The Rangers have about three weeks and 28 days to figure out what they are going to do with Adam McQuaid, Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello and Pavel Buchnevich. The news has told us that the Rangers are going to trade Kevin Hayes, Mats Zuccarello and probably Adam McQuaid. Which really hurts most if not all long-time Rangers fan Zuccarello has been a fan favorite for so many years in New York and Kevin Hayes is becoming a fan favorite as he continues to be a more integral part of this team.
The headline may show that I would like to see Buchnevich and Zuccarello traded over Hayes but in all honesty I would like to see Zuccarello stay but I do understand this is a business and decisions need to be made. I am all in favor of getting rid of Buchnevich though. He is an RFA at the end of his entry-level contract he would cost very little to re-sign for most teams and the Rangers really do not need him.
Mats Zuccarello is 31-years-old yes he is definitely nearing his mid-thirties and we are all aware of that, he is valuable to any top contending playoff team so it makes sense to get rid of him, it sucks to see but it makes sense. The Rangers can probably receive a decent amount for Zuccarello, probably a first rounder and mid-level prospect.
Now, my case to get rid of Buchnevich and keep Hayes. Hayes is 26-years-old he has already gone through his years of “adjusting” to the NHL speed, level, style of play and has solidified himself as a top-six forward in the NHL. If the Rangers are looking to the future why would they not want to keep Hayes? He is the perfect age, in his prime, and for young players that are going to be coming into the Rangers organization by the time they develop and get adjusted to the NHL game Hayes will probably be 29-30 years old, which is again a great age to help teach these young players, be a play-maker for these young guys, and if Hayes re-signs his contract will probably end by the age of 31-32 so we get his best years out if him then he moves on.
Let’s be honest Buchnevich has not panned out to be anything the Rangers imagined, he has been a healthy scratch this year, and previous years and has not quite adjusted to the NHL level yet, therefore why would they continue to give this guy a shot, sign him back and get nothing out of him when they can probably trade him get a 2nd or 3rd round pick and move on from that situation. Buchnevich has played one full season with the Rangers and aside from his 43 point season last year he has been extremely inconsistent when he is in the line up. I know I am not the only one who believes this about Buchnevich but the 23-year-old has not been what the Rangers expected him to be, he may still be developing but I’d rather not take a shot on Buchnevich when the Rangers already have a solidified solid 45-50+ point guy in Kevin Hayes. Trading Hayes may be “best” for the re-build but the Rangers have already chosen five first rounders in the last two years, they have another one this year, two second rounders (maybe a 1st this year if Tampa wins the Cup) so really how much can the Rangers bank on draft picks to make them a legitimate playoff team again.
Call me crazy but I’d rather have a guaranteed top-six winger/center, someone who can be effective with whoever he plays, is a leader, veteran and a good player for young players to play alongside then a player who is 23-years-ole, someone we have a 147 game report on that shows some major flaws and inconsistency in his game, can only play with top guys to be effective and is a question mark as to what he can be int he future.
Say the Rangers trade Zuccarello, Buchnevich, McQuaid, don’t re-sign Cody McLeod or Fredrik Claesson that will leave 9.62 million to re-sign Hayes, Pionk and Deangelo.