February 2, 2019 | 9:38pm ET
JETS EYEING HAYES AS DEADLINE NEARS
Kevin Hayes, forward
The Winnipeg Jets are expected to be aggressive between now and the Feb. 25 trade deadline, as GM Kevin Cheveldayoff is believed to be in the market for a top-six forward, preferably a centre.
The Jets have been linked to such forwards as Derick Brassard, now with the Florida Panthers, Matt Duchene of the Ottawa Senators, Wayne Simmonds of the Philadelphia Flyers and Kevin Hayes of the New York Rangers.
During Saturday night’s “Headlines” segment on Hockey Night in Canada, Nick Kypreos reported the Jets are most definitely eyeing Hayes, who is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
Kypreos noted the Nashville Predators are also interested in Hayes, and that both the Predators and Jets are among the teams willing to move their first-round draft pick in this summer’s NHL Draft in the right deal.
Hayes, 26, has a $5.175 million salary cap hit. He currently sits No.4 on TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List.
The Rangers have been exploring the market on Hayes, right wing Mats Zuccarello and defenceman Adam McQuaid, among others.
The Jets have significant cap space ahead of the deadline and can add a significant body, or two, if they so choose.
Cheveldayoff made a splash last season, picking up centre Paul Stastny prior to the trade deadline and seems poised to make some noise this month, as well.
Hayes has tallied 10 goals and 25 assists for 35 points in 41 games with the Rangers so far this season.