Kevin Hayes on New York Rangers' Radar?

Kim Klement-US PRESSWIRE

The New York Post reports the Rangers have interest in the recent BC grad

Kevin Hayes is just under a month away from likely becoming an unsigned free agent on August 15, and will, at that point, likely have a long line of suitors lined up to bid for his services. As NHL roster rules require that he sign a two-year contract worth about $800,000 per year plus a limited (but significant) amount of incentive money, it's not likely that money is going to be a factor in the final decision - it will be about where Hayes wants to play, and/or where he thinks he has the best chance to make the NHL.

The teams most rumored since Hayes and the Blackhawks failed to come to an agreement back in the spring have been the Boston Bruins, the Calgary Flames, and the Florida Panthers, all three for obvious reasons. The Flames and the Panthers both have rosters Hayes could likely crack right away, with Florida having the benefit of reuniting Hayes with older brother Jimmy, who thrived after being traded from Chicago to Florida last season. And with the Boston Bruins in a precarious salary cap situation, hometown Kevin Hayes is likely one of the best free agents they could afford if they are looking to bolster competition for holes on their third and fourth lines.

According to the New York Post, the Stanley Cup finalist New York Rangers are also mulling entering the Kevin Hayes sweepstakes. The Rangers, like the Bruins, are looking to patch a few holes on the roster of a strong contender within the constraints of the salary cap. (One of the holes on New York's roster is on the fourth line, where fellow BC Eagle Brian Boyle departed for Tampa Bay.)

Hayes, who is continuing to negotiate with the Blackhawks, is expected to be pursued by numerous NHL clubs. Several industry sources report they believe the Rangers will be among a handful of finalists in the bidding for the 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed shooting right wing, who played two seasons with Chris Kreider, should he become a free agent...

Hayes, who is eligible/required to sign a two-year Entry Level deal regardless of whether he signs with Chicago or becomes a free agent, would have a shot to make the Rangers with a strong training camp. The Blueshirts appear to have vacancies on their third and fourth lines.

There hasn't been much solid news to be found about Hayes since it was announced that he wouldn't be attending Blackhawks development camp, although this HockeyBuzz article about the Flyers' lack of forward depth in the prospect pool could lead them to be a suitor as well.

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