Many people took notice of the one-year deal that center Kevin Hayes signed this offseason as neither he nor the New York Rangers were able to agree upon a long-term contract. The 26-year-old scored a career-high 25 goals last season after posting 17 goals twice previously. With unrestricted free agency in front of him next offseason, many people wondered whether the rebuilding Rangers might opt to trade the center rather than risk losing him next season.
Hayes told MSG reporter John Giannone that he spoke to management and doesn’t feel worried about a trade.
“I had a great conversation with Dru (Chris Drury) and Gorts (GM Jeff Gorton) as soon as I signed my contract. I believe there’s no inclination of me being trade bait or me thinking that I’m going to be out of here. I did not sign a one-year deal to go to free agency. I love this organization, I love the city, what the city demands, the determination and hard work. This is where I want to be for my whole entire career. Obviously a long-term deal didn’t get done but I’m hopeful that come the right time, I think it’ll get done.”
- The New York Rangers might have to worry about another center as Mika Zibanejad left practice early Sunday, according to The Athletic’s Rick Carpiniello, after taking a hit to the head in a one-on-one drill from rookie defenseman Joey Keane. The bigger concern is Zibanejad’s history of concussions, including one last season. According to the New York Post’s Bree Cyrgalis, head coach David Quinn said Zibanejad is “fine,” and he just had the wind knocked out of him and might be eligible to play Monday night in Newark.
- New York Islander fans were surprised when prospect Joshua Ho-Sang, who has said he’s turning the page on his past mistakes, missed training camp Saturday with what coach Barry Trotz said was a “personal day.” The Athletic’s Arthur Staple writes (subscription required) that neither Trotz or Ho-Sang elaborated on why he missed a key day of camp, Trotz’s first significant teaching day. “I don’t have any level of concern,” said Trotz.
- The Columbus Blue Jackets have five defenseman guaranteed to be making their roster, but with the losses of Ian Cole and Jack Johnson this offseason, the team needs to find their sixth defenseman. The Athletic’s Aaron Portzline (subscription required) suggests that player might be Gabriel Carlsson, who has been highly touted since being taken in the first-round in 2015. However, back issues hampered him throughout his first full season in North America. Now after an offseason of conditioning on his back, the 6-foot-5 Carlsson may be ready to make the leap to Columbus.
- The Athletic’s Corey Masisak reports that New Jersey Devils forward Blake Speers broke his nose yesterday when he took an elbow to the face yesterday. He is back at it again today, however, with a face shield. The 21-year-old scored 12 goals with the AHL’s Binghamton Devils and is looking to crack New Jersey’s lineup this year.