Jimmy Hayes Called Upon to Fill Patrick Sharp’s Big Skates

By Brian Kinkade

January 6, 2012; Philadelphia, PA USA; Chicago Blackhawks right wing Jimmy Hayes (39) celebrates his goal against the Philadelphia Flyers during the first period of the game at the Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

Chicago Blackhawks’ star winger, Patrick Sharp suffered an apparent shoulder injury after a hit into the boards coutrtesy of Colorado Avalanche defenseman, Ryan O’byrne.  Sharp is expected to miss the next 3-4 weeks of the season, and to fill his spot on the roster, and in the lineup, the Blackhawks have called-up forward Jimmy Hayes from their AHL affiliate, the Rockford IceHogs.  

Hayes isn’t the same type of player that Patrick Sharp is, so if you’re expecting him to come to Chicago to try to be a stand-in for Sharp, you’re mistaken. Hayes will try to play his role, which is that of a big-bodied power-forward, as opposed to the more finesse style of Patrick Sharp’s sniper mentality.  Hayes stands a very tall, 6-6 and weighs 221lbs.  Don’t assume that Hayes is oafish due to his advanced size.  Hayes’ posseses the skills and tools to be a top-6 forward, which is what he will be, as he will be playing on the second line alongside Dave Bolland and Patrick Kane.

While in Rockford, this season, Hayes has put up 22 goals and 17 assists, through 58 games.  Hopefully he can continue to be a uniquely skilled/sized player at the NHL level.  This won’t be his first go-around in the NHL, as he appeared in 31 games for the Blackhawks last season.  So, the initial jitters should be out of the way.  It will be interesting to see if he will be the recipient of the same good fortune through bad luck, much like Brandon Saad was when Daniel Carcillo was injured, earlier this season.

Best of luck to the Hawks and Jimmy!