Say what you like about Q and how he mishandled a number of players on the roster this season, Jimmy wasn't one of them. If anything Shaw was handled worse than Hayes, as Q gained a quick and inexplicable love for Andrew Shaw and threw the kid to the sharks in some situations in which it may have been better to coddle him (thus leading to Shaw's reassignment before being recalled after the Toews injury). His inconsistencies stemmed not from getting jerked around the roster but from other sources: primarily poor skating ability (Conversely, Andrew Shaw, who was much smaller, but a much stronger skater, saw a lot more minutes). Also he is big, but not necessarily all that strong, yet. Finally Jimmy is incompetent in his own end, which is made worse by his lack of ability to skate and make up for positional mistakes. I think he will improve but he is still down the road a bit, and its not all going to magically come together for him solely by virtue of more playing time. If anything, I wouldn't mind it at all if the Hawks were deep enough next season to give Jimmy some time to work on his skating, strength, and defensive IQ at the Rock, at least to start the season. Even though the clock is ticking on his EL deal, I don't think Hayes is going to get good enough fast enough to command much more salary in addition to a standard Qualifying Offer in two years. Don't get me wrong, I think he will get good, but I also think his arch of progression will be similar to other big guys who need more work.
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