According to a report from TSN's Bob McKenzie, the Flyers and Hayes have come to an agreement on seven-year contract worth $50 million. That comes out to an average annual value of $7.14 million, making Hayes the 18th highest-paid center in the league.
Seven years, $50 million, $7.14M AAV.— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) June 19, 2019
The signing comes after the Flyers traded a 2019 fifth-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets for Hayes' expiring contract earlier this June. The deal allowed Philadelphia to have early negotiating privileges with the veteran forward before he was set to hit unrestricted free agency this summer.
The Flyers clearly made a decent pitch to the 27-year-old Hayes, and they also handed him a pretty lucrative contract for a player who has only reached 20 goals and 50 points once in his five-year career. But new Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher said earlier this year that he would prioritize adding more proven talent to the roster this offseason, and Philadelphia has certainly done that with Hayes.
Hayes is a versatile forward who can play down the middle or on the wing. He's a solid two-way contributor who can play on the power play and penalty kill as well.
Hayes is coming off a career-best season in which he had 19 goals and 55 points. He split the year between the Rangers and Jets, who acquired him at the trade deadline. He played just 26 games for Winnipeg (regular season and playoffs) before having his rights shipped to the Flyers.
He's the latest marquee name to come off the big board ahead of free agency, following Jeff Skinner (re-signed in Buffalo) and Erik Karlsson (re-signed in San Jose) as key would-be free agents who have elected to pass on hitting the open market.