Buyer’s remorse on Hayes could land Jets’ Trouba with the Rangers
So you think Winnipeg and GM Kevin Cheveldayoff are experiencing a little buyer’s remorse right about now? At the deadline, the Jets traded away their 1st round pick, and winger Brendan Lemieux for Kevin Hayes. The Jets lost in the first round of the NHL playoffs.
Yesterday, they traded away Hayes’ rights to the Philadelphia Flyers for a 5th round pick. That should tell you all you need to know about how Winnipeg feels about the deal they made last season.
Getting Back that 1st round pick
There’s lots of talk coming out of Winnipeg surrounding Patrick Laine’s next contract. As an RFA coming off his ELC, Laine doesn’t have any real leverage except for the fact that he is the face of the franchise. Cheveldayoff also wants to avoid the possibility of an offer sheet. The good news is that the GM has only 59 million in cap space used, so we can expect Laine to get a longterm deal starting at least around $10M per year.
Reports from around the league claim that Jacob Trouba is on the move. Thanks to all that cap space, the Jets can take on salary in any deal involving Trouba if they can get what they want for him. That is going to start with a 1st round pick in this draft and the Rangers certainly have an extra thanks to the Jets themselves.
Of course, the Jets will want to stay competitive and replace Trouba. Jeff Gorton could also package Kevin Shattenkirk and his $6.65M cap hit in the deal to make room for Trouba. What’s really appealing to Winnipeg is that Shattenkirk only has 2 years left on his deal and the Rangers front loaded the contract enough that in 2020-2021 he’s only owed $4M.
Another option is Brendan Smith and another player along with that 1st rounder for Trouba. Or possibly, Marc Staal and the 1st if Gorton can get him to waive his modified no trade clause.
Hayes in Philly
When the Flyers hired Alain Vigneault the ball was set in motion for him to make moves for former players. Kevin Hayes was an absolute favorite of his and it would not surprise me if Hayes avoids free agency and takes a significant deal with the Flyers for 5-7 years.
That also raises the possibility of other deals between the Broadstreet Bullies and the Broadway Blues. While interdivisional trades are rare, they are not unprecedented and if a deal makes sense for the two teams it shouldn’t shock you.
So keep your eyes and ears open on these two teams heading into the draft.