Last night, PuckPedia reported that John Hayden had signed a one-year two-way contract with the Seattle Kraken, and today the team confirmed the deal. Hayden will earn $750K at the NHL level and $325K in the AHL.
Now 27, Hayden played this season with the Buffalo Sabres, racking up 84 penalty minutes in 55 games. The 6’3″ forward has morphed into something of an enforcer type, after finding it difficult to contribute much offense in the NHL. A star for Yale University, he has just 15 goals and 35 points in 240 NHL games.
Still, it’s not like he’s been toiling in the minor leagues during that time. Hayden has just 24 games played in the AHL, all of them coming during his 2017-18 rookie season. Since then, he has been bouncing around the league but staying in the NHL, playing for the Chicago Blackhawks, New Jersey Devils, Arizona Coyotes, and Sabres over the last four seasons.
In Seattle, it’s hard to see him landing a full-time role but he might be able to stick around as a 13th or 14th forward, moving in and out of the lineup when necessary. No longer waiver-exempt, he would have to clear to be assigned to the minor leagues.