Friedman: ‘There’s going to be interest’ in Rangers’ UFAs

How quickly might the New York Rangers move out some of their pending unrestricted free agents?

The question was put to Elliotte Friedman during the latest edition of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast, wondering whether the timeline might be sooner or more toward the trade deadline.

“I think there are teams trying now for Hayes,” indicated Friedman. “Nick mentioned on Saturday night that Winnipeg could be a fit. I think there are teams that are going to try for Hayes. I think the ball is totally in the Rangers’ court. When do they want to do it.

“That was a heck of a win in San Jose the other night. They had every excuse to blow that game in overtime when the Sharks’ Hertl scored with what, 1.3 seconds remaining in regulation, and they won.

“That is going to be totally up to Jeff Gorton. I think he could move Hayes at any time. He could probably, if he wanted to, say if he wanted to trade Zuccarello, he could move him at any time. There’s going to be interest in those guys, it just comes down to when they decide they want to go through with it.”

Podcast co-host Jeff Marek wondered aloud about the possibility of Kevin Shattenkirk being moved.

“Shattenkirk will be harder because he’s got term,” considered Friedman. “But it’s not ridiculous term. He only signed for what, four years? So there’s only three years left. But I think that’s going to be harder.

“But those two are both UFAs, and they’ll have no trouble moving those guys.

“It really looks like, though, they’ve made the decision they’re not going to sign Hayes though. So, I mean, anytime.”

Hayes is on a one-year, $5.275 million contract, and can become a UFA this summer.

Zuccarello is in the final season of a four-year, $18 million contract, and does not have any trade protection written into that pact.

Shattenkirk is in the second campaign of a four-year, $26.6 million contract, and has a modified no-trade clause, no-move clause.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly