Hawks GM says the puck is in Hayes' rink

By Brian Hedger
Special to the Daily Herald
Updated 7/19/2014 11:20 PM

The decision is up to Kevin Hayes now.

That, in essence, is what Blackhawks general manager Stan Bowman said about the negotiation between the team and its 2010 first-round pick. If they can't reach an agreement on an entry-level contract with Hayes by Aug. 15, the younger brother of former Hawks prospect Jimmy Hayes will become an unrestricted free agent.


It's starting to look like a likely outcome, and Bowman's comments during this weekend's seventh annual Blackhawks Fan Convention did nothing to dissuade that notion.

"We're still waiting," he said. "Status quo from our end. We've been hopeful that they want to sign with us, and at this point (agent) Bob Murray might be in a better position on what they're thinking, but we're hopeful that he wants to be part of our organization.

"But if he doesn't, then we'll move past that. At this point it's his choice to decide what he wants to do. We've done everything we can. We have to hope he wants to be a Blackhawk."

Hayes, who played four seasons at Boston College and starred as a senior, could seek out a team with less roadblocks to the NHL as a free agent. Hayes' agent hasn't ruled out signing with the Hawks, who selected him 24th overall, but the odds seem to diminish every day that goes by without a deal.

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Oduya healing:

Defenseman Johnny Oduya met with reporters before the start of the convention, and he was sporting two noticeable differences in his appearance.

One was a beard that was even thicker than his playoff beard. The other was a walking boot on his right foot, the result of an injury sustained in the third period of Game 7 against the Los Angeles Kings.

Oduya finished the game, which went to overtime, but likely would've missed most or all of the Stanley Cup Final had the Hawks advanced.

"I broke it that last game, so it's healing pretty good," said Oduya, the subject of trade speculation this off-season with the Hawks over the salary cap. "I feel good, and I'll be good to go (in training camp)."

'Special day':

Teuvo Teravainen, the Hawks' top prospect, competed in a scrimmage Friday to wrap up the weeklong Prospect Camp.

It was the only scrimmage of the week for Teravainen's group, which featured mostly players who will play in either Rockford or the NHL next season.

Hawks coach Joel Quenneville came away impressed with the 19-year-old Teravainen, who came over from Finland near the end of last season to play in Chicago and Rockford.


Teravainen, who's thought to be the long-term answer at second-line center, played left wing in the scrimmage and displayed a similar game to that of star right-wing Patrick Kane, holding on to the puck to create plays.

"I thought he had a special day," Quenneville said. "Over the course of the week, you can see his skills. His anticipation offensively is excellent.

"He's only going to get better with both sides of the puck as he gets over here and familiar with our game. Certainly fun watching him play and envision him playing where he's going to be at some point in his career, at the top end of the game. That's an exciting guy to watch."

Loose pucks:

As expected, coach Joel Quenneville said newly acquired veteran center Brad Richards will "likely" start the season as the second-line center between forwards Brandon Saad and Patrick Kane. … Forward Kris Versteeg did not attend the convention because he is getting married this weekend. Defenseman Nick Leddy didn't attend because of a scheduling conflict with an event for a friend who's a Navy SEAL. … Forward Bryan Bickell said his wife is expecting their first child in about a month.

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