Danny Briere is not messing around when it comes to trying to rebuild this Flyers team. He already pulled off one big move by sending Ivan Provorov to the Blue Jackets in a three-team deal. And there are numerous names on the Philadelphia roster that could be gone before next season as well.
One of the biggest names was Kevin Hayes and the Flyers have moved on from him as well. Hayes was pretty aware of the situation at hand, mentioning how he ”picked up the message” from the team months ago when he spoke at the end of the season. The team was getting younger and Hayes wasn’t exactly in good graces with John Tortorella either.
There were rumors that Columbus was interested but that seemed to end when the Blue Jackets added in both Provorov and Damon Severson. With a 12-team no-trade clause, Hayes had a decent opportunity to choose where he wanted to go. Briere kept his cards close, stating that the Flyers still valued what Hayes brought and how a center like him was hard to replace.
Briere also noted that if another team came calling, they would love to add another first round pick. Enter the St. Louis Blues, a team who held three first round picks. Turns out the two teams have talked about a potential deal for a few days. It was expected to be a massive deal that had multiple parts and players involved, including Travis Sanheim. But with Torey Krug, the reported piece from the Blues, not waiving his NTC, which is his right, things fizzled out to a simple cap dump.
After all of the reports of a blockbuster type deal, it’s simply just Hayes to the Blues for a 2024 sixth round pick. The Flyers will also be retaining 50% of Hayes’ deal. A pretty underwhelming return after everything that was reported. It was an up and down season for Hayes despite the fact that he nearly hit career highs in goals and points. He was the Flyers all-star but there were times this season where it was clear he wasn’t meshing with John Tortorella.
He was benched at the beginning of the season, moved away from center, demoted down the lineup at times and had minutes taken away toward the end of the year. Things seemed promising when Hayes first came to Philadelphia. Fast forward to now and the Flyers needed to retain half the money in his deal in order to get a team to take on his contract.
It’s the nature of the business sometimes. Big deals get leaked and end up falling apart. In this case, Krug used his contractual right to reject the move, thus forcing the Flyers to pivot in what the return would be. In this case, it is simply cap space, though Hayes will still be on the books for the next three seasons. Could Philadelphia have simply not made the trade due to the original deal falling apart? It seems like it was too late to turn back.
Hayes’ time in Philadelphia had many twists and turns, but it was simply time to move on.