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June 29, 2024

Former Flyer Kevin Hayes traded to Penguins after one season in St. Louis

After one year with the Blues, Hayes was traded to the Penguins alongside a 2025 second-round pick. The Flyers are still retaining 50 percent of his salary for the next two years.

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Kevin-Hayes-Blues-Flyers-3.4.24-NHL.jpg Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Kevin Hayes is back in the Metro Division.

Kevin Hayes is back within the Metro Division. 

The former Flyer, who was traded to the Blues last summer for a sixth-round pick to get the organization shifted into rebuild mode, went on the move again after just one season in St. Louis. 

On Day 2 of the 2024 NHL Draft Saturday in Vegas, the Blues shipped the 32-year old Hayes and a 2025 second-round pick to the Pittsburgh Penguins in exchange for future considerations. 

The Flyers are still retaining 50 percent of Hayes' salary over the next two seasons ($3,571,428 in 2024-25 and 2025-26, per CapFriendly) as part of last summer's trade with the Blues, even though he'll be on his way elsewhere. 

Hayes was signed to a seven-year, $50 million contract by the Flyers under the old front office regime led by Chuck Fletcher ahead of the 2019-20 season, but as the team bottomed out over the past few years and the focus shifted, especially after current head coach John Tortorella took over behind the bench, Hayes quickly fell out of favor and out of the long-term picture.

By the end of the 2022-23 season, his last in Philadelphia, it was obvious he was on his way out. He knew it. 

The year that followed in St. Louis was up and down. Hayes skated in 79 games with 13 goals and 16 assists, and the Blues did hang around in the Western Conference playoff picture, but just couldn't sustain a push, going on to miss the Wild Card cut by six points. 

Now the Blues are moving on, too, putting Hayes on the other side of the Penguins-Flyers rivalry in the process, and in the second straight summer where Hayes has been traded with some kind of incentive to get the deal through – the Flyers retaining salary last year, and the Blues sending a 2025 second this year. 

It's also worth noting that the Penguins are caught in the rather unique spot of knowingly needing to brace for the future while simultaneously trying to offer the aging core of Sidney Crosby, Kris Letang, and Evgeni Malkin every last shot to try and compete.

MORE: Flyers stack the deck for 2025 draft while taking the gamble on Jett Luchanko

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