The Philadelphia Flyers are making moves ahead of Wednesday’s NHL Draft. Philly traded forward Kevin Hayes to the St. Louis Blues in exchange for a 2024 sixth-round pick, the team announced on Tuesday.
The Flyers are also retaining 50% of Hayes’ $7.142 million salary in the deal.
Hayes just completed his fourth season with the Flyers after signing a seven-year contract with the franchise in the summer of 2019. After a strong first season in Philadelphia, Hayes has battled health and off-ice tragedy (his brother and fellow NHLer Jimmy Hayes died in 2022 at 31), and his production has taken a step back as a result. Over the last three years, Hayes has tallied 40 goals and 76 assists in 184 games.
In 2022-23, Hayes did have somewhat of a bounce-back season by tying his career high in assists with 36 and posting 54 points, which is the second-highest total in his eight NHL seasons. If Hayes can play at that level more often in St. Louis, this deal will prove to be a bargain for the Blues, especially at just over $3.5 million per year.
Hayes has three years remaining on his contract, and he joins a talented forward group in St. Louis that already includes Jordan Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Brayden Schenn. That foursome should be able to provide plenty of offense for the Blues.
The Flyers were able to move out some salary and create more flexibility as they continue their rebuild under new general manager Danny Briere. There is a good possibility that more moves are on the way for Philadelphia this summer.