PHILADELPHIA (CBS) — And so it begins. The Flyers kicked off what could be a busy offseason, acquiring the rights to center Kevin Hayes in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets Monday night.
Hayes, 27, will be an unrestricted free agent on July 1, so the deal gives the Flyers an early window to strike a deal with the center. The Flyers sent Winnipeg a 2019 fifth-round pick for the rights to the 6-foot-5, 216-pound center.
In 2018, Hayes recorded a career-high 55 points — 19 goals and 36 assists — in 71 games with the Rangers and Jets.
Hayes previously played with new Flyers’ coach Alain Vigneault from 2014 to 2018 in New York. He posted a career-high 25 goals under Vigneault in 2017-18.
In his career, Hayes has a total of 92 goals and 137 assists for 229 points in 381 games.
This will be general manager Chuck Fletcher’s first offseason at the helm of the Flyers since he took over after Ron Hextall’s mid-season firing. Fletcher has vowed to upgrade the Flyers’ uneven roster and has mentioned second-line center as a need for the Flyers.
Hayes, if re-signed, could fill that role while Nolan Patrick develops his all-around game.