As another season is all but lost for the Philadelphia Flyers, it is time to seriously re-assess their current core. Mike Richards and Jeff Carter were traded seven-and-a-half years ago, meaning the current core of Wayne Simmonds, Sean Couturier, Jake Voracek, and Claude Giroux have been together without success for three-quarters of a decade. Now that Hextall is gone it is time for the Chuck Fletcher regime to make the changes necessary to put the team back on a winning path.
The obvious choice is dismantling the current core of veterans who aren’t being the leaders they need to be. The best way for the Flyers to blow up their veteran core is to replace it with another veteran core rather than let the younger players carry the load alone.
After Dallas Stars CEO Jim Lites tore into his top stars Jamie Benn and Tyler Seguin in late December, calling their play this season “fucking horse shit”, rumors immediately began to swirl with regards to their future.
Tyler Seguin would be a great addition to the Flyers squad who needs a serious boost to their offense. At 26, he is a couple of years younger than their core who are all in or approaching their thirties. Giroux (30), Voracek (29), Simmonds (30), Van Riemsdyk (29), and Couturier being the youngest at 26.
Tyler Seguin has recorded five straight 70+ point seasons, which would have been good enough for first on the Flyers for two of those years, and top three for the others. Since 2012, Seguin has been top five in shots on goal five times, and twice in the top ten, something the Flyers could desperately use. In 2017-18, Seguin finished second with 335 shots, which is 107 more than the highest shooting Flyer, Jake Voracek, who ranked 45th. With 43 points as of publication of this article, that would easily be second on the team behind Claude Giroux, and five above second place Sean Couturier.
The biggest struggle to adding Seguin will be his new cap hit of $9.85 million. Signing a brand new $78.8 million contract in September of 2018, the Flyers would struggle to fit that cap hit on the team without some other moves. With Lehtera, Simmonds, and Raffl all coming off the books this summer, they could reasonably fit him under the ceiling right now, but it would be tight later. The best case scenario would be to include Jake Voracek and his $8.25 million cap hit in a trade to acquire Seguin to offset the cost.
Seguin brings something that nobody else on the Flyers brings, which is an almost perfect mix of scoring as well as passing. The Flyers have a overabundance of passers, with few shooters, and that is obvious especially watching the powerplay. Partnering Seguin with someone like Giroux would bolster the offense, as well as making an elite level talent like Giroux even better.
Even with the struggles of the salary cap, adding Tyler Seguin would give this team the face lift they need. A younger, high-scoring player, that could be the key to igniting the rest of the team offensively is worth his added cost, especially given the Flyers will shed over $10 million in contracts alone this summer before making any moves.
Changes need to be made, and Fletcher needs to make them in order to salvage the last years of top production from his top stars. Seguin can help bear the offensive load that this current core struggles to lift, and in the future, he makes other upcoming prospects first steps in the NHL easier as they won’t be expected to carry the team right away. Fletcher has a lot on his plate in the next few months, but if he wants to make a real splash and turn the direction of the team around immediately, Seguin would be the player to make that happen.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: sportingnews.com