The Boston Bruins should just cut their losses and buyout the contract of forward Jimmy Hayes.
The Boston Bruins traded for forward Jimmy Hayes back in 2015. At the time, it seemed like a good move for the Black and Gold. The B’s were trading Reilly Smith (who was having a rough hot-and-cold season) and the remainder of Marc Savard’s contract.
The Bruins were hoping for a 20-goal scorer that could use his physicality to shut down opposing teams.
The move had every catch phrase Bruins fans seem to love. Hayes was the ‘big bodied guy’ who could put pucks on the net. That he was a Dorchester native was the icing on the cake. The B’s front office and the fans were hoping that the 6’5″ Hayes could fill in the hole left by Milan Lucic.
That didn’t happen. Not by a long shot.
Hayes didn’t live up to his billing and the fans weren’t happy. When his name got linked (later proven to be false) as a reason why Jimmy Vesey chose the Rangers over Boston, it made matters worse.
Jimmy Hayes found himself getting pushed around on the ice these last two seasons. Smaller players like Matt Beleskey (last season) and Frank Vatrano (this season) were providing the physicality the Bruins needed. While I can’t speak to the actual effort put forth by Hayes these last two seasons, the results are pretty damning for the former ‘Pride of Dorchester’.
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In all honesty, Hayes was the worst player on the ice for Boston this season. He only played 58 games for the B’s this season. He put up just five points (two goals) for the Bruins. By comparison, Noel Acciari put up the exact same numbers, and did it in half as many games.
This fight kind of sums up Hayes’ time in Boston.
Hayes spent extended periods as a healthy scratch. When Bruce Cassidy took over for Claude Julien, there were hopes the shake-up would provide motivation for players like Hayes. That didn’t happen. He spent more time guarding the popcorn machine on the ninth level than making plays on the ice.
Moving forward, the Bruins are going to need cap space. They’ve got to sign David Pastrnak to his first ‘real’ contract, and that will likely be in the high-five/low-six million range. The last thing they need is a two million dollar albatross weighing them down.
Boston could find a way to package Hayes as part of a multi-player deal. It’s unlikely though. Unless they can figure out a way to make that happen, the Bruins should just cut their losses and buyout Hayes.
This is how a buyout for Jimmy Hayes would work out:
- Jimmy Hayes is 27 years old at the date of the buyout
- Salary remaining: $2,600,000
- The buyout ratio is 2/3, which results in a total buyout cost of $1,733,333
- There are 1 years remaining on this contract
- The buyout will be spread out over 2 years
- The annual buyout cost is $866,667
On some level, I hate this idea. The Bruins would be essentially rewarding Hayes for being a terrible NHL player. Still, his numbers don’t lie. He was the worst forward (and possibly overall player) for Boston last year.
Hayes could still be a decent NHL player, but he’ll need to do it somewhere else.
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