Chicago Pick Kevin Hayes Eyes Escape – To NY?
Kevin Hayes has NHL teams salivating at the prospect of adding him to their organization. Unfortunately, it comes at the expense of one the league’s premiere franchises – the Chicago Blackhawks.
At this point and time, Hayes is looking to go the route of Justin Schultz (D), who burned the Ducks for the Oilers. Odd? You bet, but not when you look at the players desire to play in the league sooner rather than later.
That is the case with Hayes, who is 22 and doesn’t see an immediate future on the talent laden Blackhawks. Sadly for the Hawks, trading him for a pick would be too difficult as the other team will have no assurances that they can sign Hayes.
Scott Powers of ESPNChicago was told by an NHL agent, “I’m sure the Blackhawks are going to be disappointed if he walks for free.” And by mid-August, that is exactly what appears will happen.
So who are the teams that have expressed interest? Well, the NY Rangers are at the top of the list, as are the Boston Bruins, Calgary Flames and Florida Panthers.
The Rangers are in an obvious cap bind, but with the expected cap increase next season and some expiring 1 year deals on older players like Lee Stempniak and Matthew Lombardi, Hayes could be in the lineup by 2015-16.
Boston would be a hometown choice for the Massachusetts native, while Calgary and Florida would mean playing in the NHL this October.
So what route will Kevin Hayes take? We will find out by August 16th.