The Philadelphia Flyers’ 2022-23 season hasn’t exactly gone according to plan. The Flyers are 14-17-7, embarked on a 10-game losing streak and are currently one of the worst teams in the NHL. But despite their poor campaign, they still need to send a player to the 2023 NHL All-Star Game, and that player is officially set to be Kevin Hayes. This will be Hayes’ first-ever appearance at an All-Star Game in his decade-long NHL career.
The NHL announced the Eastern Conference representatives Thursday night during the Flyers’ tilt against the Arizona Coyotes, in which Hayes has already logged a goal and two assists through two periods.
These Eastern stars will be shining down in South Florida for the #NHLAllStar Weekend! ⭐️— NHL (@NHL) January 6, 2023
Head over to https://t.co/JOMxUndKd8 at 9p ET to help select the rest of the players in the #NHLAllStarVote! pic.twitter.com/rO0vKqOeX9
Hayes has put up some impressive numbers this season. In 38 games played, the 30-year-old has logged 10 goals and 25 assists, and he’s on pace to set a new career high in assists and points.
As strong as he’s been offensively, though, his season hasn’t been without heavy turbulence. Last month, Hayes was a healthy scratch against his former team, the New York Rangers, due to his deficiencies away from the puck. Hayes was also benched in the third period twice earlier in the season — first against the San Jose Sharks on October 23 and once more against the New Jersey Devils back on December 15.
Flyers head coach John Tortorella made it clear in the offseason that he was going to be tough on Hayes, but the benchings have been surprising given the fifth-year Flyer’s offensive prowess.
Equally as surprising is Travis Konecny’s absence from the All-Star roster. Konecny is having the best season of his NHL career with 20 goals and as many assists through 33 games, and he’s currently riding a seven-game point streak — six of those games were multi-point outings for the feisty winger.
Carter Hart also had a case to be the Flyers’ All-Star representative. The 24-year-old netminder has been the Flyers’ backbone all season long, consistently standing on his head to earn his squad undeserved victories. His 10-11-6 record, along with his 2.89 goals against average and .911 save percentage, don’t look pretty, but he’s been the Flyers’ most important player throughout the first half of the season.
Regardless, Hayes earning his first All-Star nod is well-deserved, especially after his rocky 2021-22 season.
Joining him on the Metropolitan roster will be Andrei Svechnikov, Johnny Gaudreau, Jack Hughes, Brock Nelson, Igor Shesterkin, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin.
Festivities for the 2023 NHL All-Star Weekend begin Friday, February 3 in Sunrise, Florida.