February 12, 2019 | 9:10pm ET
RANGERS SET TO TRADE ZUCCARELLO, HAYES?
Mats Zuccarello, right wing
The New York Rangers appear fully prepared to trade pending unrestricted free agent forwards Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, Hayes’ camp has not had any recent talks with the Rangers about a contract extension, fueling the flames that a trade is in the offing.
Brooks also believes the Rangers may soon pull Hayes and Zuccarello from their lineup as the deadline nears closer.
Several teams have expressed interest in both Hayes and Zuccarello, both of whom rank in the top-five of TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List.
It’s unclear what the exact asking price for either player is, but Hayes is expected to command a higher price that may include a first-round draft pick as part of a package. The Post suggests Zuccarello could be moved for a draft pick and/or a prospect.
1. Told no recent talks have taken place between Rangers and Kevin Hayes' camp. Ergo, trade is anticipated; 2. Have to figure it won't be too much longer before NYR pull Hayes, Zuccarello from lineup to protect against injury.— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) February 12, 2019
“Nothing has changed. Everyone knows I want to stay here, but if they trade me, I can’t control that,” Zuccarello told The Post Tuesday afternoon. “I’m just trying to have the most fun I can, work as hard as I can and play the best I can to help us win games. That’s what I can control.”
The Winnipeg Jets, Minnesota Wild and Carolina Hurricanes are among the teams reportedly interested in Hayes. The Jets are also believed to be eyeing Matt Duchene and Mark Stone of the Ottawa Senators.
In 46 games with the Rangers so far this season, Hayes has registered 13 goals and 25 assists for 38 points.
Zuccarello has picked up nine goals and 23 assists for 32 points in 41 games with the Rangers, to date. The Pittsburgh Penguins, Nashville Predators, Vegas Golden Knights, Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins are among the teams interested in him.