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Blues’ Kevin Hayes says threats followed Flyers prospect trade, denies ties to it

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ST. LOUIS – Kevin Hayes joined the St. Louis Blues last summer in an offseason trade with the Philadelphia Flyers. He says a situation that surfaced Monday in Philadelphia led to threats, and he denies any involvement to what transpired, according to several St. Louis media reports.

The Flyers traded prospect Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks on Monday, several months after he reportedly informed the team he did not want to play in Philadelphia.

Gauthier, the fifth overall pick of the 2022 NHL Draft, did not report to the Flyers development camp last summer. More recently, he did not speak to two Flyers officials who flew out to Sweden during the World Junior Championships to watch him and hoped to persuade him to change his mind. That appeared to be the final straw.


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Late Monday evening, a video shared on social media platform X (formerly Twitter) went viral that name-dropped Kevin Hayes. Anthony SanFilippo, a Flyers analyst for a Philadelphia sports platform known as “The Crossing Board,” offered the following comments:

“I talked to somebody in the organization… Kevin Hayes’ fingerprints are all over this,” said SanFillippo on a clip for Flyers podcast ‘Snow The Goalie.’

Hayes and Gauthier both share a connection as Boston College hockey products. According to PhillyHockeyNow.com, Gauthier met Hayes during the 2022-23 season and referred to him as someone with a “really great spirit” and he was “super fortunate to have in my contacts.”

Philadelphia traded Hayes to St. Louis in June in an apparent salary dump. Both the Flyers and Blues will take on half of his contract for each of the next two seasons.

It seems Hayes learned about SanFilippo’s comments on Monday. In another post that went viral on X, a fan page called Flyers Nation took a screenshot of what appeared to be Kevin Hayes responding to SanFilippo’s comments on Instagram and saying, “This guy is a [expletive] clown and making [expletive] up.”

Hayes doubled down Tuesday in reports from St. Louis Post-Dispatch’s Matthew DeFranks and The Athletic’s Jeremy Rutherford.

In both reports, Hayes denies any involvement that may have factored into Gauthier refusing to play for the Flyers or being traded to Anaheim.

“I think it’s completely insane that this guy [SanFillipo] can say something like that,” Hayes told DeFranks.

“Not a single aspect of what I’ve done had any implications on this kid’s decision,” Hayes told Rutherford.

Hayes told both DeFranks and Rutherford on Tuesday that he woke up to threats against himself and his family. He also says he received jarring messages about his brother Jimmy, who played eight seasons in the NHL and died in 2021.

Despite the situation, Hayes is expected to play Tuesday as the Blues host the Florida Panthers. He’s played in all 38 games for the Blues to this point of the season, currently with nine goals and ten assists.

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