Could the Blue Jackets & Flyers laid the groundwork for an offseason trade surrounding Kevin Hayes?
As the 2023 NHL trade deadline has now come and gone, the Philadelphia Flyers did not stick to the plan that GM Chuck Fletcher described on last Tuesday. One that would categorize them as sellers.
That plan, well lack there of one, transpired as Flyers fans hoped it would.
Instead of selling any major piece, Chuck Fletcher couldn’t even sell his own UFAs. Which, for every other GM that was selling, was a breeze.
Before the deadline, the Flyers made three moves.
Isaac Ratcliffe to Nashville for “future considerations”. Zack MacEwen to LA for Brendan Lemieux and 2024 5th round pick. Patrick Brown to Ottawa for 2023 6th round pick.
In addition to those moves, Chuck Fletcher said himself yesterday that bigger conversations happened. But, admitted its hard to move guys with term & money at the deadline.
Again, other GMs in the NHL, were able to with ease.
But, beside the fact, the one interesting name that generated some news before the deadline was Kevin Hayes.
Hayes, who is in the 4th year of his seven $50 million dollar contract signed in 2019, seems to be out of favor in the Flyers plans moving forward.
It’s not much a knock on Hayes, who is still a very valuable forward in the NHL. It more has to do with the Flyers plan changing and the 30 year old forward not lining up with their timeline.
On the post deadline special of 32-Thoughts, some news surrounding Kevin Hayes was mentioned. In particular, one team – the Columbus Blue Jackets.
It’s not a surprise why the Blue Jackets would be rumored with Hayes. His college roommate and good friend Johnny Gaudreau just signed a 7 year, $68 million dollar contract in Columbus last offseason.
Elliotte Friedman added that in addition to Gaudreau, Hayes is great friends with Rick Nash, who is Director of Player Developmental for the Blue Jackets.
Hayes’ contract is also very team friendly going forward after this season. With his actual salary dollars $500K less than his cap hit next season and $2 million less in the final two years of the contract.
But, here is the kicker. Jeff Marek went on to say this about the potential of a deal between the Flyers and Blue Jackets.
“Wouldnt be surpirsed to see it happen in or around the draft,” Marek said of a potential Hayes to Columbus deal.
This would not be the first time Columbus and Philadelphia struck a deal at the draft in recent history.
In 2021, the Flyers traded Jake Voracek to Columbus for Cam Atkinson.
This time around, a trade between the two could look very similar to the one in 2021. But, may have to involve more than just the players.
If the two sides can come together on a deal, the Flyers will more than likely be retaining salary in the deal. In addition to the possibility of taking a player back as well.
One name to keep an eye on would be Boone Jenner.
Jenner, who is in the 1st year of a four year $15 million dollar contract signed in 2021, has a lot of ties to Flyers head coach John Tortorella.
Jenner was one of the leaders in Columbus while John Tortorella was the head coach of the Blue Jackets. As well as, Jenner broke out in the NHL in Tortorella’s first year as head coach.
So, even though yesterday was a total and complete debacle by the Flyers. There could have been some good created with the potential to unload a big contract this offseason.
Photo Credit: Boston College Athletics