Ranking the Rangers rumors on Draft Day

If you’re a hockey fan, you are dead smack in the middle of summer hockey rumors season. The NHL draft marks the midway point of this crazy period in hockey that concludes once Free Agent Frenzy dies down. If you’re a Rangers fans, this silly season really hasn’t stopped since the moment the organization announced a commitment to rebuild.

There are many rumors and stories out there. So many in fact, that not only are Rangers fans confused, but so are many of the beat writers as well. This is simply my attempt to give some probability to each.

Tavares on Broadway

The Rangers were ready to make a big offer if Tavares decided to go to the Free Agent market. There is still a slim possibility he will at least talk to some teams before free agency opens but the Islanders have proven they want to win. The hiring of Lou Lamoriello and Barry Trotz should be enough to bring JT back home. That and the fact only the Islanders can give him an 8 year deal means he isn’t going anywhere.

Probability: Extremely Low

Trading for Karlsson

Karlsson v Tavares (Getty Images)

This one has been widely talked about over the last few days. If the Senators feel forced to move him, and Karlsson is only willing to talk to 1 or 2 teams about an extension prior to a trade maybe the Rangers can get him at a reasonable price. The truth is that the Sens aren’t forced and they also want to have a team take on Bobby Ryan’s contract too. It just doesn’t make sense for a rebuilding team.

Probability: Low

Zuccarello Staying or Going

A week ago, Larry Brooks was reporting that Zuccarello was going to be at camp unless something happened by the draft. Yesterday, we heard that Zuccarello was being talked about at the NHL Awards show. So what happened? I believe once the rumors of Tavares likely staying put gained steamed (Barry Trotz said he spoke with upon his hiring), the Rangers revisited the possibility of moving the veteran forward.

Probability: 50/50

Rangers Trade either Namestnikov or Spooner at the Draft

This has been talked about for weeks and if the Rangers want to move a few spots from #9 to say #5 or #26 into the teens, they could use either as a sweetener. Even if they don’t utilize either for that tonight, it’s possible they could trade one or both before July 1st in another deal.

Probability: Extremely High

Kevin Hayes Being Traded

This is one name that has been talked about a lot recently and if the deal is right, Hayes could be on the go. He certainly represents Jeff Gorton’s best chance to either a) move into the top 3 in the draft, or b) land a defenseman like Doug Hamilton in Calgary.

Probability: Low

Kovalchuk Signs with Rangers

Kovalchuk (si.com)

What a long road Rangers fans have been on here. The latest rumors has an offer on the table from LA, with Boston, SJ, and Vegas also in the mix. Amazing how the Rangers have walked away from him, or have they? Gorton said he would revisit and I’ve yet to hear that has changed. So let’s just say that Kovalchuk may still have one more conversation with Gorton before going elsewhere.

Probability: 50/50

Rangers Stay the Course and select 9th

The Rangers aren’t likely to make all three picks in the 1st round. At least not all three picks in their current slots. However, it is very likely the Rangers would move either the 26th or 28th selection to move into the teens of this draft and nab another highly touted player in this deep pool.

Probability: Extremely High

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