Do you remember June 3rd, 2019, the day Kevin Hayes was traded to the Flyers for an expensive asking price of $49.98 million? Oh, you don’t? Well I do. Many of you Flyers fans were upset with ole’ Chucky Two-Trades. I read tweets that went along the lines of “why on earth would you spend that much money on an above-average player?” Well, maybe because Kevin Hayes is the long lost son of Mike Richards. I mean seriously, Kevin Hayes is really good. In this short piece, I (@ryanlmeyer) will be discussing some of Kevin Hayes’s best attributes. Enjoy!
Power Play Killer
Our penalty kill is elite because of Mr. Kevin Hayes. Ever since Hayes was assigned to the first penalty kill unit, the Flyers ability to prevent power-play goals has sky rocketed. His ability to fly around the ice with the puck on his stick, weaving and dodging incoming players while the clock slowly ticks down, is truly outstanding. I haven’t seen a Flyers player consistently piss off opponents through sheer puck domination since Mike Richards was Captain back in 2010. If his ability to disrupt zone entries, body players of the puck, and make clean clears wasn’t enough, then you’re in for a treat. Not only is Hayes one of the best penalty killers in the league, but he is also a skilled goal-scorer. Currently, Hayes is tied for first place in short handed goals with four.
Imagine that the Flyers are tied 1-1 with 1 minute left in the game. The opposing team, (lets call them the Bruins), receives a power-play. As the puck is dropped and sent backwards to the opposing defenceman, Hayes strips the puck away from him and rips a shot that pings off the post and goes in. While this hasn’t happened yet, this is the type of play a Flyers fan can expect from Kevin Hayes on a nightly basis (Yes, I know they don’t play every day).
King Of The Locker Room
Every word that comes out of Hayes’s mouth is pure gold. From him talking about how he “f***ing sucks” and “should retire” too him coming up with the now famous “Cahtah Haht” quote, Hayes has shown his comedic genius by offering fun and harmless quips both in and out of the locker room. You may be asking yourself, “why is this writer even discussing this?”. What does cracking jokes have to do with his play? Well, I believe that team is one of most tight-knit teams in the NHL. Obviously, I am not on the team so I can’t say this is a fact, but from media clips and other news stories, I can safety say that every single player on this team seems very close with each-other. It seems that everyone plays for each other, and when one person gets hurt, there are ten guys ready to help. Hayes has been especially important this year in keeping spirits high, as the Flyers have had many unfortunate injuries this year. With Lindblom going through treatment (#OskarStrong) and Patrick’s migraine disorder, you would think that the Flyers would be disheveled and beaten down. But in reality, this couldn’t be further from the truth. The Flyers have risen above unfortunate circumstances and have come out stronger; and I think that Hayes is one of the main reasons this has occurred.
I can say with pure confidence that Kevin Hayes is the strongest Flyer on this years roster. If Hayes has the puck, there is a .01% chance that he is going to lose it. And if Hayes doesn’t have the puck, there is a 99% chance he is going to take it. One of number 13’s most useful abilities is swiping the puck from opposing players and then keeping position for an extended period of time. Hayes does everything in his power to maintain possession and nine times out of ten, a goal will come from his play.
Not only is Kevin’s physicality impressive, but he is able to bring that level of strength for every game. You would never see him play like the hulk one game and then suddenly disappear. On a consistent basis, Hayes will bring that level of intensity for every minute of every play during every game.
I love Kevin Hayes.
By: Ryan Meyer (@ryanlmeyer)
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