9/22/17| On the first day of training camp, Alain Vigneault said that the organization has a "tremendous amount of faith" in Mika Zibanejad and Kevin Hayes.
He added "we believe they can get it done and at the end of the day they have to."
Jeff Gorton said early in training camp that both players want bigger roles and that moves the team made have opened up opportunities.
8/26/17 | In speaking about both Kevin Hayes and Mika Zibanejad, Alain Vigneault said that there is a lot of "upside that hasn't been tapped into yet." (NHL.com)
Vigneault used Hayes in different ways last season than he did in the prior two seasons.
On breakup day, Vigneault said that Zibanejad is at a place where he needs to put things together.
Adam Rotter: There is most certainly a level, or maybe two, of higher play that both of these guys can reach and that will come if they can find consistency and bring the same game night in and night out. Zibanejad has number one center potential and is going to be given that chance. Hayes showed last year that he cane be a more complete player and he will likely take on more of the Derek Stepan role of playing in all situations. The Rangers have invested in Zibanejad and gotten him long-term at a pretty good price to assume that role as a number one center. Hayes is an RFA after the season and if he takes another step toward consistency than the Rangers may look to do the same with him.