Even with the trade rumors, the New York Rangers are dressing Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello, and Adam McQuaid Thursday.
Hayes, Zuccarello and McQuaid are all dressed for warmups.
— Colin Stephenson (@ColinASteph) February 21, 2019
The thought around the league was New York would scratch one (or all) of Hayes, Zuccarello, and McQuaid with their names being mentioned in trade rumors of late. Teams tend to do this around the trade deadline to prevent an injury from ruining a potential trade.
What even added fuel to fire was New York recalling center Lias Andersson from Hartford. Most around the team felt Andersson would be the guy to take place of Hayes after the deadline to see what he can do at the NHL level.
But here we are and the Rangers will not scratch any of the players who are on the trade block which could mean a few things. First off, it could mean a deal is not close enough for the general manager Jeff Gorton to consider sitting one of the three veterans.
Secondly, perhaps the team is giving Hayes and Zuccarello one last home game prior to being moved.
If the latter is the case, then that is some poor asset management considering the risk involved in doing so. Gorton is a smart general manager so that probably is not the case but still dressing all three is a head-scratcher.
While Hayes and Zuccarello are two important parts to the Rangers lineup, there is honestly no reason they should be on the ice. Look at Ottawa and how they are scratching all three of their assets on the block. It’s just a risk not worth taking.
We’ll see how things shape out from here on out, but for now enjoy watching Hayes, Zuccarello and McQuaid at the Garden one more time.