The Pittsburgh Penguins are rumored to be one of the finalists to land heavily coveted prospect Kevin Hayes.
Hayes, who became an unrestricted free agent after being unable to come to an agreement with the Chicago Blackhawks, is said to be choosing between the Boston Bruins, Colorado Avalanche, Nashville Predators, New York Rangers, and Penguins.
The Pens have reportedly given their pitch to Hayes, but are now being considered long shots to add the talented Boston College product, per William DePaoli of Inside Pittsburgh Sports.
DePaoli learned from an NHL source that the Penguins offered an immediate chance to compete for a top-six position – specifically with Evgeni Malkin on the second-line. However, scouts are envisioning Hayes sliding into a winger slot on the third with Brandon Sutter.
Although the Pens remain in the hunt for Hayes, there’s no indication on how aggressive they’re pursuing him. And, as it stands, the Avalanche, Bruins, and Rangers are the top horses in the Hayes sweepstakes.
Pittsburgh is also still in the derby arguably due to assistant general manager Tom Fitzgerald‘s family ties with Hayes (cousin), and assistant general manager Bill Guerin‘s relationship with Hayes’ agent, Robert Murray.
While there’s a number of clubs eyeing Hayes, personal assumption leads me to believe he’s is seeking a guaranteed spot on an NHL roster, and an important role, possibly within the top-six forward group.
The 2010 first-rounder recorded 65 points last season at Boston College, which ranked second in Division 1. So, needless to say, Hayes can make an impact instantaneously.
Hayes has not informed anyone as to when he’ll make his decision.
Tags: Pittsburgh Penguins