Kevin Hayes sent the message out on Twitter on May 28, in the midst of the Chicago Blackhawks’ Western Conference Final series.
Just landed in Chicago. Can't wait for game 5 tonight @NHLBlackhawks v the kings.— Kevin Hayes (@KevinPHayes12) May 28, 2014
Hayes was a spectator at the United Center for that particular night. The Blackhawks are still hoping Hayes is a potential future player for them.
General manager Stan Bowman said he is “very hopeful” that Hayes will sign with the Blackhawks this summer. Hayes was the Blackhawks’ 24th overall selection in the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. He became eligible to sign with the Blackhawks when in April, when his college team, Boston College, was eliminated from the Frozen Four.
“We said since the day he finished school – we’ve been talking to him all year and all four years of college – we want to sign him,” Bowman said. “I think he just wanted to take his time and decide what’s best for him.”
Hayes had a great final season with Boston College, where he recorded 27 goals and 38 assists. The Eagles were eliminated by Union, 5-4, in the national semifinal on April 10.
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Bowman said Chicago would be a great fit for Hayes, who has predominantly played center but also some wing. The Blackhawks have long loved forwards who can be versatile.
“He’s 22 years old, so he’s not in that 19-year-old category. He may not be a guy who has to spend a long time developing. So that’s the benefit of leaving a player in college for four years,” Bowman said. “He’s got a lot of talent. He played his first three years as center and this last year he was on the wing. It’s certainly nice to see him be able to do both. He’s got the combination of size and skill and that’s hard to find.”
Hayes’ older brother Jimmy played for the Blackhawks before being sent to the Florida Panthers, along with Dylan Olsen, for Kris Versteeg back in November.