Prior to this week, the idea of the Boston Bruins being able to make an upgrade via free agency seemed far fetched. The money spent on roster moves made last week reduced their available cap space to $3.8 million dollars. It would have been safe to assume that the majority or all of that 3.8 million would be split in an attempt to bring back Torey Krug and Reilly Smith. However, the Bruins may be on the brink of capitalizing on the cap woes of another stellar team.
The Chicago Blackhawks stand $2.2 million dollars north of the $69 million dollar salary cap after signing Patrick Kane and Jonathan Toews. Unless some trades are on the horizon, the Blackhawks stand to lose out on a player coming off a season in college where he was nominated for the Hobey Baker Award(nation’s top player).
The player I’m talking about is the Blackhawks 2010 first round pick Kevin Hayes. Chicago has until August 15th to sign Hayes before he becomes an unrestricted free agent. Hayes is from Dorchester, Massachusetts and played four years of college hockey at Boston College. Hayes name is slowly becoming a hot topic of conversation amongst the local media as a potential acquisition for the Bruins; in large part due to the low cost it would require to do so.
According to CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, taking a chance on acquiring Kevin Hayes would provide the Bruins with something they desperately need; a physical winger on the right side with playmaking ability around the net.
Seeming to just be an idea or suggestion; the legitimacy of the connection between the Bruins and Kevin Hayes was strengthened when it was reported by HockeyBuzz.com that the Bruins are interested in acquiring the talented young winger. It may have taken some time for Hayes to round into form at Boston College, but a senior year where he posted 28 goals to go along with 39 assists in 39 games played has made several teams interested in acquiring him.
Competing with other teams could get the Bruins in a bidding war for Hayes services before his August 15th deadline. The Bruins would most likely have to give up a draft pick to acquire the rights to negotiate with Hayes.
The low cost of acquiring Hayes and potentially bolstering themselves at right wing would be vital for a Bruins team that has been non existent in both the free agent and trade markets. The idea of the Bruins being able to re-sign Reilly Smith and Torey Krug while also upgrading at right wing sounds like the perfect one to me.