Claude Giroux

NBC Sports

Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

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NBC Sports will air 109 games during the 2019-20 NHL regular season with coverage beginning on Opening Night, Wednesday, Oct. 2 at 8 p.m. ET when the St. Louis Blues raise their Stanley Cup banner before facing the Washington Capitals. Following the game will be a playoff rematch as the Vegas Golden Knights host the San Jose Sharks at 10:30 p.m. ET.

The 2019-20 NBC Sports NHL schedule will once again feature “Wednesday Night Hockey” on NBCSN with 14 of the 25 nights showcasing doubleheaders with stars like Alex Ovechkin, Sidney Crosby, Patrick Kane, Steven Stamkos, Connor McDavid, Johnny Gaudreau, Nathan MacKinnon, Henrik Lundqvist, and Patrice Bergeron.

Nearly 75% of NHL teams will play on “Wednesday Night Hockey,” with multiple appearances from the Blues, Golden Knights, Tampa Bay Lightning, Colorado Avalanche, Boston Bruins, and Dallas Stars.

Some notable games on “Wednesday Night Hockey”:

  • October 16 – Sidney Crosby and the Penguins host Nathan MacKinnon and the Avalanche, followed by a clash in Edmonton between Connor McDavid and the Oilers and Claude Giroux and the Flyers.
  • December 4 – Ryan O’Reilly and the defending Stanley Cup Champion Blues face off against the Penguins.
  • January 29 – Offseason acquisition Matt Duchene and the Nashville Predators visit Ovechkin and the Capitals, followed by a battle out west between the Lightning and the Kings in Los Angeles.
  • February 19Artemi Panarin and the Rangers to face Patrick Kane and the Blackhawks in an Original Six clash.
  • February 26Jack Eichel and the Buffalo Sabres will visit the Avalanche, followed by Penguins-Kings.

66 of 109 scheduled regular-season games on NBC and NBCSN – more than 60% – will feature at least one Western Conference team.

WINTER CLASSIC: NBC Sports will present the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Nashville Predators and the Dallas Stars from Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas, Texas, on Jan. 1, 2020, on NBC at 1 p.m. ET.

STADIUM SERIES AND HERITAGE CLASSIC: NBC Sports will present exclusive primetime coverage of the 2020 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Los Angeles Kings and the Colorado Avalanche from Falcon Stadium at the U.S. Air Force Academy in Colorado Springs, Colo., on Saturday, Feb. 15, 2020, at 8 p.m. ET on NBC.

The Calgary Flames and Winnipeg Jets will meet at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Saskatchewan on Oct. 26, 2019 for the 2019 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic at 10 p.m. ET on NBCSN.

STANLEY CUP FINAL REMATCH: The Boston Bruins will play the St. Louis Blues for the first time since Game 7 of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final on Oct. 26 at 7 p.m. ET on NBCSN. Coverage of the Flames-Jets Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic will follow.

NHL ALL-STAR WEEKEND: NBC will present coverage of the 2020 NHL All-Star Weekend from Enterprise Center in St. Louis, Mo., home of the Blues, on Jan. 24-25, highlighted by live coverage of the All-Star Game on Saturday, Jan. 25, in primetime on NBC.

NHL ON NBCSN: NBC Sports will televise at least 97 NHL regular-season games this season on NBCSN, including the Opening Night doubleheader, 38 “Wednesday Night Hockey” games, and 22 doubleheaders, as well as NHL All-Star coverage from St. Louis. In addition, NBC Sports has left the majority of the final week of the regular season on NBCSN open to allow for the biggest games with playoff implications to be added to the schedule.

Some NBCSN games of note:

  • Thur., Oct. 17 – The top two picks in the 2019 NHL Draft clash on NBCSN, when No. 1 pick Jack Hughes and the N.J. Devils host Kaapo Kakko and the N.Y. Rangers.
  • Sat., Oct. 26 – A rematch of the 2019 Stanley Cup Final featuring the Blues and Bruins in Boston, followed by the 2019 Heritage Classic between the Flames and Jets at Mosaic Stadium in Regina, Sask.
  • Fri., Nov. 8 – Live coverage at 2 p.m. ET from Stockholm, Sweden, of the NHL Global Series matchup between the Lightning and Sabres.
  • Tue., Dec. 17 – The first of four matchups featuring Auston Matthews and Toronto Maple Leafs as they host the Sabres.
  • Mon., Jan. 6 – Connor McDavid and the Oilers face Matthews and the Maple Leafs in Toronto.
  • Thur., Jan. 30P.K. Subban faces his former team when the Predators visit the Devils.
  • Mon., Feb. 10 – The Lightning face the Blue Jackets for the first time following Columbus’ sweep of Tampa Bay in the First Round of the 2019 Playoffs.
  • Tue., Feb. 18 – Auston Matthews and the Maple Leafs visit Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

NHL Live and NHL Overtime, NBC Sports’ live pre- and post-game show with highlights and analysis of NHL matchups, will air before and after most games on NBCSN. A 60-minute edition of NHL Live will air prior to most games, while NHL Overtime will air immediately following most games.

NHL ON NBC:  NHL on NBC coverage begins on Friday, Nov. 29, at 1 p.m. ET, with the 2019 Discover NHL Thanksgiving Showdown featuring the New York Rangers and the Boston Bruins, marking the first of 12 games scheduled to air on NBC during the regular season. Beginning on Jan. 19, and continuing through the end of the regular season, NBC will present the NHL Game of the Week, generally occurring on Sunday afternoons.

NBC Sports Group 2019-20 NHL regular-season schedule (subject to change):

Wed., Oct 2 Washington St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
San Jose Vegas NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Thur., Oct. 3 Minnesota Nashville NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 8 San Jose Nashville NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 9 New Jersey Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Los Angeles Vancouver NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 15 Tampa Bay Montreal NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 16 Colorado Pittsburgh NBCSN 7 p.m.
Philadelphia Edmonton NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Thur., Oct. 17 N.Y. Rangers New Jersey NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 23 Pittsburgh Tampa Bay NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., Oct. 26 St. Louis Boston NBCSN 7 p.m.
Calgary Winnipeg NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., Oct. 29 Tampa Bay N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Oct. 30 Minnesota St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 5 Boston Montreal NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Chicago San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 6 Detroit N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 8 Tampa Bay Buffalo NBCSN 2 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 12 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 13 Washington Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Chicago Vegas NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 19 Tampa Bay St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Edmonton San Jose NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 20 Washington N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Nov. 26 Dallas Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Nov. 27 Philadelphia Columbus NBCSN 7 p.m.
Fri., Nov. 29 N.Y. Rangers Boston NBC 1 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 3 Tampa Bay Nashville NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 4 St. Louis Pittsburgh NBCSN 8 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 10 St. Louis Buffalo NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 11 Boston Washington NBCSN 7 p.m.
Philadelphia Colorado NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Tues., Dec. 17 Buffalo Toronto NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Dec. 18 Colorado Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Mon., Dec. 23 N.Y. Rangers Philadelphia NBCSN 7 p.m.
Fri., Dec. 27 Minnesota Colorado NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 1 Nashville Dallas NBC 1 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 2 New Jersey N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 7 p.m.
St. Louis Colorado NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 5 Detroit Chicago NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Nashville Anaheim NBCSN 10 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 6 Edmonton Toronto NBCSN 7 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 7 Colorado N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 8 Washington Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Dallas Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 9 Nashville Chicago NBCSN 8:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 14 Minnesota Pittsburgh NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 15 Philadelphia St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 16 Tampa Bay Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., Jan. 19 Boston Pittsburgh NBC 12:30 p.m.
Tues., Jan. 21 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 22 Detroit Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Fri., Jan. 24 Skills Competition – All-Star Weekend NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sat., Jan. 25 NHL All-Star Game NBC 8 p.m.
Mon., Jan. 27 Tampa Bay Dallas NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Jan. 29 Nashville Washington NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tampa Bay Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thur., Jan. 30 Nashville New Jersey NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 2 Pittsburgh Washington NBC 12:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 3 Philadelphia Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 4 Chicago Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 5 Boston Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Thur., Feb. 6 Detroit Buffalo NBCSN 7 p.m.
San Jose Edmonton NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 9 Boston Detroit NBC 12:30 p.m.
Colorado Minnesota NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Mon., Feb. 10 Tampa Bay Columbus NBCSN 7 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 11 Philadelphia N.Y. Islanders NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 12 Montreal Boston NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Calgary Los Angeles NBCSN 10 p.m.
Thur., Feb. 13 Philadelphia Florida NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sat., Feb. 15 Los Angeles Colorado NBC 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 16 Detroit Pittsburgh NBC 12:30 p.m.
Boston N.Y. Rangers NBC 3:30 p.m.
St. Louis Nashville NBCSN 6 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 18 Toronto Pittsburgh NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 19 N.Y. Rangers Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., Feb. 23 Pittsburgh Washington NBC 12 p.m.
St. Louis Minnesota NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Vegas Anaheim NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., Feb. 25 Chicago St. Louis NBCSN 8 p.m.
Wed., Feb. 26 Buffalo Colorado NBCSN 8 p.m.
Pittsburgh Los Angeles NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Thur., Feb. 27 Dallas Boston NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 1 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBC 12 p.m.
Washington Minnesota NBCSN 8 p.m.
Los Angeles Vegas NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Tues., March 3 Boston Tampa Bay NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Wed., March 4 Philadelphia Washington NBCSN 7 p.m.
Anaheim Colorado NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Thur., March 5 Carolina Philadelphia NBCSN 7 p.m.
Sun., March 8 St. Louis Chicago NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Colorado San Jose NBCSN 10 p.m.
Tues., March 10 Boston Philadelphia NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., March 11 San Jose Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Sun., March 15 Nashville Minnesota NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Tues., March 17 St. Louis Philadelphia NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., March 18 Pittsburgh N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Vegas Arizona NBCSN 10 p.m.
Sun., March 22 Washington Pittsburgh NBC 12 p.m.
Nashville Chicago NBCSN 7 p.m.
Tues., March 24 St. Louis Washington NBCSN 7 p.m.
Wed., March 25 Pittsburgh Chicago NBCSN 8 p.m.
Arizona Vegas NBCSN 10:30 p.m.
Thur., March 26 Philadelphia Detroit NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Sun., March 29 Pittsburgh Philadelphia NBC 12 p.m.
Minnesota St. Louis NBCSN 7 p.m.
Nashville Colorado NBCSN 9:30 p.m.
Wed., April 1 Philadelphia N.Y. Rangers NBCSN 7:30 p.m.
Dallas Anaheim NBCSN 10 p.m.

STREAMING COVERAGE ON NBCSPORTS.COM AND THE NBC SPORTS APP

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app — NBC Sports Group’s live streaming platforms for desktops, mobile devices, tablets, and connected TVs — will provide live streaming coverage of the Stanley Cup Playoffs via “TV Everywhere,” giving consumers additional value for their subscription service, and making high quality content available to MVPD customers both in and out of the home and on multiple platforms.

NBCSports.com and the NBC Sports app are powered by Playmaker Media and available on the iTunes App Store, Google Play, Windows Store, Roku Channel Store, Apple TV, Amazon Fire, Samsung Smart TVs, Xbox, and Chromecast.

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Pro Pets: Gritty spends a day with his new pet, Claw’d

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Gritty made a new friend this summer. During a summer stop at the Jersey Shore — and likely in-between his daily routine of gym, tan, and laundry — the Philadelphia Flyers’ beloved mascot found a hermit crab and promptly named it Claw’d after his best friend, Claude Giroux.

In a new NBC Sports short-form digital series that shows athletes and personalities with the animals they love, it was clear we had to see how life was these days for Gritty and Claw’d.

The debut episodes, which are available now, feature: George Kittle, San Francisco 49ers tight end (NBC Sports Bay Area); Lawrence Guy, New England Patriots defensive lineman (NBC Sports Boston); Matt Nagy, Chicago Bears head coach (NBC Sports Chicago); Jacob Martin, Seattle Seahawks defensive end (NBC Sports Northwest); Gritty, Philadelphia Flyers mascot (NBC Sports Philadelphia); and Wes Martin, Washington Redskins offensive lineman (NBC Sports Washington).

Athletes and personalities appearing in upcoming episodes include: Elena Della Donne, Washington Mystics forward; Lucas Giolito Chicago White Sox pitcher; Kendall Gill, former NBA player and Chicago Bulls TV analyst; Rhys Hoskins, Philadelphia Phillies first baseman; Shane Lemieux, Oregon Ducks offensive lineman; Zarek Valentin, Portland Timbers defender; and John Wall, Washington Wizards guard.

Check out the video above to see how Gritty and Claw’d are getting along in the first episode of our Pro Pets series.

New episodes featuring different athletes and their fur-iends will be published on the respective regional sports sites each Monday for six weeks. In all, the original content initiative will include six episodes per market, for a total of 36 videos, through Sept. 9.

The Pro Pets short-form episodes will be published and archived on dedicated pages on the sites of NBC Sports Bay Area, NBC Sports Boston, NBC Sports Chicago, NBC Sports Northwest, NBC Sports Philadelphia, and NBC Sports Washington. The content will also be featured on the networks’ social media platforms, and fans can join the conversation by using #ProPetsNBC.

MORE GRITTY:
Meet Gritty, the Flyers’ horrifyingly delightful new mascot
Gritty’s grand entrance highlights Stadium Series pregame

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Sean Leahy is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @Sean_Leahy.

Flyers’ ‘win-now’ offseason continues with Hayes signing

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Kevin Hayes watched with significant interest as the Philadelphia Flyers made moves to get better right away.

Then he signed on the dotted line for the long term to add to those efforts.

Hayes signed a $50 million, seven-year contract with the Flyers on Wednesday that’s worth $7.14 million a season. The 27-year-old is Philadelphia’s third major addition this offseason after trading for defensemen Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun and is the most prominent sign yet that the franchise has shifted from building to trying to contend for a title.

”(Acquiring) Niskanen and Braun, it just shows that they’re in a win-now mentality,” Hayes said on a conference call Wednesday. ”With the three moves they made in the last couple weeks, it just shows their fans and shows the team and the organization that they want to win right now and that factored into my decision, as well – being able to win.”

The Flyers haven’t won the Stanley Cup since 1975, now the fourth-longest drought in the NHL, and missed the playoffs four out of the past seven years. Former general manager Ron Hextall’s regime was about drafting and developing, and now Chuck Fletcher is turning his attention to making Philadelphia a playoff contender again.

Committing this substantial price to Hayes shows that. The Flyers sent a fifth-round pick to Winnipeg for his exclusive negotiating rights and also traded defenseman Radko Gudas and second- and third-round picks to get Niskanen and Braun.

This was all part of the plan.

”We’re stronger, we’re deeper and we filled a lot of the holes we identified coming into the summer,” Fletcher said. ”Certainly our expectation is we’re a more competitive hockey club, but there’s a lot of work to be done to take this collection of individuals and make it into a strong team.”

Hayes becomes the Flyers’ third-highest paid player behind captain Claude Giroux and winger Jakub Voracek and should step in as their new No. 2 center behind Sean Couturier. He’s coming off a recording a career-high 55 points last season with the Rangers and Jets and has 92 goals and 137 assists in 381 regular-season NHL games.

”He checks a lot of boxes we were looking for,” Fletcher said. ”We like his size, we like his skill, we like his 200-foot game. We like his age: He’s just entering the prime of his career and he plays a premium position at center. So we think he rounds out our forward group out and will give our coaching staff a lot of options going forward.”

That coaching staff has a lot to do with why Hayes and the Flyers identified each other as a good fit. Hayes played under new Philadelphia coach Alain Vigneault for four seasons in New York, something that will ease his adjustment.

”We had a great relationship on and off the ice,” Hayes said. ”He demands hard work and if you play the correct way, he kinds of lets you play freely offensively, and that was a huge factor in the decision. Being comfortable with him just made the decision a lot easier.”

The money doesn’t hurt, either, and Hayes got a full no-movement clause in the first three years of the contract to protect against Seattle expansion. He’ll be able to submit a 12-team no-trade list in the final four years.

Hayes could have waited until Sunday to talk to any interested club and pick his destination July 1. Instead, he said the familiarity with the Flyers, what he thought his role could be and his belief they can win sooner than later led him to forego unrestricted free agency.

”It was kind of a no-brainer,” Hayes said. ”I think Chuck and (president Paul Holmgren) are putting together a team that can do some damage and ultimately win the Stanley Cup.”

Follow AP Hockey Writer Stephen Whyno on Twitter at https://twitter.com/SWhyno

More AP NHL: https://apnews.com/NHL and https://twitter.com/AP-Sports

Flyers, Hayes agree to seven-year, $50 million deal

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The Philadelphia Flyers took a calculated gamble, trading a late-round pick for the rights to negotiate with center Kevin Hayes. It appears that move is now paying off, for both team and player.

TSN’s Bob McKenzie reported Tuesday night that Hayes, a pending unrestricted free agent, are closing in on a seven-year, $50 million deal ($7.14 million annual average value), taking one more big name free agent off the board long before the free agency window opens on July 1.

The Flyers put the official stamp on the deal on Wednesday.

“We are very happy to sign Kevin to a long-term contract,” Fletcher said in a release by the team. “He plays a smart, two-way game and is just entering the prime of his career. Kevin will add size and skill to our lineup.”

A day normally referred to as a ‘frenzy’ will be merely a whimper at the pace big names are being erased off the list.

The Flyers really wanted their guy, so much so that they’re paying a guy who’s only broken the 20-goal mark once and has only surpassed 50 points once, too — this year, with 55 points in 71 games with the New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets.

But teams will pay big money for a top-six center who is large in stature and has a knack for using that frame to drive to the net. At 6-foot-5 and 216 pounds, Hayes is a formidable figure on the ice and at 27, is coming into the prime of his career.

Hayes becomes the 18th highest paid center in the NHL, making more than Patrice Bergeron in Boston, Nathan MacKinnon in Colorado and Mark Scheifele in Winnipeg — all three players who are top-line centers on their respective teams and with significantly more success in the production department.

CapFriendly has the nearest comparable to Hayes’ contract listed as Ryan O'Reilly of the St. Louis Blues, who won the Conn Smythe a few nights ago.

The Flyers acquired the rights to court Hayes last week when they sent a 2019 fifth-round pick to the Jets, who brought Hayes in from the Rangers at the trade deadline.

Hayes didn’t impress in Winnipeg, but came into a team that was on a downward trajectory and couldn’t rectify it himself.

Initially, it was reported that Philly wasn’t No. 1 on Hayes’ list. We can suppose that changed as the AAV rose in negotiations.

A couple thoughts:

  • Matt Duchene must be licking his chops at this point. Duchene, a UFA himself, is going to be signing T-Pain’s ‘I’m so Paid’ for years to come.
  • It would appear the dollar figure for William Karlsson would come in around this mark.
  • The Flyers are doing big things this offseason.

Earlier on Tuesday, they added defenseman Justin Braun from the San Jose Sharks, taking advantage of a team that needed to shed some salary.

The Hayes signing just highlights further the aggressive off-season by Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is undertaking, vastly different than Ron Hextall’s slow-and-steady plan.

Over the last week, they added Matt Niskanen from the Washington Capitals by shipping Radko Gudas the other way and bought out Andrew MacDonald‘s contract.

And they still have nearly $23 million to work with and restricted free agents in Scott Laughton, Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim and Ivan Provorov they still need to sign.

The Flyers are that darkhorse team for next year. They’ve appeared to find a capable starter in Carter Hart, have re-tooled their blue line and still have names such as Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Jakub Voracek to go along with the Hayes addition.

Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck.

Flyers on Hayes talks, NHL Draft approach

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With the 2019 NHL Draft and free agency approaching, the Philadelphia Flyers have their hands full. The team addressed contract negotiations with Kevin Hayes, their approach to the 2019 NHL Draft, and more on Monday.

Hayes situation still hazy

Back on June 3, the Flyers sent their 2019 fifth-round pick to the Winnipeg Jets for Hayes’ negotiating rights. The Flyers bought themselves a window to try to hash out a contract with Hayes, 27, before the big center can hit the free agent market on July 1.

Via a transcription by NHL.com’s Adam Kimelman, Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher indicates that not a whole lot has been discussed yet, but Fletcher expects to have face-to-face time by the 2019 NHL Draft (June 21-22), and also believes that Hayes is “open-minded” about signing with Philly.

“I don’t have a vibe, other than he’s certainly open-minded,” Fletcher said. “You have to remember he’s two weeks away from getting to July 1, so that’s a nice status to obtain in this league. Certainly, he’s earned that right and we are respectful of that. I think we have a lot to offer in Philly. So we will continue to speak to him and I think he’s open-minded to conversations, at least that is what his camp has said to us, and obviously we have strong interest in him.”

Fletcher notes that he hopes that Hayes can help the Flyers with his defensive game, not just with scoring.

Broad Street Hockey also lays out the benefits of a potential ripple effect if the Flyers can sign Hayes.

Most prominently, Hayes solidifying the second center spot could allow Claude Giroux to stay at a more comfortable spot on the wing, allow Nolan Patrick to draw easier matchups as a 3C, and also open up the possibility that the Flyers could earn the depth to have one of the best fourth lines in hockey.

Interesting stuff all around, even if it isn’t earth-shattering. Of course, all of that would hinge on Hayes wanting to play for the Flyers, and reunite with former Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault.

On the 2019 NHL Draft

NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Jordan Hall provides an account of the Flyers’ discussions regarding the 11th pick of the 2019 NHL Draft, as Monday’s press conference didn’t just include GM Chuck Fletcher, but also assistant GM Brent Flahr.

It’s basically a trope to wonder if a team might trade its first-rounder, and while Fletcher didn’t totally disregard the possibility, it sounds pretty remote, as Fletcher admitted that there “hasn’t really been a big push for the pick at this point.”

To be fair to those wondering about that possibility, the Flyers are likely in a spot where they’d be more interested in chasing immediate gains, rather than developing more prospects. They made great strides in that area under Ron Hextall’s watch, and one of the hopes of hiring Fletcher seems to be making aggressive strides for the present.

So, the lure might be there, but the demand might not.

Flahr grades the 2019 NHL Draft as a “B+,” and Flahr indicated that the team is leaning more toward drafting a defenseman.

“We have a couple of defensemen in our top 10 that we like,” Flahr said.

“We’ve identified probably five or six guys that we think have a chance to be there at 11 and probably some of the other teams in front of us will dictate that. But we’re really confident we’re going to get a good player.”

To an extent, the Flyers are playing the waiting game right now. They need to do their best to entice Hayes to sign, rather than burning a fifth-round pick for nothing. They also must prepare for multiple scenarios, as the 11th pick is late enough where things can play out in a number of ways, while there’s also the chance that a really promising prospect falls that far.

That all might feel a bit unnerving, but with a nice core already in place and a ton of cap space on hand, the Flyers could also make some waves during the summer. If nothing else, they’ve already shown that they’re willing to be proactive, if not outright aggressive, to get things done.

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.