Former Flyer Kevin Hayes traded to Pittsburgh – what it means for Philadelphia moving forward

Flyers' Kevin Hayes
Philadelphia Flyers’ Kevin Hayes reacts after an NHL hockey game against the Anaheim Ducks, Tuesday, Jan. 17, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Former Philadelphia Flyer Kevin Hayes made a significant move from the St. Louis Blues to the Pittsburgh Penguins on the second day of the NHL Draft. This trade saw the former New York Ranger, move to another Metropolitan team and it has some interesting implications for the Flyers.

A history of Kevin Hayes & the Flyers

Hayes had an impressive start in Philly before having a rough couple of seasons. He was then sent in a “blockbuster” trade to St. Louis last year. This was supposed to be the trade of the summer, but ultimately ended up being something as simple as dealing a struggling forward to a team that was trying to get faster and younger.

Flyers' Kevin Hayes
Philadelphia Flyers’ Kevin Hayes, second from right, celebrates after his goal with Joel Farabee (86), Tony DeAngelo (77) and Noah Cates during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Winnipeg Jets, Sunday, Jan. 22, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Derik Hamilton)

Although St. Louis may not have been thrilled about this trade, it was a win as Philadelphia paid half of Kevin Hayes’ salary on his remaining contract. Hayes had a tough season in St. Louis as he regularly remained on the third line before being healthy scratched during the Blues’ playoff push. It didn’t take long for him to be sent to another team as a result, with the Blues looking to relieve cap space and focus on getting younger through free agency.

Philadelphia now pays half of Hayes’ salary, as he signed a seven-year contract with the team in 2019. As part of the prior trade to the Blues, the Flyers are still paying about $3.5 million for the next two seasons. Philadelphia needs cap relief as the organization bought out Cam Atkinson before day one of the NHL Entry Level draft. With Hayes back in the Metropolitan, a familiar face will hit the Wells Fargo Ice more than once this upcoming season if he plays.

AP Photo/Matt Slocum