McKenzie updates Rangers’ trade scenarios

The New York Rangers are likely to move several pieces out before February 25, and we have an updated price range for those assets.

Bob McKenzie had a Wednesday evening TV hit on NBCSN, and was asked which Rangers might be available on the trade market.

“Well, we’ve been talking about it for weeks now: Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, Adam McQuaid,” began McKenzie. “Those three guys are on expiring contracts; two forwards and obviously a veteran, hard-rock defenseman in McQuaid. And let’s update kind of the trending in terms of the talks as far as the New York Rangers go.

“In Kevin Hayes, I think they expected that there was going to be this huge market for him - and that’s not to say that there’s not. But I think they’ve been a little bit surprised lately at how much action Mats Zuccarello has been getting because he’s been playing so well on that top line with Mika Zibanejad and Chris Kreider. And the fact that he’s playing so well and he’s healthy has really primed the market a little bit.

“Now, there’s a lot of Rangers fans saying, ‘That’s great. Now we’ll be able to get a first-round pick for Mats Zuccarello.’ It won’t work that way because of his age. He’s much more likely to generate a second-round pick and perhaps a prospect. But given where they might have been a month ago with Zuccarello, that’s encouraging news.

“Now, the price on Hayes is expected to be higher because he’s a younger player. And in both instances, the Rangers have had some cursory talks in terms of contracts with both guys. They’re not just pushing them out the door saying, ‘We don’t want these guys,’ but there is a rebuild going on and ostensibly they would like to move them if they get the right assets back.

“Now there is a school of thought too, ‘Oh, you know what. You know what would be a perfect scenario - we’ll trade both of these guys, we’ll get a first-round pick for Hayes, we’ll get a second-round pick and a prospect for Zuccarello, and then on July 1 they can come back and they can do deals and they can be Rangers again.’

“You know, everybody dreams that dream in Technicolor in the National Hockey League, but it so rarely happens. Usually once the guys are out the door, if they’re out the door, then that’s that.

“Now, if they don’t get what they want on Hayes, then I could easily see them saying, ‘You know what. We’re not going to trade them just for a bag of pucks or a soft deal at the deadline. We will keep him and we will try and sign him.’”

Hayes is on a one-year, $5.175 million contract.

Zuccarello’s cap hit is $4.5 million, and he’s wrapping up a four-year, $18 million pact.

McQuaid is in the final season of a four-year, $11 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $2.75 million.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly