New York Rangers close to horrible trade involving Kevin Hayes

NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 31: Kevin Hayes #13 of the New York Rangers skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
NEWARK, NEW JERSEY - JANUARY 31: Kevin Hayes #13 of the New York Rangers skates in warm-ups prior to the game against the New Jersey Devils at the Prudential Center on January 31, 2019 in Newark, New Jersey. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

As we inch another day closer towards the NHL trade deadline on February 25, the writing is becoming clearer on the wall of what is about to happen with Kevin  Hayes and the New York Rangers.

The New York Rangers are set to play the Winnipeg Jets tonight, a sizable team that is poised to make another legitimate cup run.

The Rangers will be showing up to the rink with what seems to be the Jets top trade target: 6’5” center, Kevin Hayes, who has been the Rangers best player in every facet of the game for the past season and a half.

With Hayes’ size and skill, of course the Jets would want him. He would fit right in up there. But as far as what he means as a Ranger, it is so much more.

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I’ve beat the whole “Kevin Hayes is the most important Ranger both now and for the future” argument like a dead horse.

I don’t need to, nor am I inclined, to rehash all of those points again. I am simply saying here that Jeff Gorton is about to make a huge mistake.

At this point, the days seem limited for Hayes on Broadway. Gorton has not begun any negotiations with Hayes’ agent, Bob Murray, and we are less than two weeks from the axe.

The rumors continue to gain traction and all signs point to a gut-wrenching farewell.

What seemed to be such common logic about the case for resigning Hayes for the past year all seems to have just slipped out the window.

The main logic being that with the season Hayes has had, you are not going to get equal value for Hayes at this point, especially with a murky market. He is more valuable resigned than as an asset.

No, I don’t care about your young player and first round pick you want.

Gorton is just shopping every asset he has with no regard to what their value to the team is as leaders for the future.

Personally, I have always felt that Hayes will be a great player for a long time. I do not agree with this recurring argument that he will decline at the latter of a long-term contract in New York once he reaches 30 and 31. Not with his size and his hands.

What makes trading Hayes look so moronic at this point is the fact that Gorton could have traded him over the summer when he was an RFA in need of a long-term deal, but he decided not to.

He resigned him for a year to prolong the decision based on two things: giving Hayes’ consistency some more evaluation and the development of the young centers.

Well, Hayes has passed in flying colors in the consistency test and as far as the young centers go, Filip Chytil has been good, but is playing as a winger on the third line. Brett Howden faded out of relevancy before his injury and Lias Andersson is in Hartford.

Ok, so therefore, wouldn’t this just mean to resign Hayes? Apparently not.

Simply trading him because he is a pending UFA makes no sense when the only reason he is a pending UFA is because you just signed him to a one-year deal seven months ago, Jeff.

The only reason you didn’t give him the deal he deserves is to evaluate him off the two reasons I just listed. He passes the test and you still trade him?

I get you wanted to avoid salary arbitration, but what was the point of this? I am left utterly confused with this seven month pending decision.

I’ll tell you one thing: once Hayes leaves the picture, these last couple months of hockey will be an abomination. We saw what happened the first four games he was out after January 2. Also, don’t forget, Mats Zuccarello is more than likely shipping out too along with at least another piece or two.

We thought last season’s post deadline play was pitiful? Good luck Henrik.

Despite what owner James Dolan says about not trying to tank, it sure seems like Gorton is about to try and tank. After all, that is what so many people want anyway, right?

dark. Next. Georgie is pushing the King

Maybe he plans to resign some of these guys come July 1., who knows? It’s easy to talk about that now before a player goes on a cup run and then is offered a lot of money in a new city. Money they likely won’t be offered in New York with the rebuild going on.

Perhaps I’ll put my foot in my mouth and Hayes won’t be going anywhere (more than unlikely). Either way, I’ve learned over the years what will be will be and all we can do is watch how things plays out.

But something tells me that he will be the player we kick ourselves about down the road when he is lighting it up on a new team and Gorton passed on signing him long-term.