The New York Rangers agree to terms with Kevin Hayes to a one-year contract on Monday that keeps the center in town a little while longer.
— New York Rangers (@NYRangers) July 30, 2018
Hayes, 26, skated in 76 games with the Rangers this past season, registering 25 goals with 44 points. He established career-highs in goals, even strength goals (17), power play goals (six), shorthanded goals (two), power play points (eight), faceoff wins (562), faceoffs opportunities (1,112), and faceoff win percentage (50.5 percent).
Hayes has 310 career NHL games over four seasons under his belt—all with the Rangers—recording 73 goals and 101 assists for 174 points. The center is also one of the top penalty killers on the team as he led Rangers forwards in average shorthanded ice time (2:15) and total shorthanded ice time (170:22) during the season.
The signing of Hayes was one of the most anticipated deals of the offseason but comes with several drawbacks.
Hayes had wanted a long-term deal to remain with New York, something general manager Gorton was defiant in not giving the Rangers center. At the conclusion of this upcoming season, Hayes will become an unrestricted free agent, free to leave the team and sign anywhere he can reach a deal he believes matches his worth.
Another drawback to this one year contract is that the team can not offer Hayes a contract extension until January 2019. At that time Hayes will be less than four months away from the UFA status and may be unwilling to sign a contract extension with the team.
Hayes was originally selected by the Chicago Blackhawks in the first round, 24th overall, of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft. The Massachusetts native was signed by the Rangers as a free agent on August 20, 2014.
Ryan Spooner is now the only Ranger RFA yet to sign a contract.