Anthony Di Marco of The Fourth Period reported that Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes had come up in trade talks with the Columbus Blue Jackets. But, are there other teams that might make more sense for the veteran?
If Kevin Hayes is traded by the Philadelphia Flyers, he will have played for his fourth different team in a five year span. The longtime Ranger was dealt by New York to the Winnipeg Jets during the 2018-19, and Hayes spent no more than 26 games with the franchise before signing with the Flyers. In his first season in the Orange and Black, Hayes scored 13 points in 16 playoff games. Since then, it’s been all downhill.
The last time Kevin Hayes and the Philadelphia Flyers made the playoffs, the Carolina Hurricanes also made the playoffs, thanks to the qualifying round in the 2019-20 pandemic playoffs. Now, the Carolina Hurricanes are the top dogs in the Metropolitan Division.
This may seem like an underwhelming return for Kevin Hayes on the surface, but the Philadelphia Flyers do not have a second-round pick in this year’s draft. After factoring in the salary retention and Hayes’ age, this is more than a fair deal for both sides. At the time of this writing, the Carolina Hurricanes have $24.1 million in cap space, but key contributors like captain Jordan Staal, Paul Stastny, Jesper Fast, and Shayne Gostisbehere are all free agents. Next summer, Sebastian Aho, Teuvo Teravainen, Martin Necas, Seth Jarvis, Brady Skjei, Brett Pesce, and Jalen Chatfield will all need new deals as well. The Hurricanes could easily give a player like Ryan Suzuki a crack at a full-time roster spot, but considering how well they performed without Andrei Svechnikov and Teravainen, it would be smarter to lean into their window and add a veteran second-line center like Hayes.