Flyers

For Kevin Hayes, signing contract with Flyers wasn't all about the money

For Kevin Hayes, signing contract with Flyers wasn't all about the money

Money absolutely talks.

And the Flyers threw a lot of it at Kevin Hayes.

After knowing the organization's interest, touring its facilities and hearing seven years, $50 million, it would have been difficult for Hayes to turn down the Flyers.

But before seeing the dollar signs, Hayes said the Flyers were on his radar.

"As an athlete, July 1 and unrestricted free agency is definitely an intriguing idea," Hayes said Wednesday on a conference call after signing with the Flyers (see story). "When I sat down with my agent, we thought about what type of team I would want to go to and where I would fit into the organization and the team; the Flyers were at the top of the list before I even … once the season ended, they were on a short list of mine that I was intrigued by."

Once the Flyers acquired his rights on June 3, the decision started coming together.

To be able to get traded there from the Jets and get a head start in conversations, I got to know the organization and I got to know some of the players a little bit. It was kind of a no-brainer. Ultimately, my agent and I wanted to go to a great city, a team that can win and a team that can go for the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are one of those teams, we think.

It obviously showed that they wanted me. I think it was a good fit for both sides. What I bring to the table and what they had to offer, it was an easy decision ultimately.

The Flyers made a lot of sense for Hayes. 

The 6-foot-5, 216-pound center will play a prominent role and slides nicely into a blend of youth and veterans.

"For me and for our group, he checks a lot of boxes we were looking for," Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said. "We like his size, we like his skill, we like his 200-foot game. We like his age, he's just entering the prime of his career and he plays a premium position at center. We think he really rounds out our forward group and will give our coaching staff a lot of options going forward."

Hayes talked about the "great relationship on and off the ice" that he had with Alain Vigneault in New York and how the familiarity with the Flyers' head coach will only help.

"He demands hard work," Hayes said. "If you play the correct way, he kind of lets you play freely offensively. That was a huge factor in the decision."

Hayes is from Dorchester, Massachusetts, and knows the Metropolitan Division. Being on the Northeast was appealing for family and market reasons.

"I have three sisters and a brother, both my parents live in Boston," Hayes said. "It's nice that they are just a train ride away. My dad will be at a lot of these games for sure.

"It's such a prestigious organization. I know pretty well playing against them the last five years. And to be able to join them and join that group and the coaching staff, I think Chuck and [Flyers president Paul Holmgren] are putting together a team that can do some damage and ultimately win the Stanley Cup."

Money absolutely talks, but the Flyers checked a lot of Hayes' boxes, too.

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Podcast: Jim Jackson, Marc Zumoff, Tom McCarthy talk careers in sports, and more

Podcast: Jim Jackson, Marc Zumoff, Tom McCarthy talk careers in sports, and more

On a brand new, cross-sports podcast, Philadelphia's play-by-play broadcasters Jim Jackson, Marc Zumoff, and Tom McCarthy sat down this week to reminisce about their careers, chat about the future, and plenty more.

Here's a segment-by-segment rundown of the show:

0:40 - Personal appearance during the stay-at-home orders.

4:47 - Listening to their own broadcasts.

9:10 - Managing long seasons.

12:35 - Selling radio.

14:48 - Mount Rushmore of broadcasters.

29:01 - First job in the business.

35:24 - How they became the play-by-by broadcaster for the Flyers, Phillies, and Sixers.

43:38 - Optimism in the face of COVID-19.

You can listen to the full episode, in all its glory, below.

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

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

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.

Because of coronavirus outbreak, James van Riemsdyk sees possible 'unique opportunity' for NHL playoffs

Because of coronavirus outbreak, James van Riemsdyk sees possible 'unique opportunity' for NHL playoffs

There always seem to be the people out there pleading for the NHL to become more marketable, more fun, more appealing.

If there's a silver lining to the suspension and uncertainty of the 2019-20 season amid the coronavirus outbreak, it could be the doors opening for some experimentation by the league.

Wednesday morning saw the calendar flip to April. The 2020 Stanley Cup Playoffs were originally scheduled to start April 8. Nobody knows when or if they'll begin. Because of the coronavirus pandemic, the NHL has been out of commission since March 12 and on Tuesday extended its isolation period to April 15.

Every NHL team has at least 11 games left on its regular-season schedule. The Flyers, who are a point behind the Metropolitan Division-leading Capitals, have 13 games left.

With each passing day, the hopes of finishing the 2019-20 season in full weaken.

"That’s been the hardest part, for not only us but I feel like everyone in the world — there’s all this uncertainty around everything," James van Riemsdyk, the Flyers' NHLPA representative, said Tuesday night in a conference call. "It’d be nice to be like, ‘You know what, you sit at home for a month and then everything will go back to normal.’ I think that would obviously be a lot easier for everyone to handle than these daily to weekly updates on stuff and you’re kind of still unsure about what’s going to go on. A lot of people feel like, I’m sure, just running in place right now trying to stay busy and keep yourself in shape.”

Will the NHL find a way to drastically change its plan throughout the summer to play 2019-20 in its entirety? Should the league ax the remainder of the regular season and jump right into the playoffs? Could the postseason format change? Is the season going to resume at all?

A veteran of 11 seasons, van Riemsdyk knows all options will be on the table.

"I’d like to think we’ll find a way, but ultimately we want to guarantee the safety of everyone involved whether that’s players, staff, fans, families — we don’t want to do anything at the expense of any of that," van Riemsdyk said. "This is a way bigger issue than sports.”

He sees the NHL's predicament as a possible tryout opportunity for the league.

“Ultimately it’s going to come down to timing and how we can fit everything in," van Riemsdyk said. "In a perfect world, you’d like to finish the regular season and play it out as it may and go from there. But if some of those timeframes become a little bit too shortened where we can’t fit that in, it kind of creates a unique opportunity, in my opinion, to maybe try something a little bit unique with the playoff structure.

"I know that’s been talked about in the last couple of years especially is try to maybe add some more teams to it. If we’re in a situation like we are this year, it’s basically a free chance to try something a little bit outside the box maybe and see what might work.

"We’ll cross those bridges when we get there as far as time-wise and when we’re able to start things up and how that might look.”

Sixteen of the NHL's 31 teams qualify for the postseason. Each round features a best-of-seven series. The NHL playoffs have always been must-see entertainment. They could be a whole lot more fun, for all viewers, with a look that will be different to everybody. After all, 2019-20 has now become much different than other seasons in the past.

“If it gets to the point where we don’t have enough time to play out the regular season, which I’m sure everyone obviously would like to do," van Riemsdyk said, "then we can be more creative in the sense of trying something a little bit outside the box with the playoff structure potentially.”

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