Would a Hayes for Duchene swap benefit the Rangers rebuild efforts

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Last week I wrote a post detailing the need for the Rangers to move certain aging veterans and other borderline players off the roster. I was met with a balance of agreement and backlash for that piece.

The fairest of the criticisms were centered around not selling off players like Chris Kreider for prospects, which I never actually said. While I believe Kreider and/or Skjei could bring in a promising return, neither will net a superstar or a prized prospect.

Another issue people had was if you trade off all those players, why would anyone want to sign here. Of course there is no guarantee any star free agent would choose rebuild over a Cup run. And a full cast of kids would all but guarantee no shot at the likes of Artemi Panarin.

One player we know could be traded is Kevin Hayes. Unless the Rangers and he can reach an agreement before the trade deadline in February he will need to be moved, and as a rental they won’t get much.

What about a swap between two players in similar situations?

Matt Duchene and the Ottawa Senators are not making much progress on a new contract. What if the Rangers and Senators swapped these two this month and tried to negotiate extensions to stay? Should they be unable to do so, they can always move them as rentals before the deadline.

Why make such a move?

The Senators need some defensive help and Kevin Hayes is a two-player. He would help their PK and is a year younger than Duchene. New York would get a better offensive player that would help their power play and if he were to stay, aid in luring in free agents as well. Duchene has more draw power than Kevin Hayes.

Duchene is a proven offensive commodity and has 42 points in 37 games this year. He has scored over 50 points in 6 of his first 8 years in the league including a 70 point campaign in 2014.

Both players will be looking for deals in the 4-5 years at over $7M as a starting point. Hayes could view Ottawa as a great opportunity to play a starring role and Duchene who can play the wing as well as center would be a focus on the PP.

It’s just a different approach on Hayes than just selling him off as a rental. Sound off in the comments section below.

Anthony Scultore has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL since 2014. His work also appears at... More about Anthony Scultore

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