While many expect Rangers center Kevin Hayes to be dealt between now and the trade deadline, Larry Brooks of the New York Post believes that they would be better off re-signing him unless they can get a young core winger or defenseman back. While adding more depth to their prospect pool is still beneficial, he argues that they’d be better off re-signing him over acquiring a pick or prospect that could reach Hayes’ current level several years down the road.
The question is how much is it going to take to get the 26-year-old to sign long-term? Brooks suggests a six-year, $6MM deal could be a fair amount as it would represent a small raise on his current $5.25MM deal while beating what Adam Henrique got on his extension with Anaheim this past summer. The Rangers aren’t eligible to officially re-sign Hayes until January 1st and GM Jeff Gorton acknowledged that there haven’t even been preliminary talks on an extension just yet.
Elsewhere in the Metropolitan:
- Still with the Rangers, although they held Mats Zuccarello out of the lineup tonight once again due to groin issues, head coach David Quinn told reporters, including Newsday’s Colin Stephenson, that the winger remains day-to-day. Zuccarello has now missed eight of the last ten games with this problem and the team has acknowledged that his recovery has not gone as well as anticipated. The 31-year-old is one of New York’s more notable potential trade chips this season but teams that may be interested are going to need to see that this won’t be a lingering problem before trying to make a move.
- Capitals center Evgeny Kuznetsov skated Monday for the first time since suffering a concussion nearly two weeks ago, notes Isabelle Khurshudyan of the Washington Post. He missed his sixth straight game tonight but his return appears to be closer than winger T.J. Oshie, who is dealing with a concussion of his own. He has yet to skate since sustaining it and head coach Todd Reirden indicated that he’s unsure if Oshie will be able to skate at all this week. Considering that this is his fifth career concussion, Washington will certainly be erring on the side of caution.