Winnipeg gave up a roster player and a 1st rounder for 26 games of Hayes.
The 5th is a great use of the asset to get that negotiating window, even if Hayes doesn't sign.
Homer would have given up a 2nd, so... progress.
One other thing that’s smart about trading for Hayes’ rights is that they should have a real good idea at the draft if he’s going to sign at the price the Flyers are willing to pay. It takes the guesswork out of what to do at the draft. If he’s willing to sign, then no need to explore a trade for a 2C at the draft, which is the most likely time ahead of the season for a trade to be made. If he’s not, the the Flyers know they need to move on to Plan B and begin working the phones for a trade a
He does fill a need for next year. And they're going to fill next year's need with a 6-7 year contract.
Rather than filling "next year's need" with a long term deal to "whoever happens to be available" I'd be more comfortable with an approach that says "this guy who happens to be available rightnow is the guy that we want for the next 6-7 years."
I just don't get that feeling as to how this organization works. And, to be fair, it may not be how the NHL works.