Latest on now-former Blackhawks prospect Kevin Hayes, and a round-up of trade and free agent rumors from the blogosphere.
CHICAGO TRIBUNE: Chris Kuc reports the Blackhawks have parted ways with prospect Kevin Hayes after failing to reach an agreement on a contract. The Blackhawks will receive a compensatory pick (54th overall) in the 2015 NHL Draft. Hayes agent, Robert Murray, told Kuc on Thursday it’s possible Hayes could still sign with the ‘Hawks but Kuc expects he’ll sign with a team that can offer him a regular roster spot and playing time.
CHICAGO SUN-TIMES: Mark Lazerus suggests the Calgary Flames (Hayes’ former Boston College linemate Johnny Gaudreau and Bill Arnold belong to the Flames) or the Florida Panthers (Hayes’ older brother Jimmy plays for them) could be options for the 22-year-old right wing.
SI.COM: Allan Muir also lists the Flames, Panthers and San Jose Sharks as possible destination for Hayes. Muir also cites a report in the Providence Journal listing the Colorado Avalanche, New York Rangers, Boston Bruins and Arizona Coyotes as other potential suitors.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: It appears Hayes will sign with the club that will give him the fastest track to the NHL. The Flames, Avalanche, Coyotes and Panthers could be his best bets.
Apart from the Hayes speculation, there’s little else kicking around ye olde NHL mainstream media rumor mill. So, here’s a look at what’s bouncing around the blogosphere. Enjoy!
The Philadelphia Flyers expressed interest in Ottawa Senators winger Bobby Ryan.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Waaaaay too early to start up the Ryan trade rumors. Besides, everyone knows the Flyers’ real need is for a top-two defenseman, not another scoring winger. They’re already very deep up front and have no reason to add another high-salaried forward.
The Calgary Flames and Pittsburgh Penguins have interest in Ryan Malone.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: Why? Malone’s current legal issues aside, it’s painfully obvious over the past couple of season his performance has declined. Age (he turns 35 in December) and injuries have caught up with him.
The Washington Capitals could have interest in Chicago Blackhawks forward Patrick Sharp, but have to clear cap space first.
SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Capitals biggest need is a proven second-line center. Sharp can play center but he’s far more effective on left wing. Don’t see how he’s a fit with the Caps.