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Hayes sees opportunity with Rangers

Aug 31, 2014, 12:03 PM EDT

With the New York Rangers losing forwards Brad Richards, Benoit Pouliot, Brian Boyle and Derek Dorsett newcomer Kevin Hayes believes there’s an opportunity to be had at training camp.

The Boston College product, who chose to sign a two-year, $7.5 million contract with the Rangers earlier this month, spoke to the Rangers website about his decision.

“At the end of my BC career we sat down with my family and thought that it was best to explore other options,” he said. “It wasn’t really hectic cause I wasn’t allowed to talk to anyone until Aug. 15 so I basically had a free three months to train, hangout and relax. But ever since Aug. 15, it’s been pretty hectic.

“Ultimately I chose the Rangers and I’m extremely excited about it.”

Hayes admitted former Boston College teammate, and current Ranger, Chris Kreider called him to sell him on New York while he was making his decision.

“He called me Aug. 15 late and kind of just broke down everything about the city the good, the bad and stuff,” he said. “I only talked to him a couple times on the phone.

“Kreids was my line mate the year we won the national championship and it’s always nice to have one of your good buddies on the team. Hopefully he can show me the ropes.”

The 6-foot-3, 205-pound left-handed shot scored 27 goals and 65 points in 40 games during his final season at Boston College. In total, he appeared in 142 games for the Eagles scoring 44 goals and 132 points.

Hayes, 22, was originally a first-round pick of the Chicago Blackhawks (24th overall in 2010).

According to the Massachusetts native, Alain Vigneault’s style in addition to talking to Kreider and Boyle is what helped him settle on the Rangers.

“The coach… I really like the style the coach plays so I figured this would be the best opportunity for me,” he said.

Hayes says his ultimate goal is to crack the Ranges lineup this season. Despite the aforementioned departures, the Rangers did bring in NHL veterans such as Tanner Glass, Lee Stempniak and Matthew Lombardi so Hayes will have competition as he tries to make the jump from college hockey to the NHL.

Related: Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes

  1. blackhawks2010 - Aug 31, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Translation= Hayes can make the roster in NY as they have no depth. He’s a solid player, however, not ready for prime time with a contending team with depth.

    • stakex - Aug 31, 2014 at 1:52 PM

      Someone sounds bitter. I get it too…. I mean once the Blackhawks have to rip their roster apart next summer to fit under the cap, a guy like Hayes would have been a valuable asset on an entry level deal.

      As for the Rangers having “no depth”, I’m not sure where you get that from but its simply not the case. In fact, Hayes will be facing stiff competition for the one open right wing spot the Rangers have, most notably from Danny Kristo, JT Miller, Fast, and Haggerty. The thing is though, the Rangers actually have an open roster spot… as where Chicago has (for now) four established right wingers that weren’t going anywhere. That’s not in of itself a great sign of depth, just like an open roster spot isn’t in of itself a sign of “no depth”.

      I would go so far as to argue that the amount of players the Rangers have that will make legit challenges for roster spots, and not just as right wing, this pre-season shows that they actually have pretty good depth. If they have one big issue is that some of the young guys that are ready to make the leap to the NHL simply won’t be able to crack the roster, and that could include Hayes.

    • billiam55 - Aug 31, 2014 at 5:37 PM

      pretty sure they do have depth idk wat your talking about. get over it. he left chicago.

    • 5thliner - Sep 2, 2014 at 11:52 AM

      You’ve never seen him play. Quit pretending like you know hockey.

  2. sprtsfan1 - Aug 31, 2014 at 1:22 PM

    ^^^^ exactly

  3. schoone718 - Aug 31, 2014 at 1:44 PM

    blackhawks2010 you have no clue what you’re talking about. You wrote one sentence that had 2 opinions and both were completely wrong and ridiculous. Not only were the Rangers in the Finals and therefore by definition a “contending team”, they also have a lot of depth and will have to leave some qualified players in the minors due to that depth. But go ahead and continue letting those sour grapes screw up your logic.

  4. c1md6 - Aug 31, 2014 at 1:49 PM

    Blackhawks2010, started watching hockey in 2010…

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 31, 2014 at 2:11 PM

      Bit of an assumption regarding someone you have never actually met? I see this type of presumption frequently. “Bandwagon fans”…. Sure, every successful sports team attracts some. Hear this lame line frequently on Yahoo ‘hawks game treads as well.

      Reality is there are a load of Yahoo Hawks participants who actually saw them live in the 50’s and, like me, the 60’s.

      I had a privileged youth. No, no massive inheritance in the future, no yachts, no trust fund.

      But my dad took me several times to see the Hawks. Saw the Golden Jet, Stan Mikita, Eric Nestorenko (my favorite underappreciated player), Glen Hall, Tony Esposito. I consider that a privileged youth. So with the money I made shoveling snow and mowing lawns, I bought skates and sticks – curved, straight and goalie, so that I’d me included in whatever pickup games occurred.

      You should consider parking your accusations you have no grounds for making.

      • c1md6 - Aug 31, 2014 at 2:21 PM

        Endusesolutions2013, has been missing his sense of humor since 2013…

      • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 31, 2014 at 2:35 PM

        Actually I have consistantly failed mind reading since 1955. When I make a humerous post, I make it obvious – if it isn’t, I’ll add a ;) to make it clear.

        Posting an appearant cheap shot, then saying after “I was kidding” is intellectually weak.

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 31, 2014 at 2:19 PM

      @c1md6, I would have the same NON LOGICAL basis to conclude that you started watching the Rangers in 2013.

      • c1md6 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:34 AM

        Jeez dude, insecure much? Or do you really take yourself that serious? You had
        to leave your whole life story about your fan hood since the 50’s just from a one comment that had absolutely nothing to do with you? That my friend is pretty insecure and “weak” in itself. Looking past your, “intellectual” cheap shots, I hope you one day find the attention you seek.

  5. djshnooks - Aug 31, 2014 at 2:40 PM

    It’s weird he chose the Rangers over say the Sabres, where he could have started.

    But with the amount of talented prospects Buffalo has, especially left-handed shots…he probably would have lost out, as I doubt he would crack even the top-15 prospects in Buffalo, let alone top-10.

  6. mzim2756 - Aug 31, 2014 at 3:15 PM

    Buffalo, who cares about buffalo, insignificant franchise for the last 30 years

    • endusersolutions2013 - Aug 31, 2014 at 3:36 PM

      Hmmm, thought they went to the finals in 99. Were there in 75. Twice in 29 years kinda makes them seem – average.

  7. pone27 - Aug 31, 2014 at 3:56 PM

    All Hawks fans know that while we would have liked to see Hayes stay, he clearly is not worthy to crack our roster within the top 9. Hawks have way too many young guys who fit the chemistry that the Hawks utilize under Q.

    Rangers on the other hand, lack serious depth at forward (while you guys made the cup finals, the final outcome proved it all when faced against teams deep at forward.) Hayes obviously wants to be on the top 6 with Kreider, so its a no-brainer he chose NY. He also has the best opportunity to make it along with a team that has strong defense in goaltending to get them through the East.

    I personally feel that Hayes won’t ever be a prolific goal scorer, but has potential to be a great two way player based on his skill set and size (ie, Bickell, Penner,etc.) It really all depends on how AV uses him. Hayes is not a speed game player that AV likes to promote, but if you put him with the right guys, it could work.

    Hawks can’t keep everyone.

    • jetmetfan - Sep 3, 2014 at 2:04 PM

      I don’t know if the SCF result indicates a “serious” lack of depth at forward. If they had been blown out in every game I would say yes. Losing four one-goal games and three in overtime – and they led in all of those games at some point – means they were closer than many thought. What the Rangers didn’t have was the size to match up with LA. The skill was there but when the opponents are just as skilled and weigh 20 lbs. more that starts taking its toll.

  8. endusersolutions2013 - Aug 31, 2014 at 4:24 PM

    As a’ hawks fan, I’m not bitter at all, thought I’d have liked to see him sign. Due to the Hawks being over the cap already, he would have spent year one in the AHL, unless they were able to miracously trade Versteeg and Rozival both during the pre-season.

    What I would like to see is the compensation getting adjusted. A guy picked in round 1 should result in a 1st round pick, 4th with a 4th…

  9. billiam55 - Aug 31, 2014 at 5:40 PM

    excited for him. takes time to get up there. but the kid is good. he knows how to play the game. hopefully he’ll be on my list of favorite rangers in the future.

  10. jkaflagg - Aug 31, 2014 at 5:52 PM

    Still a little odd that a guy turned down a chance to compete for a place on a perennial Cup contender, but have to admit Hayes did pretty well for himself….big market team that made the Finals last year (although that was more due to Lundquist and the Carey Price injury than anything else) and might have some openings up front.That said, one should not underestimate the competition he’ll face from veterans forwards and the young guys who’ve been grinding it out in the minors trying to get their shot; those guys won’t care how many goals you scored in college and really won’t care for the idea that you’re think you can jump ahead of them without paying your dues. If he can pull it off, Rangers probably have a pretty good player.

    Still wonder if we’ll see that headline in a few years” “Hayes demands trade to perennial contender”…….

    • hockeyflow33 - Sep 1, 2014 at 10:43 AM

      Why is it odd that a player puts himself in the best position to play in the NHL?

      The team he went to was just in the Cup Final if you missed that.

    • jetmetfan - Sep 3, 2014 at 1:58 PM

      Would folks please stop with the Carey Price injury as being some major turning point in the NYR/MTL series? Statistically, it doesn’t prove out. Lundqvist’s save % in the series was 92.2 (142/154). Dustin Tokarski’s was 91.6 (142/155). That’s one SOG difference. If you want a difference look at the fact that Tokarski faced the same # of shots as Lundqvist while playing one fewer game. The Rangers just played better collectively than the Canadiens.

  11. killhowe - Aug 31, 2014 at 6:54 PM

    Boyle convinced him too? This Hayes sweepstakes took place long after Boyle signed in Tampa np?

  12. chip56 - Aug 31, 2014 at 8:15 PM

    I think he meant Dan Boyle not Brian. Look I don’t really care why he chose the Rangers I’m just glad he did. The Rangers have done a phenomenal job stocking up on good young players despite their lack of picks. Guys like Hayes, Haggertey and the others join a young group of guys like Fast, Kristo, Linberg and Miller in giving the team a ton of high upside forwards ready to contribute.

    • xaile94 - Aug 31, 2014 at 11:10 PM

      it was Brian (BC guy). not uncommon for FA’s to speak highly of their former team. Rangers gave BB a big opportunity after the Kings gave up on him.

  13. anthonykornheiser - Aug 31, 2014 at 11:13 PM

    It was actually Brian Boyle who convinced him. Just because he signed in TB doesn’t mean he didn’t love NY and his time with the NYR, they are both BC guys as well. In fact, there was numerous articles how Brian Boyle was the biggest factor in him coming to NY

  14. lennaykekua - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:24 AM

    It’s hard to say who looked dumber in that video; the has been hack website guy w the locked down camera, awkward body language and jock sniffing questions or the inaudible, barely literate 22yr old Boston dummy. Duhhhhhh………Yeesh. Lets Go Rangers. Borrrriiiing.

  15. jpat2424 - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:18 PM

    Bum.

  16. jpat2424 - Sep 1, 2014 at 12:24 PM

    Schoone718=idiot

  17. cubbynaz - Sep 1, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    Hawks play a team concept. He’s out for himself. We don’t need a Boston loser.

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