Although he was drafted by the Blackhawks, Kevin Hayes never saw a game in the red sweater. He was signed to the New York Rangers in free agency before his rookie season and remained there for 5 seasons until this past trade deadline.
Now, it seems that the Blackhawks are out to get their 2010 1st round pick back on their roster. According to Elliotte Friedman, the Blackhawks, Philadelphia Flyers, and Colorado Avalanche are having a look at upcoming free agent Hayes. But Hayes would do wonders if he returned back to Chicago.
In his time since being drafted, Kevin Hayes has played 5 seasons in the NHL with 381 games, 92 goals, and 137 assists (229 points). He’s racked in 100 PIM and averages 15:42 over the course of his career. He’s won 45.4% of the faceoffs he’s taken. He’s also riding a +28 rating.
The Blackhawks have 4 forwards going up for free agency this off season: Chris Kunitz, Marcus Kruger, Brendan Perlini, and David Kampf. Kunitz is likely to retire this year so filling in the void there could be key for the Blackhawks. Putting Hayes on would be a perfect fit. The team has a projected $20.4 million in cap space so they can afford Hayes, whose last contract was $5,175,000. With that money, the Blackhawks can resign players like Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat.
Acquiring a player like Hayes is key to the Blackhawks success. He’s a big hitter and brings good hockey sense to the ice. With a goal scorer and assist provider, the Hawks could see a chance of making the playoffs again.
Featured Image: Paul J. Bereswill