Report: Kevin Hayes to narrow down finalists; speak to 4-5 teams Monday

Aug 17, 10:58 AM

Boston College standout Kevin Hayes will do some soul-searching Sunday. 

Hayes' inability to reach terms with the Chicago Blackhawks, who drafted him 24th overall in 2010, led to the rare opportunity of pursuing unrestricted free agency without ever having played in the league. 

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound forward scored 27 goals and 65 points in 40 games with the Eagles last season. 

He has reportedly received interest from the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins, but signing with the Calgary Flames may make the most sense. His collegiate linemates - Hobey Baker-winner Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold - are already in the Flames' system. 

Aug 19, 11:59 PM

Report: It's 'not looking good' for Bruins on Kevin Hayes

Aug 19, 11:59 PM

As the Kevin Hayes contract saga continues to drag on into the middle of the week, it looks as though another team has fallen off his list of possible destinations.

Bruins general manager Peter Chiarelli and coach Claude Julien reportedly met with the Boston College standout last week.

Hayes, a first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 (24th overall), became an unrestricted free-agent after the Blackhawks failed to sign him on Aug. 15.

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

Aug 19, 11:58 AM

Report: Rangers 'in the thick of the bidding' for Kevin Hayes

Aug 19, 11:58 AM

Another day, another team in hot pursuit of unrestricted free agent Kevin Hayes.

According to Mark Divver of the Providence Journal, "the Rangers are in the thick of the bidding for Kevin Hayes" as of Tuesday.

Join the club.

And the hockey world continues to wait with bated breath, as one does when an attractive option remains on the open market in mid-August.

Aug 18, 9:34 PM

Report: Bruins GM, coach make pitch to Kevin Hayes

Aug 18, 9:34 PM

With free-agent forward Kevin Hayes expected to choose his new NHL club "by day's end" on Monday, the Boston Bruins reportedly sent their coach and general manager to meet with him last week in an attempt to woo the former Boston College standout.

Hayes, a first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks in 2010 (24th overall), failed to reach a deal with the club prior to the four-year deadline on Aug. 15, allowing the 22-year-old to become an unrestricted free agent.

In 40 games during his final college campaign, Hayes posted an impressive 27 goals and 38 assists for 65 points.

Aug 18, 3:36 PM

Report: Kevin Hayes expected to make decision Monday; Avalanche named frontrunners

Aug 18, 3:36 PM

The Kevin Hayes sweepstakes are expected to come to a conclusion Monday. Mark Divver of The Providence Journal reports the 22-year-old unrestricted free agent will make a decision "by day's end."

As many as five teams are believed to be in the running to sign the Boston College standout, but Divver further reports the Colorado Avalanche are believed to be the frontrunners.

The Calgary Flames and Boston Bruins have been named as other serious contenders, with Hayes's decision likely to come down to where he will be able to get the best combination of playing time and salary.

Aug 15, 9:20 PM

Report: Avalanche pursuing free agent Kevin Hayes

Aug 15, 9:20 PM

The Colorado Avalanche have a young, skilled team that exceeded expectations last season, forcing a game 7 in the first round of the playoffs. They're reportedly looking to add more young talent to their roster.

Kevin Hayes decided to break away from the Chicago Blackhawks organization and look for a better opportunity elsewhere. Although the Calgary Flames appear to be the favorites, the Avalanche are throwing their hat in the ring.

Hayes had his best season with Boston College in his last year, scoring 65 points in 40 games.

Feature photo courtesy of REUTERS/Alexander Demianchuk

Aug 15, 5:56 PM

Blackhawks GM confirms Kevin Hayes will become a free agent

Aug 15, 5:56 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks could not come to terms with the 24th overall pick in the 2010 NHL entry draft, center Kevin Hayes, and will be compensated with the 54th overall pick in 2015.

General manager Stan Bowman released a statement saying, "We offered Kevin what we believed was a generous and fair contract. Unfortunately, he felt it was in his best interests to become a free agent."

Hayes is rumored to be eyeing the Calgary Flames as his landing spot, with two of his linemates from Boston College already in the team's system. Flames general manager Brad Treliving has been mum on the subject.

In his fourth season with Boston College, Hayes scored 65 points in 40 games.

Aug 15, 2:57 PM

Flames GM on Kevin Hayes: 'At this point, we can't talk about it'

Aug 15, 2:57 PM

With Kevin Hayes set to become an unrestricted free agent after failing to come to an agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Calgary Flames would appear to be a natural fit for the Hobey Baker award finalist.

Not only is Calgary a rebuilding team where Hayes could receive plenty of ice-time, but his linemates at Boston College – Hobey Baker-winner Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold – are already in the Flames' development system.

But connecting those dots is not enough to get Calgary general manager Brad Treliving to tip his hand regarding Hayes.

"I've heard that natural assumption for a while," Treliving told The Calgary Herald on Thursday. "I see where people would make the connection. But at this point, we can’t talk about it."

Treliving's reluctance is understandable considering the NHL's harsh penalties for discussing interest in players whose rights belong to another organization. Hayes will be an unrestricted free agent on Saturday unless he and the Blackhawks can reach an agreement, so Treliving's tone is likely to change in the next 24 hours.

“We’ll see what happens in the next day or so,” Treliving said. “Obviously, there’s still time for him to sign in Chicago, but that’s something the player would have to decide.”

Aug 15, 11:00 AM

Report: Kevin Hayes will become unrestricted free agent at midnight

Aug 15, 11:00 AM

Kevin Hayes' agent does not appear confident his client will sign with the Chicago Blackhawks prior to Friday's deadline, which means he will become an unrestricted free agent at midnight.

NHL rules stipulate a team has four years to sign draft picks who attend college, but the player must be signed by Aug. 15 of the fourth year or he will be free to negotiate a deal with other teams.

Hayes' agent Robert Murray called negotiations with Chicago "a long, thought-out process," but would not rule the Blackhawks out once Hayes hits unrestricted free agency. Chicago remains interested in Hayes' services, according to director of amateur scouting Mark Kelley.

Hayes was a Hobey Baker Memorial Award finalist in his senior year with Boston College after recording 132 points in 142 career NCAA contests.

If Hayes signs with another team, the Blackhawks will receive a compensatory selection in the 2015 entry draft – the 24th pick of the second round. Hayes was the 24th overall pick in 2010.

July 29, 11:49 PM

Kevin Hayes' agent confirms college star headed for unrestricted free agency

July 29, 11:49 PM

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That standout Boston College forward Kevin Hayes, a 2010 first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks, was unlikely to sign with the club has been a poorly kept secret in the hockey world for several months. 

On Tuesday, his agent Robert Murray all but confirmed that Hayes, 22, intends on hitting the open market in just over two weeks time.

"We're likely going to wait until Aug. 16 and see where things are at that point," Murray told Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago. "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."

Hayes scored 27 goals and was second among all NCAA players with 65 points in his senior season with Eagles. Because Hayes remained a "bona fide college student" through graduation, the Blackhawks' exclusive negotiating rights expire following August 15 per article 8.6(c)(i) of the 2013 NHL/NHLPA collective bargaining agreement.

July 22, 6:44 PM

Reports: Avalanche, Bruins and Penguins are the favorites in Kevin Hayes sweepstakes

July 22, 6:44 PM

Tap here to access our NHL Tracker, which includes offseason rumors, trades and signings.

As forward Kevin Hayes' deadline to sign with the Chicago Blackhawks approaches, Mark Divver of The Providence Journal reports the Colorado Avalanche have emerged as front-runners to sign the 22-year-old should he indeed become a free agent.

Hayes spent the past four years at Boston College, meaning folks in New England may be more abreast of the situation than most. 

At the same time, Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada suggests two Eastern Conference teams may have a leg up on the competition:

For a while now it's been assumed that if 2010 first-round pick Kevin Hayes decides not to sign in Chicago, his first choice would be Florida. That's where his brother Jimmy plays. There are rumblings, though, that the Panthers may choose not to go this route. That makes the favourites Boston (where he went to school) or Pittsburgh (Tom Fitzgerald is a cousin). If he does not sign with the Blackhawks by Aug. 15, he will be a free agent.

As mentioned below, the New York Rangers are also believed to be interested.

The deadline for Hayes to sign a contract with the Blackhawks is Aug. 15, but more and more it look as though he will hit the open market.

July 20, 7:09 PM

Blackhawks' GM Bowman on unsigned Hayes: 'We've done everything we can'

July 20, 7:09 PM

The Chicago Blackhawks have a clear message for unsigned 2010 first-round pick Kevin Hayes: the ball is in your court.

With an Aug. 15 deadline looming, the two sides remain unable to reach an agreement on an entry-level contract; but according to general manager Stan Bowman, the Blackhawks have done all they can to make it work.

"We're still waiting," Bowman said, per the Daily Herald. "Status quo from our end. We've been hopeful that they want to sign with us, and at this point (agent) Bob Murray might be in a better position on what they're thinking, but we're hopeful that he wants to be part of our organization.

"But if he doesn't, then we'll move past that. At this point it's his choice to decide what he wants to do. We've done everything we can. We have to hope he wants to be a Blackhawk."

Hayes spent the past four years at Boston College, and would be free to sign with any team as of Aug. 16. While Chicago hasn't been ruled out, it seems as though the 22-year-old may be looking for a situation that may provide him with more playing time right from the get go.

July 17, 10:07 AM

Report: Rangers interested in Blackhawks' 2010 1st-round pick Hayes

July 17, 10:07 AM

The New York Rangers are monitoring Kevin Hayes' contract negotiations with the Chicago Blackhawks in hopes that they can poach the Boston College product, per Larry Brooks of the New York Post.

The Blackhawks have until Aug. 16 to sign their 24th-overall selection in 2010, or he will become a free agent without making a contribution to the organization. 

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound winger played two seasons with Chris Kreider before emerging as a Hobey Baker finalist in his senior season for the Eagles, scoring 27 goals and 65 points. 

Hayes skipped Chicago's prospect camp last week after failing to broker a deal.

July 12, 11:28 PM

Blackhawks' 2010 1st-round pick Kevin Hayes won't attend prospect camp without contract

July 12, 11:28 PM

When the Chicago Blackhawks open their summer prospects camp Sunday, there will be one significant player missing: forward Kevin Hayes, drafted 24th overall back in 2010.

The two sides continue to negotiate an entry-level contract, and, according to Scott Powers of ESPNChicago, if a deal is not reached by Aug. 15, the 22-year-old forward will become an unrestricted free agent.

Hayes is considered a top prospect within the Blackhawks organization; as a senior at Boston College in 2013-14, he registered 27 goals and 38 assists with a plus-34 rating, and was a finalist for the Hobey Baker Award. 

He also played for Team USA at the 2014 IIHF World Championship, scoring one goal and adding an assist in eight games.

Agent Robert Murray cited organizational depth as a factor in negotiations; based on the Blackhawks' current depth chart and the fact they're a contending team, Hayes would likely begin his professional career in the AHL if he signed with Chicago. 

Despite that, Murray said "Of course [Hayes] could still sign with Chicago," but the clock is ticking with just over a month left a deal to be reached.