After months of "will he/won't he" with the Blackhawks and days of "where will he?" on the Twitterverse, multiple sources on Twitter have reported that Kevin Hayes has signed with the New York Rangers.
Driving to Dublin. Playing 36 at Country Louth tomorrow. Have played 108 holes so far and reported Irish Kevin Hayes signed with Rangers— John Buccigross (@Buccigross) August 20, 2014
Sources tell me Kevin Hayes has signed with the New York Rangers.— Danny Picard (@DannyPicard) August 20, 2014
John @Buccigross reports from Dublin on Ray Ferraro's twitter feed that @KevinPHayes12 has signed with @NYRangers #blueshiirts— Ray Ferraro (@rayferrarotsn) August 20, 2014
Speculation was rampant the last few days on where Hayes The Younger would start his NHL career, with the Bruins, Flames, Panthers, Avalanche (??), and Rangers all rumored at one point or another to be a frontrunner. With rookie pay caps, the offers were all likely pretty similar, but the Rangers' need for a right winger and the perceived opportunity Hayes has to play in the NHL early on were probably the biggest factors that won out.
After missing much of his junior season with a brutal leg contusion that required surgery, Hayes decided to return for his senior year in an attempt to improve his NHL stock. He exploded for a monster 27-38--65 season in 40 games last year alongside Bill Arnold and Hobey Baker winner John Gaudreau, and for a while the pipe dream of a line reunion looked like it just might come to fruition in Calgary.
Kevin Hayes won't be lonely in New York -- he'll join another Eagle on the Blueshirts, Chris Kreider, who was a fellow member of BC's 2012 National Championship team.
Congratulations to Kevin on his contract, and here's hoping for another Eagle or two on the Stanley Cup in the next few years.