When TSN’s Senior Hockey Reporter and former Philadelphia Daily News writer Frank Seravalli joined Anthony San Filippo and I on Tuesday night’s Snow The Goalie, we expected he’d provide some of the hard-hitting insight that made him a favorite in the local market and a target of Canada’s top sports network. We didn’t expect the bombshell he dropped on us regarding the Flyers’ top offseason signing, center Kevin Hayes.
Per Seravalli, Hayes had no intention of signing with the Flyers, who had traded for his rights, unless they opted to overpay him:
“I don’t understand why (the Flyers) felt the need to spend a pick in order to go out and (trade for Kevin Hayes’ rights). I don’t think there was a team that would’ve come close to the Flyers’ number, because if there were, Kevin Hayes would’ve just waited until July 1, and I have that on good authority. I was with a current NHL player the night before Game 7 in Boston who – five minutes before seeing me – ran into Kevin Hayes outside of somewhere in downtown Boston, which is obviously his hometown. He goes, ‘Oh yeah. I just ran into Kevin Hayes.’ He said Kevin Hayes told him the only way he’s going to the Flyers is if the Flyers overpaid to get him. And how much did they overpay by? It’s hard to answer that specifically, but I would say at least $600k-700k a year times seven years.”
Take a minute to let that sink in. That’s absolutely staggering. It’s Kevin freaking Hayes. This is a guy who’s surpassed 50 points ONCE in his career. He’s regarded by many in hockey circles as a 2.5 C. He’s a decent enough two-way player, but come on. He’s an upgrade over an underwhelming Nolan Patrick and nowhere near a top-tier 2C with a legitimate shot at moving to the top line. This is the guy saying he’d only play for the Flyers if they overpaid? Seriously? Have the Flyers fallen this far as an organization? I remember a time when players went out of their way to come to Philadelphia. Sure, some would point to Ed Snider’s willingness to throw copious sums of cash at stars when the NHL had no salary cap, but this is different. An overpaid, mid-tier player essentially trashed the team he eventually signed with.
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