The Philadelphia Flyers have opened the vault for forward Kevin Hayes.
The Flyers finalized a mammoth contract with the former Winnipeg Jets forward on Wednesday. The Flyers announced they’ve signed Hayes to a seven-year contract that will pay him nearly $50 million.
The new deal will see Hayes earn $7.1 million per season. He was due to become an unrestricted free agent next month.
“We are very happy to sign Kevin to a long-term contract,” Flyers executive vice-president and general manager Chuck Fletcher said in a media release. “He plays a smart, two-way game and is just entering the prime of his career. Kevin will add size and skill to our line-up.”
It’s a hefty contract for a player who has never scored 30 goals or even hit the 50-point plateau in his five-year NHL career. Only two players on the Jets carry a larger cap hit in Blake Wheeler and Dustin Byfuglien.
The 27-year-old Hayes notched 19 goals in 71 games last season with the New York Rangers and Jets.
The Jets acquired the centreman from New York at the trade deadline in exchange for Brendan Lemieux and the Jets’ first-round draft pick. He recorded five goals and eight assists in 20 regular season games with Winnipeg.
The Jets traded Hayes to the Flyers two weeks ago for a fifth-round pick in this week’s NHL Draft.
Hayes was originally drafted by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, 24th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft.
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