Dreger: Rangers haven’t decided if they’ll trade Hayes

Kevin Hayes can become an unrestricted free agent in July, but the New York Rangers are still weighing their options on that front.

Darren Dreger had a Wednesday evening pregame TV hit on NBCSN before the Rangers and Pittsburgh Penguins met, and - following a question on Mats Zuccarello - was asked if there would be trade interest in Hayes.

“No question,” declared Dreger. “I mean, he’s 6-foot-5, he fits into that age dynamic, again, at 26 where you’re adding a player who has some experience, but you’re not too worried about the fact that he’s in the back nine of his playing career.

“And in saying that, the New York Rangers haven’t decided officially on whether they are going to trade Kevin Hayes because Hayes is valuable to the New York Rangers now and in the future. But it’s all dependent on what is being offered, the interest that’s going to continue to grow in Hayes and other players leading up to the 25th trade deadline.

“So I think they’re going to gauge that interest, and if the interest is there and it’s a deal that makes sense, they’ll move Kevin Hayes. Otherwise they’ll explore the possibility of extending his contract.”

Hayes is on a one-year, $5.175 million contract and would be eligible for trade protection on his next deal.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly