By PowerPlayCJ @powerplaywithcj on July 17, 2014
The Chicago Blackhawks invested a 2010 first-round pick in former Boston College forward Kevin Hayes, but have been unable to sign the rising star. Hayes will be a free agent if the Hawks cannot sign by Aug. 15 and every team in the NHL will be putting in calls for him. While every team in hockey would love to add him, these five teams offer the best fits for both sides as Hayes looks to become an established NHLer as soon as possible.
The Canes have plenty of openings and offer, without question, the quickest route to the NHL. His versatility could make him a viable third line center or power winger in the top two lines alongside Staal brothers and Jeff Skinner.
The Avs have a young and exciting corps and an opening in the wake of Paul Stastny’s defection. They also have plenty of ties to Hayes as one of their most renowned scouts Neil Shea is a Massachusetts native and, like Hayes, a graduate of Boston College.
The Bruins are still looking for their first Massachusetts born star and Hayes could fit that bill. The team’s lack of depth in the wake of Jarome Iginla and Shawn Thornton bolting town could give the former Nobles Prep star a spot in the lineup for his hometown team as early as opening night.
Hayes’ former linemates “Johnny Hockey” Gaudrea and Bill Arnold are in the Flames’ system and a reunion in Alberta could be in the cards. Factor in GM Brian Burke’s love for New Englanders and big forwards, this could be a potential match waiting to happen.
The fact his brother Jimmy is a rising star with the Panthers is only the tip of the iceberg that could lure the Dorchester, MA native to South Florida. The lack of depth with the Panthers means Hayes would find himself on the Panthers’ opening night lineup alongside his older brother. Look for the power forward from the Neponset Valley to be taking his talents to South Beach this fall.
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