Boston Bruins: Jimmy Hayes Deserves Realistic Expectations


Boston Bruins: Jimmy Hayes Deserves Realistic Expectations in 2016-17

Playing in the city of Boston is a tough task for any professional athlete. The city has been spoiled this millennium, by the Bruins, Celtics, Patriots, and Red Sox collectively. Since the year 2001, those Boston sports teams have won nine championships. As a result, the city expects greatness at all times.

While it’s great to have high hopes and expectations for every single individual associated with each sports team in Boston, it’s also the cause of a great deal of disappointment when average players perform…averagely.

When Jimmy Hayes was traded to the Boston Bruins and signed to a three-year contract extension, everybody was enamored with the size of the Dorchester-native. At 6 foot 6, 215 pounds, it’s hard not to be. Additionally, Hayes filled a glaring need in the Bruins lineup as a right-handed, right winger. The issue, however, was that Hayes has never been a top-six, point-producing power forward at the NHL level.

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Prior to being traded to the Bruins, Hayes had only recorded 36 goals and 66 points in 168 games. In other words, he would score 0.21 goals-per-game, and 0.39 points-per-game. In his first year with the Bruins, Hayes scored 13 goals and 29 points in 75 games. Those totals equate to 0.17 goals-per-game, and 0.38 points-per-game.

Whiles Hayes did see a dip in production from his career averages (which are underwhelming to begin with, given the expectation that Boston media and fans have put on him), he didn’t play at the catastrophic level that everyone seems to believe he did. With realistic expectations now set for Hayes in his second season with the club, he has the potential to be seen in a more positive light moving forward.

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When looking at Hayes’ HERO chart from 2015-16 and comparing it to 2014-15, it’s clear that the large forward performed very similarly in both years. Hayes may be better suited as a bottom-six forward, and given the fact that his contract only costs the Bruins $2.3 million for each of the next two seasons, it’s really not the end of the world if he fails to produce in a top-six role,