The Boston Bruins pursued Kevin Hayes at the 2018 NHL Trade Deadline on Feb. 25, and the Bruins are set to woo the current Philadelphia Flyers center and Dorchester, MA native once again. The Bruins would like Hayes to come home and play for the team he grew up cheering. Friday, a source close to Hayes told Boston Hockey Now that there is “mutual interest” between the Bruins and Hayes.
The former Boston College star was dealt to Philadelphia from the Winnipeg Jets for a fifth-round pick on June 4.
Philadelphia holds exclusive rights to negotiate with Hayes until June 23 when the NHL free agency negotiating window opens, however a source close to Hayes indicated it’s unlikely that Hayes will sign with Philadelphia. The Bruins have long coveted the 27-year-old center whose brother Jimmy played two seasons for the Bruins from 2015-17. According to the source, the Bruins were also close to acquiring Hayes before he was dealt to the Jets from the New York Rangers at the trade deadline.
The Bruins roster could undergo significant changes this summer. The team’s interest and pursuit of Hayes make sense, as Boston Hockey Now reported earlier Friday, Boston could trade 33-year-old center David Krejci this offseason.
Hayes finished this past regular season with 19 goals and 35 assists split between the New York Rangers and Winnipeg. He had two goals and one assist in six playoff games. Hayes set career highs in 2016-17 with the Rangers when he had 32 assists and 49 points. The following season he scored a career-high 25 goals.
Hayes was drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks 24th overall in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. Boston Hockey Now will have more on the developing story as Philadelphia attempts to woo Hayes but his eyes may already be on his hometown and the chance to play for an immediate Stanley Cup contender.