Friedman on trade interest in Hayes, Zuccarello

Where do things stand on the trade front with Kevin Hayes and Mats Zuccarello?

Elliotte Friedman had a Friday afternoon radio hit on Edmonton’s 630 CHED, and shared his latest insight on the New York Rangers forwards.  

“Kevin Hayes, there’s a lot of interest,” stated Friedman. “He’s a center, he’s played pretty well this year. I don’t think the Rangers are going to have any difficulty moving Kevin Hayes; and as a matter of fact, they’ll probably be able to have a bit of an auction for him.

“I think one of the things they’re going to wait to see, though, is - for example - is Duchene available. And if he’s not, boy, that drives up the price for Hayes a lot.

“Jeff Gorton is a guy who likes to wait, and I think some other availability could determine what the situation is with Kevin Hayes.”

Hayes is on a one-year, $5.175 million contract and can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.

“As for Zuccarello, he’s started to heat up,” continued Friedman. “David Quinn had an interesting comment about him the other day. He talked about how Zuccarello - and Zuccarello has admitted that not being signed by the Rangers took a really emotional toll on him. He loves being a Ranger. Sort of like we talked about with Simmonds.

“But he’s going to get traded. He’s starting to play well. He’s got a proven playoff history. Last year they traded Grabner for a second and a prospect - I think that’s kind of what they’ve looked for.

“I believe that you guys at least looked at it. I don’t know that you’re going to do it. And I don’t think you guys are doing somebody like him for a first-round pick or a Puljujarvi. I think if you doing that, it’s for somebody with team control.

“But I’ll tell you this: I’ve watched a lot of Mats Zuccarello over the years. I realize he’s a little bit older now. You could do a hell of a lot worse than him over a short run and a playoff run.”

Zuccarello is in the final season of a four-year, $18 million contract, he does not have any trade protection, and he can become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly