(CBS) All indications are the Blackhawks will soon lose exclusive rights to one of hockey’s top prospects.
Kevin Hayes — whom Chicago selected 24th overall in the 2010 draft — is “not likely” to sign with the Blackhawks by this weekend’s deadline, his agent, Robert Murray, told the Chicago Tribune. If Hayes doesn’t sign by the time the clock strikes midnight Saturday, he will become an unrestricted free agent.
“It’s been a long, thought-out process,” Murray said, according to the Tribune. “(Kevin) has worked his way through it. (Thursday) is the 14th, so I would expect we’ll get to the 16th.”
Making the situation look all the more bleak for a signing is that Murray told the Tribune that he hasn’t spoken with Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman recently and that he wasn’t sure if they’d even talk before the deadline. Chicago could still sign Hayes if he becomes an unrestricted free agent, but it’d be much more difficult and by then the ship may have seemingly sailed.
Neither side has explained why a deal hasn’t been reached yet.
The 22-year-old Hayes became one of the nation’s top forwards in playing four seasons at Boston College, scoring 28 goals and registering 39 assists last season while being a finalist for the collegiate player of the year award.