7/29/18 | Rick Carpiniello, of The Athletic, confirms that there is a "significant gap in contract talks and that if Hayes signs a one-year deal it's likely he will be traded before being a UFA next summer.
7/28/19 | According to Larry Brooks, Kevin Hayes is likely to sign a one-year deal with the Rangers that would allow him to be a UFA next summer. (NY Post)
He writes that there has been "little traction" in talks for a long-term deal and that Hayes is believed to be seeking a deal between $5.5 million and $6 million for five or six-years. (NY Post)
Brooks suggests that a one-year deal would likely see Hayes get traded before the deadline, possibly for a late first round pick. (NY Post)
Hayes' future with the Rangers has been a topic for most of the offseason.
Hayes is scheduled for an arbitration hearing this week.
Adam Rotter: With all the forwards the Rangers have drafted and acquired it was tough to see where Hayes fit in the long run. He could certainly play this season with the Rangers and maybe next season but at that point he would likely be moved in the same way that Derek Stepan was. That situation would involve a long-term deal that the Rangers don't seem eager to really give him.
If the Rangers and Hayes are at a point where a one-year deal is the likely outcome, both sides should be actively looking at trade possibilities. The Rangers would look for some level of comparable value for Hayes while Hayes and his agent would look for a place he'd want to sign a long-term deal with. There isn't a lot of time before Thursday's arbitration hearing, but there is likely something that can get done that would see the Rangers get more than a future first or second round pick and instead, some assets that could make an impact this season. It's a tough situation because Hayes has definitely developed into a very reliable two-way center and important player for the Rangers. But with Mika Zibanejad being younger, signed and with more offensive potential, the Rangers will likely keep him as the center that they build around with Lias Andersson and Filip Chytil. Maybe things workout and Hayes does come to terms on a long-term deal, but in any situation it's hard to see Hayes with the Rangers past the next year or two.