Flyers come to terms with Kevin Hayes

He’s their new second-line center for, like, ever.

Well if you were waiting for the next shoe to drop, it’s arrived. Everyone’s favorite insider, Bob McKenzie, is reporting that the Flyers have signed Kevin Hayes to a seven year contract that carries a $7.14M cap hit.

Per CapFriendly the exact cap hit is $7,142,857.

Our initial reaction to this is that it’s a lot of money and a lot of years. Hayes is no doubt a good player, and good players get paid, but this is a bit more than we were expecting. Two weeks ago when the Flyers acquired Hayes’ rights in a trade with the Winnipeg Jets, we discussed the impact of his potential signing on the rest of the roster. One point that rings even more true now was our closing paragraph:

If the Flyers are able to sign Hayes, it addresses an immediate need for the team, and adds some strength to the forward corps. But he’s going to cost a significant price, and while it doesn’t automatically mean the Flyers are done for the off-season, the money they have to work with limits their options some.

Since then they’ve added $3,871,667 to their payroll in trading for Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun, and buying out Andrew MacDonald. The Flyers have a projected cap space of $22,896,310 with restricted free agents Ivan Provorov, Travis Konecny, and Travis Sanheim, among others, still needing contracts. They’ll also look to either sign or trade for a backup goaltender in the near future. While $22 million dollars in cap space sounds like a lot, with fears that the salary cap may actually be below $82 million, the Flyers really won’t have much wiggle room after (hopefully) signing their young stars.