hayes-frozen-four

Runs Like Hayes

Not that it’s Earth-shattering news, but friend of the program (and probably soon to be re-assigned for doing so) Scott Powers of ESPN Chicago is reporting that Kevin Hayes won’t sign with the Hawks before the August 15th deadline and will hit the open market. Most everyone has known this would be the case since about April when Hayes’s college career at Boston College ended. The Hawks have tried everything they can offer-wise, shrinking the term on his entry-level so he can get to restricted free agency quicker. Some have speculated it’s an ill-feeling after the trade of his brother Jimmy. The more likely one speculated is that Hayes doesn’t see himself cracking the lineup in Chicago immediately, or at least not the top six where he might have to play.

I suppose this could kickstart a whole debate about whether the Hawks’ policy, or if you want Quenneville’s policy, of making it a Sisyphean task for a young player to crack the lineup is going to cost them more prospects like this. It really shouldn’t. It’s not that young players can’t, it’s that some can’t. After all, Quenneville takes to some kids immediately. Look at Leddy, Kruger, Shaw, and Saad if Carcillo can hurt his knee in the season’s first game. While I guess I’ve accepted that Teuvo Teravainen will start in Rockford, I still don’t have any doubts he’ll be up by the Holidays and playing regularly.

And it’s not clear how much of an impact Hayes might have. While his college numbers are certainly gaudy, this year they were piled up while playing on a line with the NCAA’s best player in Johnny Gaudreau. It’s hard to decipher where Hayes begins and Johnny Hockey ends when looking at his scoring totals. Captain Stairwell certainly has a dumb streak on the ice as well as off of it, which is utterly shocking for someone from Dorchester, MA. And by “utterly shocking” I mean “completely normal.” Hayes is a big guy but no one was sure he would be all that physical at this level when he can’t simply bully most of his opponents. He definitely has better hands than his brother and is a better skater, and can probably pile in 20-25 goals when he maxes out for a bad team. But I really wonder if he could crack the top six on a contender. Remains to be seen.

And it’s not a bad thing if a player look and sees you’re stocked on the wings for a while and may drown in the system. Even if Hossa’s and Sharp’s time in Chicago are limited either due to age or contract, Saad, Kane, Shaw, perhaps Morin, Smith, and McNeill all have long term futures here. Bickell is signed for three more years. I guess what’s a little worrying about that is that only Kane and Saad are surefire top-six wingers long term, though I really believe Morin could prove to be one this season if given the chance.

You’d also like to see determination and confidence from a kid that he can crack the lineup for a team no matter how good it is, especially as every team will give a player with size all the chance in the world to prove he can stick. If Hayes thinks he needs a softer landing and can’t prove the Hawks wrong if they’ve told him he’ll start in Rockford, then I would say fuck him.

  • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

    Fuck him indeed. I kind of like Stan’s comment when he said that they want players who want to be here. Crappy, though, that the second-rounder we’re going to get is not as likely to be the player Hayes will be (whatever it is that Hayes will be, if anything at all … just, the odds suggest that).

    Can’t fault Hayes one tiny ounce for looking, it’s the right he’s earned and if I were him I’d also want to try to land a spot where I’d be likely to play now rather than maybe later. All that said, if he makes it to the NHL and takes a regular roster spot somewhere, it’s going to soooo easy to root against him.

    • CozBullsFan

      I don’t think he’s earned anything. I mean, he hasn’t even played an AHL game, let alone an NHL one. Everyone else sucks it up and plays who drafted with a couple of exceptions that failed miserably. But I do agree with Sam. Fuck him. He deserves to wallow and fail miserably in a place like Calgary, or Florida.

      • mazer_rackham

        I wouldn’t say he has “earned” it, but it is certainly his right to be able to choose where he wants to work. I don’t fault him for that (but I’m glad that more draftees don’t exercise the right). He does seem like a big baby though, so fuck him anyway.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        As mazer says … it’s his right. but I would say he’s absolutely earned it. He’s played as a Hawk property for 4 years (!) and we opted never to sign him in that time. So he’s spent 4 years earning his free agency. Sounds fair to me.

    • VanDorp’sMullet

      While you are likely right about the 2nd rounder, it’s no sure thing. Saad was a 2nd rounder and is already (probably) better than Hayes will ever be. And it’s comparing apples and oranges, but Clendening was a 2nd rounder and I’d take him over Hayes at this point too.

      I totally agree about it being easy to root against Hayes. Just seems like an entitled whinger to me. Fuck that dude.

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        Just odds, that’s all I mean. Chance is of course always there.

    • Bannerman

      It’s possible, perhaps even likely, that Stan will package that pick with another pick to move up for someone he wants. In which case that player may very well wind up being better than Hayes.

      I think it’s time we all admit that we’ll miss the chance to refer to him as captain stairwell.

      • Joe Banks

        Oh. I think we’ll be calling him Captain Stairwell for a loooong time…

        • The Nutbrown Hare

          Okay, I’ve done a limited amount of digging, but I can’t uncover the genesis of Hayes’ “Captain Stairwell” moniker. So what is the origin story for this nickname?

          • YoAdrienne

            Just google “Kevin Hayes stairwell.” You’ll find out all you need to know, and wish you didn’t know.

          • Yachtsman

            Farewell Stairwell! Hey, I’m a poet and didn’t know it.

          • The Nutbrown Hare

            Ah, thank you kindly…my mistake was adding the word “captain” to my original Google search before consulting the good folks here at TCI.

            You’re right, though–I was truly better off not knowing in the first place.

    • Yachtsman

      …that is if he even turns out to be someone worth rooting against. He’s more likely to turn out to be someone we just easily forget.

      • Joe Banks

        Like his brother?

        • Yachtsman

          Exactly!

          • Joe Banks

            I think this will cure StanBow’s fatal attraction to signing brothers, right?

          • Yachtsman

            I wouldn’t be so sure….

      • http://www.lotsofbutterplease.com/ I am not Chico Maki

        True ’nuff.

  • jhb

    That last sentence, especially. Stan pretty much said much the same: we want players who want to prove themselves and rise to challenges. This situation falls into the category of “it sucks” but Hayes had two less points than his first 3 seasons combined. Those senior year numbers hard to ignore but when the Hawks signed Pirri out of friggin’ RPI after his sophomore year, waiting to see if Hayes could put something together after three so-so years made sense. He kind of did and now he can use his options, good for him. Fuck him all the same. May he turn out like the last college guy to go FA after their senior year, Chris Porter. Which beer league is he tearing up these days?

    • SamFels

      Justin Schultz as well, who has basically proven to be a poor man’s Zarley Zalapski. And I just wanted to type Zarley Zalapski.

      • Joe Banks

        Zarley Zalapski… hey, you’re right! – That WAS fun!

        • VanDorp’sMullet

          Wow. Blast from the past. Good ol’ ZZ.

          • Joe Banks

            Zarley Zalapski, Zarley Zalapski, Zarley Zalapski…

            sorry, just trying to catch a few Z’s.

      • jhb

        There is scarcely a better hockey name than good ol’ Zarley Zalapski. Looked good in that Whale uni!

        • Joe Banks

          Funny, it’s easy to be nostalgic aboot the Whalers, yet other teams, not so much.

          • jhb

            I got a place in my heart for the Nordiques and their awful unis.

          • SAMCRO Outlaw

            I love their unis, a Sakic Nords would straighten my shorewood. And how do you forget Hakan Loob for the name team?

      • JB from PA

        Zarley Zalapski is THE greatest name for the name game. Nothing like dropping the double Z and turning it right back on a fool!

    • Budi

      Actually Chris Porter is slaying bums on the 4th line in St. Louis.

      • Jalamanta

        It’s unlikely Porter even makes the team with Lehtera, Lidstrom and Mueller in the fold.

        • brodie12

          why is everyone bashing kevin Hayes. He is in a perfect position, he can go wherever he wants to, he can name his own price. I think anyone would do the same thing.

          • The Other One

            Johns didn’t

      • jhb

        I was mostly throwing shade but Porter’s barely an NHLer. More than half his career, after opting to go UFA, has been in the minors. He looked at the lineup and saw Burish and Dowell and thought he’d go somewhere that he would would avoid the minors. Oops. So instead of waiting it out a year or two when teams bought extremely high after those guys left, he could have been next in line to cash in on the ex-Hawk phenomenon and perhaps got his name on a Cup to boot. He fucked up.

        I can’t believe I’m going on about Chris fucking Porter. It must be the middle of summer!

  • Joe Banks

    I would say… “Fuck Him”…

  • thepuckstopshere

    Fuck em and feed him rice, gotta start, play and get the I Pass for trips from Rock Vegas to the big club. Plus he’s gotta experience the construction like everyone else. He ain’t that special is he?

    • Joe Banks

      His mommy thinks so…

  • jordyhawk

    If it’s so important for him to make the NHL right away, then why did he play all 4 years in college? Given that he’s better known for his scatological adventures than academic pursuits it likely wasn’t to make Dean’s List.

    • Joe Banks

      Dean Martin’s list?

      • John Nolan

        Dean Wormer…

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      He stayed in college for all 4 years because his first 3 years were mediocre. The ‘Hawks wanted him to keep developing in college and wouldn’t sign him yet, and since he hadn’t been anything special there wouldn’t have been a big demand for him from elsewhere in the league. That changed with a monster senior year, though as many have pointed out that came while skating alongside the best player in college hockey and it’s kinda hard to tell where Johnny Hockey ends and Captain Stairwell begins…

  • Brain Sprain

    It’s a business decision the kid is making. I don’t like it, but i understand it.

  • Bob Lanz

    Fuck him but I also say fuck Q for not letting talented youth play into a roster spot near enough

    • Joe Banks

      Did you just say “Fuck Q”???

    • Budi

      How exactly is this Q’s fault? His job is to put the best team on the ice, not cater to young players by letting them have roster spots. It’s called earn it.

      • AirTrafficAJ

        To be fair, there have been a few examples of when Q has not exactly iced the best squad available.

  • Sparky_The_Bard-barian

    Not gonna lose any sleep over this one. Have fun playing in the top six for a team that is a decade away from making the playoffs.

  • YoAdrienne

    Apparently he signed with the Panthers, 1 year, for over 900K. One year. That tells me that even they don’t think he’s a sure thing. Fine. Whatever. Don’t let the door hit you on the way out.

    • jordyhawk

      That was Jimmy.

    • MySpoonIsTooBig

      No, that was his brother Jimmy, whom Stan traded to Florida mid-season. Captain Stairwell may have every intention of signing somewhere other than Chicago, but he is not allowed to do so until August 15th. Until then the ‘Hawks still own his exclusive rights

      • YoAdrienne

        You’re right. My bad. That’s what I get for quitting the caffeine.

        I still don’t think he’s going to wind up in the Blackhawks system. So, that was a preemptive “Don’t let the door hit you where the good Lord split you.” I couldn’t agree more with what you said above.

        • MySpoonIsTooBig

          I just think that Sam’s last paragraph captured the sentiment perfectly – “You’d also like to see determination and confidence from a kid that he can crack the lineup for a team no matter how good it is…” I mean, I get wanting to make the NHL as soon as possible, but if he doesn’t have the self-confidence or work ethic to think that he can force Q to keep him regardless of who else is on the roster then good fucking riddance.

  • MySpoonIsTooBig

    Completely agree with everything you’ve said here Sam. First of all, I’m not convinced that he’s going to be anything special that the ‘Hawks are going to regret missing out on – 3 mediocre NCAA seasons before a breakout senior year that just so happened to come playing on a line with the best college player in the nation. Second of all, if he doesn’t want to be here then fuck him. I’d much rather have a guy who’s got none of the hype, but who believes in himself enough and is willing to put in the work to earn a spot on the roster regardless of who’s ahead of him on the depth chart.

    • AirTrafficAJ

      Plus I hate BC anyways. Fuck that school.

      • YoAdrienne

        BC gave us Ben Smith.

        • Joe Banks

          Oh yeah…

  • Bannerman

    Here’s a song for Captain Stairwell

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=AwAdhvvGFlo

  • HarryBalzonya

    Fuck this jerkoff and his idiot brother.

  • SAMCRO Outlaw

    Honestly I don’t know a lot about him hockey-wise other than he wasn’t part of Team USA @ the world juniors and that given his first chance to compete as a professional he balked and looked for an easier road.

    Looking at his college career, his first three years were nothing to get excited about, then as Young Sam stated his senior season he put up huge numbers skating with the best player in college. My guess would be that this article is the largest amount of space dedicated to him here. Judging by his looking for the easier path, I’d have great concerns about his compete level and the advice he is getting. I’m sure he was told he’ll get an inflated deal with a bidding war for his services like there was for Bozak, and maybe he will after all that dope still sits in Calgary, but I for one won’t lose an ounce of sleep over him not coming to the Hawks.

  • jordyhawk

    I watched Stan’s end-of-season presser where he addressed this. He was enthusiastic about signing Hayes (without groveling) and reiterated a number of times that the org saw him as a legitimate prospect at both center and wing. I don’t have a strong opinion on Stan one way or the other, but I thought he did a very professional job on this occasion. I think it’s pretty clear that the org did everything it could to appeal him and that this is all on Hayes.

  • mightymikeD

    I bear the Stairwell Shitter no ill-will: if he feels this is the smartest move for his career, then so be it. I can see his point regarding the log jam ahead of him. Personally, I’d rather have him as a Hawk (or Icehog) but I’m not going to lose any sleep over it.