes or Panarin but not both unless they get real creative on the the first two years of both contracts. We are carrying too much dead (cap) weight on the blueline to swing both.

    IMHO I would trade him for max value and see whether they can resign him and Panarin over the summer. Less regrets possible with this option. Hayes’ contract year performance makes me question just how committed he was in previous seasons. How long before DQ’s style goes in one Hayes’ ear and out the other? Not sure I want to risk $42mil on that without some sort of compensation.

  • Yeah my sentiments also. Move him at that price cause he will at best give us 4 years of quality without decline. And by that time we will just be starting to contend at best. Contending meaning actual shots at making the cup. It might make us worse in the short term but long term we will benefit greatly. I also think these hauls were based on a underhanded agreement that said player would stick around with the team they are traded to. I obviously don’t know that for a fact. Just making a educated guess based on the haul we received for Nash and the haul the Bruins got back for him retiring and us having to take McQuaid. I mean no matter how you look at that McQuaid trade it just doesn’t make sense. I don’t even think Sather would agree to that lopsided of a deal.

  • Hayes = 1st rounder and top prospect, Rangers, go get it.

    You can say that Quinn is putting Hayes in better spots than AV did, but I have a hard time thinking that this year’s production lasts at least the next 4 years to justify a long-term contract, after not cracking 50 pts up until now.

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