Kevin Hayes

The New York Rangers seem to be waiting out on dealing Kevin Hayes until a comparable player from Ottawa gets moved first.

Frank Curto

The New York Rangers seem content on waiting to trade center Kevin Hayes so that they can see what other players get that are similar in style to the veteran forward.

The key comparison seems to be Ottawa Senators’ Mark Stone. The right wing is 26 years old and is currently in his seventh season in the National Hockey League.

He made his debut for Ottawa in 2012-2013, appearing in four games. He played in 19 games the following season and became a full-time NHL player beginning with the 2014-15 season.

In the 341 games he has appeared in since the beginning of the 2014 season, Stone has recorded 117 goals along with 298 points. He will also be and an unrestricted free agent at season’s end.

The comparison of Kevin Hayes and Mark Stone are similar. Both have only played for one team, both are considered the leaders of their respective teams, and both appear to be on the path of being traded as rental players for a run at the Stanley Cup.

The numbers as a whole seem to favor the Ottawa right winger. Stone has 306 points in 364 games played for the Senators.

New York Rangers
photo Courtesy

The Rangers Kevin Hayes has played two fewer seasons then Stone, with his total points 94 less than Stone though he has played in only seven more games then Hayes over their careers up untill this point of the season.

New York Rangers
Hockey Reference

Through the hockey gods, Stone and Hayes are now a chemistry experiment. The cause and effect of each other’s possible transactions will affect the other transactions—which could be why neither has been moved yet.

The Rangers have been pretty much on the trading Hayes path since the two sides signed a one-year deal last summer. Unable to come up with a long term agreement, the Rangers and Hayes agreed on a deal that in all likely hood would lead to a trade by the deadline of Feb. 25.

Hayes wants a long term deal which he feels he has earned. The center has done everything asked of him by his team and this is what could be his best contract year.

General manager Jeff Gorton is stuck in the mud with this scenario. He has a semi-star player who deserves a big contract while playing on a team that could be two more years away from contending for a deep playoff run. Signing Hayes to a long term deal may not be in the teams best interest when the next two years could be considered a waste of money by the organization.

Ottawa is interfering again

Funny how things turn out.

It’s the second year in a row where an Ottawa Senators player is causing the Rangers to rethink or delay a trade move. Last season when the Rangers were considering trading defenseman Ryan McDonagh the Senators had Erik Karlsson also on the trade block.

This season, the Rangers and Senators seem once again to wait for who may flinch first. Should the Rangers make a deal prior to Ottawa (which is probably what Mark Stone is hoping for), the market will be set based on that lone transaction.

Kevin Hayes
ESNY Graphic, Getty Images

The Senators making the first move might not work out as well for the Rangers. Stone’s numbers are better. There are plenty of teams that would love to get their hands on either of these players for Cup run right now.

This situation is not new to the Rangers. Normally, they are the team looking for the rental player. For a change, one of the hottest commodities in the NHL is wearing a Rangers sweater.

It a tough feeling knowing every team wants a player who, in essence, the team has no need for right now. Hockey can be a cruel game not only on the ice but in a player’s mind.

With nine days until the trade deadline, who will flinch first? The chess game has begun and the pawns are two players ready to skate for the Stanley Cup but would have probably been content to stay where they are and help each team grow.

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A graduate of St. John's University class of '91. I have been a fan of the New York Rangers since the days of Peter Puck. Founder of Ranger Proud, the Facebook page that covers all news, notes, pre /post-game stats, and player quotes. I can be reached at