With the trade deadline less than two weeks away, the future of New York Rangers’ Kevin Hayes is getting clearer by the day.
1. Told no recent talks have taken place between Rangers and Kevin Hayes' camp. Ergo, trade is anticipated; 2. Have to figure it won't be too much longer before NYR pull Hayes, Zuccarello from lineup to protect against injury.
— Larry Brooks (@NYP_Brooksie) February 12, 2019
Not having talks with one of their best players only signals the inevitable, Kevin Hayes most likely will not be a Ranger by the end of the season. This may come as a surprise, though, considering how everything the team was publically saying is how they want to keep him.
Hayes entered 2018-19 signing a one-year deal in the summer with the hopes of signing a long-term some point during the season. He made it well known how he loves it in New York and how he wants to be a Ranger moving forward.
When thinking of a potential package for the 26-year-old, you can only hope New York would receive a first-round draft pick and more considering the type of year Hayes is having. He is just seven points away from breaking his career high in assists while establishing himself as one of the more dominant puck possession players in the game.
The Rangers find themselves only nine points out of a playoff spot entering play Tuesday night, but jumping four teams seems to be a daunting task at the moment. That, along with the letter fans received a little over a year ago, leads you to believe moving Hayes is in the team’s best interest.
As Brooks notes, be on the lookout for general manager Jeff Gorton to instruct head coach David Quinn to keep Hayes, and even Mats Zuccarello, out of the lineup to protect them from a potential injury that could help prevent a trade.
Trade deadline season is upon us, let the rumors swirl in one of the most exciting times of the year.