An update on Blackhawks prospect Kevin Hayes, plus the latest on the Devils, Bruins and Wild.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc reports the Kevin Hayes era with the Blackhawks could be over before it begins, as his agent says it’s not likely his client will sign with the club before the deadline of midnight Saturday. If so, Hayes will become an unrestricted free agent. Kuc reports Hayes, 22, spent the past four seasons at Boston College, where he blossomed into one of America’s top college forwards. Agent Robert Murray didn’t rule out the ‘Hawks signing his client if he becomes a UFA. As Murray will only receive an entry-level deal regardless of which club he signs with, money isn’t the issue. Murray claimed it had nothing to do with the Blackhawks trading Kevin’s brother, Jimmy, to the Florida Panthers, but declined to say what the sticking point was.
CALGARY SUN/CALGARY HERALD: Flames GM Brad Treliving declined to comment about speculation he’s interested in signing Hayes, whose Boston College linemates Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold have signed with the Flames.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Treliving might not be able to discuss it, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he pursues Hayes in hopes of reuniting him with his college linemates. We’ll find out soon enough if the Flames land him.
NJ.COM: Rich Chere reports Devils GM Lou Lamoriello once again squashes rumors about Ilya Kovalchuk returning to the club this season by reminding everyone the earliest the 31-year-old forward ca return is age 35. Chere also reports Devils winger Mattias Tedenby will now play for HV 71 of the Swedish Elite League.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kovalchuk has given no indication he wants to return before finishing his contract with SKA St. Petersburg.
CSNNE.COM: Joe Haggerty, responding to a reader’s question about which defensemen the Bruins might move this season, speculates David Warsofsky and Adam McQuaid are the likely trade candidates. While they could also move Johnny Boychuk , Haggerty believes GM Peter Chiarelli prefers to re-sign Boychuk. He can see Warsofsky and McQuaid being shipped to teams in need of blueline depth.
STARTRIBUNE.COM: Michael Russo reports Minnesota Wild GM Chuck Fletcher claims he’s happy with the state of his goaltending. Niklas Backstrom (abdominal surgery) and Josh Harding (multiple sclerosis) are both doing well, and Fletcher notes both perform well when healthy. That could eliminate the need to sign a free-agent goalie in case one or both weren’t ready for training camp.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Fletcher mentioned Ilya Bryzgalov, who finished last season with the Wild, among the free-agent options. Martin Brodeur was also linked to the Wild, but if Backstrom and Harding are good to go and with Darcy Kuemper also in the system, the Wild won’t have any need for another netminder.