Kevin Hayes knew his days were numbered and on Tuesday his number came up.
After going through a contentious relationship with Flyers head coach John Tortorella throughout the 2022-23 season, Hayes, 31, was dealt to the St. Louis Blues for a sixth-round draft pick in 2024.
The Flyers will retain 50 percent of Hayes’ contract, which has three years and $21 million remaining.
Hayes collected 63 goals/157 points in 253 games over four seasons with the Flyers. He was originally signed to a seven-year, $50-million contract in 2019 after his rights were acquired from the Winnipeg Jets.
Last season he set career highs in games played (81), assists (36), power-play points (16) and shots (209). He was the only Flyer named to the 2023 NHL All-Star Game.
Over the weekend, there were rumors that Hayes and defenseman Travis Sanheim were headed to the Blues in exchange for defenseman Torey Krug. But Krug declined to waive his no-trade clause so the deal fell through.
Hayes’ departure seemed like only a matter of time. Earlier, Flyers general manager Daniel Briere swung a deal which sent veteran backliner Ivan Provorov to Columbus by way of Los Angeles.
This two moves confirm the Flyers are in complete rebuild mode and trying to get younger as quick.
There is also speculation that defenseman Tony DeAngelo will be next to go. Several media outlets have reported DeAngelo could be headed back to the Carolina Hurricanes in what would amount to a salary dump.
Meanwhile, the Blues believe they can retool their roster with a few moves and get back into serious contention. They still have several key players from their 2019 Stanley Cup championship team.