Hayes and Zuccarello (Getty Images)

Brooks: Rangers talking contract with Hayes and Zuccarello

Hayes (13), Zuccarello (36) and Kreider (20) Photo Credit: Adam Hunger-USA TODAY Sports

Larry Brooks of the NY Post has noted that the Blueshirts are talking to both Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello about contracts. This information does not necessarily mean that either player is going to be re-signed or taken off the table at the deadline.

The Post has learned that general manager Jeff Gorton is now engaged in an ongoing dialogue with the agents for pending free agents Mats Zuccarello and Kevin Hayes as the Blueshirts weigh extending the contracts of two of their best players against the return they might get for either or both on the market.

Larry Brooks
Underwhelming Offers

Over the last few days there has been much speculation from Bob McKenzie to Scott Burnside all noting that the return for either player might be coming in soft.

The consensus on Zuccarello appears to be no better than a 2nd round pick and a prospect. Burnside even indicated that Hayes may not get the 1st round pick everyone expected. So it would be fair to discern that Gorton also wants to get the news out that he is willing to keep both these players if the offers don’t improve.

The bottom line here is that Jeff Gorton has to be getting ready to deal with the NHL Trade deadline in 9 days. He needs to understand the contract demands for both players and see if that fits with their offseason plan of going after UFA players like Artemi Panarin, Jeff Skinner, Erik Karlsson and possibly Mark Stone or Matt Duchene.

As per CapFriendly, the Rangers will have about $23,463,890 to play with this summer. They will have 14 players under contract and keeping both Zuccarello and Hayes could be anywhere between 11 to 14 million in cap space. That doesn’t really leave them too much room to add a significant UFA and about 6 other players to fill out the roster.

It is going to be a very interesting over the next 9 days, that is for certain. Regardless of this information coming from Brooks it still seems very likely at least one of these players will be traded at the deadline if not both.

19 thoughts on “Brooks: Rangers talking contract with Hayes and Zuccarello

  • February 16, 2019 at 8:46 am

    If they sign these players to extension…it would be the most confusing, perplexing and terrible moves they have ever made!! Get what you can for them…let Zucc keep tearing it up on the first line and a team will over pay for him. This is all bluffing by other teams to get one of these players on the cheap. Call there bluff and in the end if all we get are 2nd round picks then fine. Second round picks are good too!

    • February 21, 2019 at 12:19 pm

      I love ZUCC!!! Please don’t trade him!!???❤❤❤❤❤❤

  • February 16, 2019 at 11:22 am

    Keep Zuc trade Hayes. Zuc will tell less money to stay and is a leader on the ice. Check the record since Zuc returned to lineup.

  • February 16, 2019 at 12:49 pm

    Love them both. Not worth depleting rhevream of ralentvand leadership if the return isn’t worth it. Prospects and draft picks are always a wildcard of hope and potential. I’m all in for a rebuild, but you need talent and leadership n the present as well.

  • February 16, 2019 at 12:58 pm

    There could well be other factors at work here.
    But on the face of it, not letting 120+ points walk offf your team (with no clear replacement) or dealing them for meh returns is the proper hockey move, as opposed to a deadline hysteria move. Now if the rest of what Brooks mentions proves true, buyouts on Smith and Shattenkirk, (also proper absent a good return), then there won’t be any deadline drama, and half the expected booty won’t materialize.
    Unless it portends something else is about to happen. Let us pray.

    • February 16, 2019 at 2:57 pm

      I see your point about trading away the usual suspects that have been talked about endlessly for below value. Yet status quo cannot be the answer as well. Clearly Shattenkirk has been a utter disappointment and clearly has been outplayed by guys making a tenth of what he makes. At this current pace he will struggle to out produce Marc Staal. Brendan Smith who I was a fan of resigning has regressed to where he is a constant option to watch games rather than play in them.

      Getting less than equal value of Hayes is a non starter and I am totally against bringing him back for what some are saying his is starting point. This team at its current configuration is mostly in part the reason why the white flag was raised last year. I think McKenzie and Constance’s recent info about what we can expect the Rangers to get for players like Zucc and Hayes isn’t going to make Ranger fans happy. I think they are scrambling to fix a situation they did not foresee this past summer. Who would have thought two years in a row Gorton’s plans had a wrench turn into them by Ottawa. Clearly teams see Hayes not as a 1st option as the deadline approaches but clearly as one of many fall back options. The closer the deadline comes and the more teams fall out of the race the more players who are better options become available making Hayes less valuable. I’ll join you and other Rangers fans at the altar in mid prayer. I think these boards will explode with vitriol no matter with a lesser return or seeing more of the status quo.

      • February 16, 2019 at 9:47 pm

        So, Geo is starting his 3rd in 4 games?
        If I’m not mistaken, that hasn’t happened all year. Hmm.
        Now look at the Hayes-Zuc situation .
        Which two conceivably fit a rebuild, which two dont? Hmm.

        • February 16, 2019 at 11:49 pm

          Geo has earned his starts. I don’t recall if he has played 3 out of 4 games before this but at this point of the season he’s the hot hand. At other points he clearly wasn’t.

          Is he part of the equation, I believe he will be around until Igor Shestyorkin proves he is or isn’t a NHL caliber goalie. The Rangers aren’t going to move him especially with his low cost.

          • February 17, 2019 at 3:07 am

            You’re not catching my drift Mike. It’s fine, I was intentionally vague.
            Of course Geo has earned it, not to mention last time he started vs. Pittsburgh that stale slice of Swiss cheese with legs yielded 6 goals! On 18 shots lol.
            He must’ve thought it was the semi finals!

  • February 16, 2019 at 2:25 pm

    I think Hayes is playing over his head and for a contract. Once he signs it you get, well Brendan Smith. I think Zucc should be resigned in a multitude of levels. He wants to stay and will most likely take the home town discount. Hank wants him to stay and they will keep him happy. He’s a good leader, sign him and send him out the next game with the C on his sweater. It also helps to attract free agents because the team is that much better with him.

  • February 16, 2019 at 3:00 pm

    I totally agree Gregg!! Resign Zucc you know what you get every season hes been here–heart,sweat and tears from Zucc all you get from Hayes is scratching your head as to how hot to cold he can be in the past several games hes been back!! KZZ line is TRAUMA to other clubs and its quite evident!! its the 2nd and 3rd line that needs the help Andersson is not coming back up to improve he sucks and is a total flop of a first round pick!! Vlad is a good piece of the 2nd line with the grittiness of his play which is rare on a 2nd line so keeping him would definitely seem ideal..Vesey and Buch are avg or below avg at best and doesnt get the job done!! 2 of the 3 BC alum are flops for us IMO Hayes is all show and no play once he signs the big deal if we resign him and Vesey is just a 3rd or 4th liner at best!! Once Hayes gets hurt his season is damaged as weve seen the past 10+ games since hes come back!! Once Karlsson is signed id start calling teams for Shatty and Smith!! Both have been nothing short of avg or below avg and Smith is obviously not the player we got during the ’17 playoffs!!

  • February 16, 2019 at 4:48 pm

    REALITY RANGER FANS; Current rooster overrated.

    • February 18, 2019 at 8:41 am

      Overrated? By whom? Their roster is horrible and watching one dimensional shattenkirk play on the ice and look like he is 50 years old is simply painful. Skjei looks more or less confused and Smith should be bought out. Henrik needs to split time or move to backup. Lots of holes right now.

  • February 16, 2019 at 5:27 pm

    Still “very likely” they are being traded…when they are in contract talks. Dumbest article I’ve read in a while, at least when it comes to Zucc who will be easy to sign.

  • February 17, 2019 at 6:51 am

    Steve T…..well said!
    I agree with everything you said, I also agree with CND11211. We need to “rent” them out, and if all we get are 2nd round pics “2nd round pics are good too” – CND11211
    And like you, I’m good with signing Zucc in July and letting Hayes go…I like Hayes, but I’m concerned that about what you and others are saying about him regressing once he gets his contact.

  • February 18, 2019 at 8:32 am

    Hayes way overrated by rangers fans and all that means is rangers should have traded him a few years ago. Now we will overpay or give him away for a second rounder which is nothing.

  • February 18, 2019 at 8:35 am

    Now zuc has rangers over a barrell and can make them overpay or simply force a deal. Meanwhile rangers continue sub par goal tending, sub par defense and no right wingers or line depth. If things don’t change next year Gorton is on the hot seat.

  • February 18, 2019 at 8:45 am

    Watching Henrik lose the Kings and Winnipeg games all by himself was so painful. Just brutal.

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