Kevin Hayes. You know him, you love him (at least you should by now).
When the news came out that Hayes officially signed with the Flyers back in June 2019, the majority of fans weren't too happy. From comments of being overpaid, to a joke of a signing, to a waste of cap space, the list goes on.
Well, thanks to the internet, we have receipts for those who felt this way. Have their opinions changed since? Probably.https://twitter.com/Leprechaun0011/status/1141517025052942338?s=20
can’t wait to buy him out in 4 years because nobody will trade for him at this cap hit :)))— Nick Amato™ (@_tamato_) June 19, 2019
WAAAAAAY OVERPAID pic.twitter.com/ZlF9cvyutn— LewyMüllerSZN #Pride #BLM (26-4-4) UCL: 3-0 (@contribute_ee) June 19, 2019
Hayes will be the new Mcdonald and Bryz contract . I hate these long high paying contracts.— Sam Broomfield (@TheGreatIAm77) June 19, 2019
I didn’t think AV was a big fan of Hayes 🤷🏻♂️ sooooo ... good luck flyers 👍🏻😂 he might be scratched more than he plays— JJ301124 (@JJ301124) June 19, 2019
And now folks, let’s take a look at that waste of cap space, shall we?
Hayes has worked well in Philadelphia so far. He fits the new system, came into semi-familiar territory, having played under Alain Vigneault during their time in New York and is exactly what the Flyers needed in terms of filling the void at center outside of Sean Couturier.
Before the season even started, the contract was instantly justified with the unknown return status of Nolan Patrick. Now, they're heading down the final stretch with still no indication of when a Patrick return could happen ... imagine how different things would look like without the new addition?
In his first season with the Flyers, Hayes leads the team in a handful of spots:
• Overtime goals (2)
• Shorthanded goals (4)
• Game-winning goals (5)
In addition to that, he’s second on the team in goals (19), just behind Travis Konecny (21). He’s also projected to score 26 in the season, which would be a new career high for the center — his previous best being 25. This would also be only the second season to score more than 20 goals.
And what’s a piece on Hayes if his skill on the penalty kill wasn’t mentioned? The Flyers are currently top 10 in the league, where this time last season through 61 games, they were 27th. There’s a new tone when Philly goes on a penalty kill and Hayes is a huge contribution to that.
He’s now become a fan favorite. Everyone wants to see No. 13 succeed in Philadelphia and just about all of the doubt has disappeared, on social media at least.
Man I really dig Kevin Hayes. Love what he brings to the game.— 🏴☠️ Dread Mandalorian David 🏴☠️ (@fotodave) February 2, 2020
There is not a single human I love more than Kevin Hayes.— 🃏 (@HunchoJxke) January 31, 2020
I love how Kevin Hayes has reached cult hero status in Philly already— Matt (@braceletthrower) February 21, 2020
Kevin Hayes is actually underpaid— Drew (@_DrewWheeler) February 21, 2020
I love waking up and having my first thought be "Kevin Hayes is a Philadelphia Flyer."— Rachel (@rmiriam) February 21, 2020
Kevin Hayes has been gold! Fletcher did good! #Flyers— Beth (@blueeyes72) February 21, 2020
He’s the player Philadelphia didn’t know it needed until he was here.
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