The Colorado Avalanche already won one championship in their ‘window’, which would typically be considered a job well-done for most franchises. With Nathan Mackinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar all under the age of 28, getting eliminated in the first round of the 2023 NHL Playoffs by the Seattle Kraken just isn’t good enough. Still, the Avalanche are a little tight on cap space and a little top-heavy in their forward group. That’s where Philadelphia Flyers forward Kevin Hayes comes in.
After a promising 2021-22 season, promising center Alex Newhook took a half-step back all around in 2022-23. For the Colorado Avalanche, two 30-point seasons and zero goals in the last two playoffs combined won’t be good enough. At a minimum, the 16th overall pick in the 2019 draft has shown that he can be, at the very worst, a decent bottom-six center. Newhook is also still just 22 years old, and won’t have the pressure to perform like a star right away in Philadelphia.
If the Flyers manage to get Newhook in a swap for Kevin Hayes, it would be a home run by Daniel Briere and co. Newhook has largely been a victim of the Avalanche’s success, and eating 50% of Hayes salary is an appropriate price to pay for getting the Avalanche to bail on a star talent so quickly. Plus, when it comes down to it, Newhook is probably better than most guys that would be available in the second round of the draft, even in this year’s draft. The Avalanche get to extend their window at a very reasonable price, whilst the Flyers get a desperately needed young center in exchange for a player that is no longer of any value to their team.