Forward John Hayden is back with the Seattle Kraken, recalled officially on Wednesday morning from the AHL affiliate Coachella Valley Firebirds.
Hayden, 28, has a pair of goals in five games with the Kraken in two previous trips to the NHL this year, filling a role on their fourth line that has been the most interchangeable this season. There was no corresponding move for the Kraken, who are now allowed to manage a roster of more than 23 players after the trade deadline, as long as every player fits under the NHL’s mandated $82.5 million salary cap.
“He gives us another element, he’s a different player than what we had on our roster,” said head coach Dave Hakstol. “He’s an outstanding pro. He’s a guy who fits in very well in the dressing room.”
Known as a physical player who isn’t afraid to drop the gloves, the 6-foot-3, 215 pound forward has 17 goals in 47 games for the Firebirds this season, who are on the cusp of clinching a playoff berth in their AHL expansion season while leading the league in offense with 3.6 goals per game.
Where he plays in the Kraken lineup and when he gets back in are still unanswered questions, even with Hakstol refusing to commit if he’ll play on Thursday when the Kraken visit San Jose. On Wednesday at a brief 30-minute practice, Hayden skated in drills with Brandon Tanev and Morgan Geekie, a potential sign that line could be deployed against the Sharks.
Hayden has 245 games in the NHL across his seven year pro career with 17 goals, 37 points and 283 penalty minutes. He signed a one year, two-way deal for the league minimum with the Kraken last year on July 15.