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Hayes Unlikely to Sign With Blackhawks By Aug. 15th Deadline

Recently, I’ve expressed my excitement over the Rangers ability to afford my current man crush Dan Carcillo now that they’ll likely have around $1.5 million of cap space after eventually re-signing John Moore. However, one player I’ve been negligent in mentioning, who they can also target, is Blackhawks draft pick Kevin Hayes.

According to Hayes’ agent, the 2010 first-round draft pick, likely will not sign with Chicago before the Aug. 15 deadline and become an unrestricted free agent (via ESPN Chicago)…

“We’re likely going to wait until Aug. 16 and see where things are at that point,” agent Robert Murray said. “It’s absolutely nothing against the Blackhawks. We just feel this gives Kevin some options.

“This has been a difficult decision for Kevin. He’s identified himself with the Blackhawks. He was drafted by them. His brother [Jimmy] played for them. But after his college career, he had a chance to step back and look at everything.”

Two weeks ago, Larry Brooks at the New York Post indicated that the Rangers were keeping an eye on the 6′ 4″, 216lb forward’s situation and could make a play if he becomes available.

The 22-year old Hayes was third in the NCAA in scoring last season with 27g, 38a and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award.

Even if Hayes becomes an unrestricted free agent he’d still need to agree on an entry level deal with a maximum cap hit of $900,000 per year.

…i’m not even going to try and pretend I know anything about Hayes. I get that everyone has a hard-on for a 6′ 4″ forward who scouts predict can play in the NHL this coming season and become a top six forward, but I’ve got to seriously question the mindset of a young player who wants nothing to do with the Blackhawks organization. Apparently, winning is over-rated in this kid’s mind.

…sure, he’ll have a tough time cracking a talented Chicago line-up this season and the idea of playing with his brother, who was ironically traded by the Blackhawks to the Panthers last season, must be appealing, but if he’s so good, shouldn’t he be able force Joel Quenneville to find a place for him in the line-up? Plus, wouldn’t you want to develop within a winning environment instead of picking up bad habits while playing in a losing atmosphere in Calgary or Florida (both reportedly potential bidders)? Sounds like a kid who’s more interested in taking the easy way out. And as we fans of the Rocky series know, “There’s no easy way out. There’s no short cut home”…

…having said that, if this kid, who played with Kreider at Boston College, falls in the Rangers lap for a mere $900K per, I’ll be more than happy to overlook those shortcomings and tell you what a genius Sather is for bringing in another stud NCAA free agent.

Kevin

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