The New York Rangers have several pending UFAs that’ll be of note to teams around the league before February 25.
Darren Dreger had a Tuesday morning radio hit on Toronto’s TSN 1050, and there was a few brief Rangers-related tidbits as part of a larger overall trade discussion.
“I’m in Winnipeg, and I look at this New York Rangers team that I’m going to watch tonight, and Adam McQuaid is likely going to get traded,” noted Dreger. “There’s more developing interest in Mats Zuccarello. Go down the list of pieces that they may end up trading out.”
Dreger was asked if he thought the Maple Leafs would have any interest in McQuaid.
“I can’t say they wouldn’t,” allowed Dreger. “He’s a character guy. I know the Rangers like him a lot. In fact, I wouldn’t be surprised if he gets traded and then potentially signs back with the Rangers in the off-season.
“Obviously we’ve got to include Kevin Hayes, the big center, into any trade speculation around the Rangers as well.
“It’s a good question. I guess I would wonder, though, does Toronto look internally and see what they’ve got coming or what they have now and say, ‘Well, what’s McQuaid going to provide for the remainder of the year that is going to help us in the bigger picture. He’s a depth guy. He’s a character guy. He’s a physical guy. But I wouldn’t say that he’s what Toronto needs at this point. But he does have some edge. So you have that element, which wouldn’t hurt.”
McQuaid is finishing up a four-year, $11 million contract, which comes with a $2.75 million cap hit, and he can become an unrestricted free agent this summer.
Zuccarello is in the final season of a four-year, $18 million pact, which includes a cap hit of $4.5 million. He can also become a UFA July 1.
Hayes is on a one-year, $5.175 million pact, and he is also in a position to become a UFA after this season.
Dreger mentioned Hayes late last week, and also wondered about the possibility of the center being dealt to help another team’s playoff run and then circling back to sign with the Rangers in the summer.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly