Color Me Confused

In Blueshirt Bulletin Main Blog, News by Jess Rubenstein

Kevin Hayes

Color me confused, the New York Rangers are going to pay Brady Skjei 5.25 million a year for six years but not Kevin Hayes. Now before you say anything I am a bigger fan of Brady Skjei then Kevin Hayes. Yet I find myself scratching my head over this.

If a player is expected to earn his raises then tell me what Hayes has done wrong not to be paid at least the same as Skjei? Yet the team has reportedly been trying to move Hayes and wanting top value in return. Huh? You don’t don’t want to pay top value but want it in return. Not to mention it is not like this roster has many 25 goal scorers on it either. Why not try harder to keep Hayes?

Makes little sense to take someone who won more than 50% of his faceoffs and move him to the wing. Reportedly the idea is to try Lias Andersson at the center spot which also makes little sense. when you already have an established player for the role. Let Andersson first prove that he can play at the NHL level full-time before giving him Hayes spot.

If I am Hayes I would not sign any deal with the Rangers, take them to arbitration. Given Hayes going 25-19-44 and the other factors, it will be hard for him to lose in arbitration. Force the team into the position of having to accept the award or let him walk as a free agent. Should the Rangers say they will keep Hayes then Hayes should announce to the world his intention is to become a free agent next July 1st.

The moment that Hayes signs any one year contract with the Rangers then the clock starts on when the Rangers trade him. And what kind of trade value will Hayes have? Please have a great season so we can get rid of you, doesn’t that sound kind of dumb?

Trade a 26-year-old who hasn’t reached his prime yet when you are trying to rebuild. I could understand the Rangers mindset if Hayes was a 30-year-old but sorry not at 26. I’m not a Hayes fan but it makes no sense not trying to keep him long-term.

I have more faith in Hayes improving than I do Mika Zibanejad and Zibanejad has four more years on his contract. Plus the word says that Mats Zuccarello plans to go home after this season.

As for Brady Skjei as much as I am a fan of his, I don’t like giving defensemen six-year deals. It isn’t about how old he will be when the contract ends, it is about a position that has so much wear and tear on the body that their play falls off quicker than forwards.

I also question whether it is a good idea to pair Skjei with Kevin Shattenkirk. Shattenkirk needs a partner who thinks defense first and if they pair Skjei with him then Skjei’s potential might not be reached. Skjei’s game is based upon his skating, not his defense so why shut him down by pairing him with a major defensive liability? Put Shattenkirk with newly signed Fredrik Claesson who does think defense first.

Of course, these are just the idle thoughts since nobody knows what really is happening with the Rangers.

At last some hockey as the 2018 SPORT CHEK World Junior Showcase gets underway on Monday. The Rangers will be represented by Joey Keane on Team USA White and NilsLundkvist of Sweden. K’Andre Miller had to back out due to an illness. The USA games on Thursday, Friday and Saturday will be telecast on the NHL Network.