Flyers

A chance to woo Kevin Hayes puts Flyers' attractiveness to the test

A chance to woo Kevin Hayes puts Flyers' attractiveness to the test

Back in April, Chuck Fletcher and Alain Vigneault talked about the attractiveness of the Flyers, how Philadelphia was a desirable market in the NHL. 

The general manager and head coach came to the organization as outsiders.

Fletcher called the team's GM position "a premium job in the National Hockey League."

"I know when Paul Holmgren approached me about being the general manager of the Flyers, I'm like, 'Wow,'" Fletcher said.

"We're set up where we should have an opportunity to get better quickly."

Vigneault, tabbed as the Flyers' head coach in mid-April, had success at three previous stops. With his résumé and age, he didn't have to jump on any opportunity. He knew the Flyers' reputation and liked the entire package, from the roster's blend of experience and youth to the club's cap space and accessible avenues to improve.

"In today's game, you've got to make sure the environment that you're creating is — I don't want to say pro-player, but it can incite players to choose Philly as a destination because they'll get the best development, they'll get the best coaching, whether it be strength, psychological coaches, etc.," Vigneault said. "You need total commitment from ownership and there's no doubt that we have that here."

Those beliefs are now being put to the test this offseason as Fletcher, Vigneault and the Flyers try to convince others of their plans to compete. It all starts with Kevin Hayes, a soon-to-be unrestricted free agent the Flyers acquired in a trade last week. Fletcher on Monday said the Flyers and Hayes were "hoping to get together here in the near future." According to reports by 97.5 The Fanatic's Jason Myrtetus and TSN's Frank Seravalli, Hayes has had his visit to Philadelphia.

The Flyers, as we've noted, are in a good spot. They're currently presenting all they have to offer before other teams can start doing so June 23 with impending UFAs. Hayes, a Northeast guy, played his first four NHL seasons under Vigneault in New York.

"I think he's a guy who's familiar with our coach and our coach is familiar with him," Fletcher said. "If he signs, that will help. There shouldn't be any learning curve. He should be able to step in seamlessly if we're able to sign him."

Hayes also knows the interest of the Flyers, who "have more cap space than most teams," as Fletcher said Monday. As Seravalli wrote, money will certainly talk, just as much as the Flyers' brand. Hayes, 27, made $5.175 million last season on a one-year deal. Coming off a career-high 25 goals in 2017-18 and a career-high 55 points this season, the forward could receive a deal in the five-to-six-year range and you'd expect he'd want a raise from his previous $5.175 million AAV.

"Next week is the week of the draft," Fletcher said Monday. "This will be an important week. I will certainly have more time to meet with him face to face."

And convince him the Flyers are where he should want to be. Winning Hayes over before he has the chance to test the market was always going to be a challenge.

At least the Flyers had first dibs at wooing him. We'll have to wait and see if it worked. The attractiveness of the Flyers is definitely being put to the test.

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

Is Chris Pronger coming back to Philly for new endeavor?

Is Chris Pronger coming back to Philly for new endeavor?

He wasn’t in Philadelphia for a significant amount of time during his successful career, but Chris Pronger was widely loved by Flyers fans — and still is. 

While his career ended abruptly in the early weeks of the 2011-12 season, his time with the Flyers has always felt unfinished. 

Now, almost nine years later, could there be a possibility of Pronger joining the organization once more? 

The Hockey Hall-of-Famer posted a few clues to his Instagram account Tuesday night, implying that a “big announcement” is coming the next day. 

View this post on Instagram

Big announcement coming tomorrow! Stay tuned ...

A post shared by Chris Pronger (@thechrispronger) on

And one post wasn’t enough to contain his excitement, as he took to his Instagram story as well — now adding that it’s the “best day ever” and tagging the location as the Wells Fargo Center, home of the Flyers. 

Many have taken to the comments section under his post, giving their guesses on possible scenarios, but Pronger isn’t budging.



On July 8, Pronger announced that he stepped down from his senior vice president of hockey operations position with the Florida Panthers. He also noted that he made this decision to focus on his and his wife Lauren’s business, Well Inspired Travels — a luxury travel company that caters to elite athletes, executives and business owners. 

So, what does this recent career decision and posts mean? We’ll just have to take Pronger’s advice and “stay tuned” until tomorrow when the announcement is made. 

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More on the Flyers

NHL schedule 2020: Start times for Flyers vs. Penguins exhibition game, Flyers vs. Bruins round-robin game

NHL schedule 2020: Start times for Flyers vs. Penguins exhibition game, Flyers vs. Bruins round-robin game

Alain Vigneault and his staff have put together a detailed, science-based plan to prepare the Flyers for what could be an unprecedented run at the 2020 Stanley Cup.

They know they have about a month to work with following an abrupt stoppage that spanned four months because of the coronavirus outbreak.

"I believe it’s going to work," the Flyers' head coach said Monday about his team's plan ahead of the NHL's return-to-play 24-team tournament.

Part of the plan includes an exhibition contest. It also features three interesting round-robin games, which will dictate the Eastern Conference's top-four seeds but can serve as a tune-up of sorts, as well. During the qualifying round, the Flyers will try to improve their seeding and strategize for the first round of the playoffs, which begins Aug. 11.

We've got 30 days to get ready for our first official game on Aug. 11," Vigneault said. "Our group is excited, focused, energized — and we've been waiting a long time here to have this opportunity to compete for the Stanley Cup, and we’re going to get it.

"We are going to take this time that we have in front of us here to obviously prepare the team. We’re also going to take the exhibition game and the three games that we're going to play because really, Aug. 11, our first game in the first round for the Stanley Cup Playoffs starts there. I’m going to put on the ice at that time the best lineup that we have.

We now know when and who the Flyers will play in their exhibition game: the Penguins. The NHL also released the start time for the Flyers' round-robin opener against the Bruins.

Here are the details so far, while broadcast information is to be announced on another date:

Flyers vs. Penguins, Tuesday, July 28 — 4 p.m. ET (exhibition)

Flyers vs. Bruins, Sunday, Aug. 2 — 3 p.m. ET (round robin)

Flyers vs. Capitals, Thursday, Aug. 6 — TBD (round robin)

Flyers vs. Lightning, Sunday, Aug. 9 — TBD (round robin)

For analysis on the Flyers' round-robin slate, click here. For the rest of the NHL schedule and start times, click here.

Sports Uncovered is on all podcast platforms: click here to subscribe now!

Subscribe and rate Flyers Talk: Apple Podcasts | Google Play | Spotify | Stitcher | Art19 | YouTube

Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.

More Flyers analysis for 24-team tournament

 What it was like to go back to work at Flyers practice in different times

• Flyers release training camp roster as they gear up for 24-team tournament

Analyzing the Flyers' schedule to open 24-team tournament

• Flyers sign a player to extension at position of strength

What to know as NHL, NHLPA finish big step, announce schedule

5 questions on Flyers' chances in 24-team tournament

Predictions for Flyers' best Game 1 lineup to start 24-team playoff

Who are the Flyers' top 5 reinforcements for 24-team tournament?

Things get even better for Flyers in NHL's 24-team tournament

Finding the Flyers' best 1st-round matchup for Hart

Flyers have two top 50 pending UFAs; will they re-sign them?

Hockey insider details Flyers’ hotel, importance of training camp 

Key dates, protocols announced as Flyers near next steps toward return