Chicago Blackhawks: Signing Kevin Hayes in free agency a possibility

(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
(Photo by Harry How/Getty Images) /

The Chicago Blackhawks need depth at the forward position just as much as they need help on defense, Kevin Hayes would make both of those things better.

Once upon a time, the Chicago Blackhawks drafted two brothers by the names of Jimmy Hayes and Kevin Hayes. Jimmy played a little bit with the Blackhawks but he didn’t spend to much time with the team before finding himself playing with a few other teams and it hasn’t really gone his way since. He is currently a member of the Pittsburgh Penguins organization now but spent a good portion of the 2018-19 season in the AHL.

Now, Kevin on the other hand never played a single minute with the Chicago Blackhawks. After being drafted, he finished his career at Boston College and then exercised his right to become a college free agent. He signed with the New York Rangers on August 20th, 2014 and is carving out a really good NHL career. He has 92 goals and 137 points for 229 points in 381 NHL games.

New York found themselves selling at the 2019 trade deadline, so they traded him to the Winnipeg Jets for a first-round pick, a conditional fourth-round pick in 2022, and Brendan Lemieux. Winnipeg was ultimately eliminated in the first round of the Stanley Cup playoffs and now Hayes is an unrestricted free agent.

Hayes will have many options in free agency because he is a very good offensive player that is also very solid in his own end. He is the type of player who you would want on the ice in all situations. His offensive production is by no means elite but he can give you anywhere from 20-30 goals a season which would be just awesome for the Blackhawks second line.

If you signed Hayes and put him on the second line with Dylan Strome and Alex DeBrincat it could turn into one of the best second lines in the National Hockey League. He could also play the third line and nobody would bat an eye because that would just be even more depth. This would be a very good signing for the Blackhawks, especially since they have some good cap room going into the summer. With Hayes probably looking to get anywhere from 6-7.5 million, it is a decent commitment but Hayes is worth it.

In 2018-19  he had 19 goals and 36 assists for 55 points in 71 games. He was also traded mid-season which is never easy. That believe it or not was his career high in points, and if you put him with some of the offensive talent on the Blackhawks he might even be able to eclipse the 60 point mark.

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The Blackhawks have been rumored to be interested in Kevin back and if they do, it would be a great way to make letting him leave look better. The Blackhawks won their third cup in six years the following season but it might have been even better for both sides if he stayed with the team he drafted him. Now, they have a chance to make it right. Hayes would look awesome in a Chicago Blackhawks jersey.