After failing to reach a contract with the Chicago Blackhawks, former BC Eagle Kevin Hayes is officially on the market, and could be a possible winger option for the Bruins.
The Blackhawks and Hayes had to come to an agreement by 11:59 p.m. ET on Friday, but the team announced that no deal would be reached and he would become an unrestricted free agent.
Chicago took Hayes with the No. 24 overall pick in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. By not signing Hayes, the Blackhawks will receive the No. 54 pick in the upcoming 2015 draft.
Hayes was a star at Boston College, playing on a line this past season with Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold. He finished second to Gaudreau in the NCAA in points with 65, while coming in fifth in goals with 27. He was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Memorial Award as the top player in college hockey, which was eventually won by Gaudreau.
The 6-foot-2, 201 pound Hayes can play both center and right wing, a position that the Bruins have an opening for after losing top line right wing Jarome Iginla in free agency. Loui Eriksson is expected to compete for that top line spot, meaning his former home on the third line could be open for someone like Hayes.
According to ProHockeyTalk’s James O’Brien, possible landing spots include the Bruins, the Calgary Flames, and Florida Panthers. Hayes’ older brother, Jimmy, currently plays for the Panthers, while the Flames have Hayes’ old BC linemates Gaudreau and Arnold on their roster.
Having played at The Heights since 2010, being back in Boston could provide a comfort level for Hayes that would make the Bruins an attractive landing destination. But only time will tell where the talented forward decides to pursue his career in the NHL.