Flyers Flying on the Way Out

After starting 2-0, the Flyers have dropped their last 4 going 2-3-1.  In their first 2 games the Flyers came out fast, organized, completed passes and looked like a completely different team.

The next 4 games they did not.  Often looking lost, being caught flat footed, causing numerous unforced turnovers.  Basically, they looked like the same team we have come to know over the last few years.  Changes are going to happen and should happen if the Flyers find themselves out of a playoff spot by the end of November.

Who on the Flyers could possibly be moved this year?  Who has no chance at being moved? Let’s go over it.

Shayne Gostisbehere

Since being drafted in 2012, Ghost broke out  in the 2015-16 season and took the team by storm after being called up to fill in for an injured Mark Streit.  After being called up, he made it impossible for Ron Hextall to send him back down.  Putting up 17 goals and 46 points in 64, the rookie was a runner up to the elder Artemi Panarin.  He became a fan favorite instantly.

Screenshot (1)

Since coming into the league, Ghost has put up some good numbers.  What stands out the most so far is his inconsistency, which is basically consistent with what is an inconsistent Flyers team.  This will be his 4th full year with the Flyers and as an offensive defenseman, if he’s not putting up numbers, then what is he doing.  Could another GM think that maybe if they had him on their team, they could make him a more consistent player?

Ghost has a tendency to get himself in bad situations and is prone to turning over the puck.  We’ve seen it this year already.  He hasn’t looked amazing in his first 6 games, has yet to register a point.  Has committed bad turnovers and is forced to take a penalty so he doesn’t get burned on said turnover. I get he’s an offensive defenseman, but being smart with the puck is something he has to be better at.

I’m not saying I want to trade Ghost,  but his $4.5 million cap hit over the next 4 years, including this year makes him a asset to move if the right deal came along, not just any deal.  The right deal to me, would not be draft picks or prospects.  We’ll need an actual player that can be moved into the line up now.

His name did come up numerous times this past off season, and there was always a feeling there was a chance he could be moved.  With Philippe Myers in the AHL with Lehigh Valley, if he can prove he’s ready to make the step up to the NHL, then trading Ghost becomes even more likely. At only 22, Myers is 4 years younger than the 26 year old Gostisbehere too.

Jakub Voracek

Voracek, who by now has blocked every Flyers fan on twitter has had his name come up in possibilities, mostly by Flyers fans. However, unless a team is willing to take on Voracek’s $8.25 mil cap hit for the next 4 years, plus this year, finding a trade partner wouldn’t be easy, if not impossible.  Not saying it couldn’t  happen, but most teams who have cap room to afford him aren’t in a position to make the playoff and are rebuilding.  Taking on his contract is basically pointless.

Detroit could be a possible candidate with over $12.5 million in cap space at this time, but would Steve Yzerman be willing to make a trade for him?  Doubt it.  Seeing how they are still rebuilding and at this time may be in a wildcard spot, if they manage to keep it up, I don’t see Yzerman willing to take on his contract.

Screenshot (2)

Voracek has put up some really good numbers in the past, however he fluctuates from mid 80’s down to the 50’s.  He won’t score a lot of goals, with a career high of 23 and being a pass first player, but for $8.25 million, you have to wonder if he was overpaid.

Crazier things have probably happened, but I don’t think Voracek will be moved at any time.  He can be a good player at times, strong with the puck, and other times, you have to wonder what he was doing, why did he pass that, why is he still in the offensive zone while everything is back in the defensive zone.  His work ethic gets called into question quite often.

Alain Vigneault has already moved Voracek down the the 3rd and 4th lines in the 3rd game this year with his questionable play.  Adding all that in with his contract, Voracek is here to stay.

Nolan Patrick

The 2nd overall pick  has had a rough start to his career.  From concussion issues to now his migraines, things aren’t how we expected.  Winning the 2nd overall pick in the 2017 draft was one of the best things to happen to this team in years.  After previous drafts which were many times deeper than 2017 may have shifted what many of us expected it to be like.

You have to wonder though, since Fletcher didn’t draft Patrick, just how attached to him could he be? We already know he signed Kevin Hayes to be the 2nd line center to help Patrick develop being on the 3rd line, but with Patrick being a 2nd overall pick, you hope to he’ll he become more than just a 3rd line center.

Patrick has shown glimpses that he can be a really good, dominant player.  Other times, it seems like you have to check the box score just to see if he even got a single shift because he was invisible. After it became public that he was have issues with migraines and still has yet to fully practice yet this year, in a contract year of course, it makes you wonder if he was having issues before this off season.  Could they have been what has essentially stalled his development and leading to people to wonder if he is a bust?  Playing in the NHL with migraines is something that can be done.  Patrick isn’t the only one, however just finding the right medications to help him is the problem.

In 2 years, he’s put up 30 and 31 points, scoring 13 goals in both seasons.  Not bad.  Not good.  Respectable for a young player.  Had he been able to start this year and play a full year being on the 3rd line going up against weaker talent, Patrick has a chance to really step up his development.  Its just the whole migraine thing.

I’m not saying he’s a bust, but to say that I’m not worried about it would be a lie.

Insert trade.

Being a 2nd overall pick carries some weight. Fletcher could look to move him in he does come back and get some games in.  Another GM maybe willing to over pay just for the fact that he is a 2nd overall pick and they don’t become available often, except when the Flyers have them it seems.

With the likes of Morgan Frost in the AHL in his first pro season, moving Patrick may not be as bad as it sounds.  Sure, it could come back and look bad, but so could any trade.

I’m just saying, don’t be surprised if he’s moved.

James van Riemsdyk

Speaking of 2nd overall picks being traded away by the Flyers, James van Riemsdyk.

Imagine being traded away then a few years later signing a 5 year $7 million dollar contract with that team that drafted and traded you, just to be traded again 1 year later.

What a story that would be. It’s not impossible though.

Since being drafted in 2007, JvR has been good.  Has hit the 30 goal mark twice and coming close three other years. He is your typical net front player and tip in bucks and smash home rebounds. Six games in this year he’s had a lot of high danger chances, but yet he hasn’t cashed in on one yet.  Once he is able to get his first goal of the year, he’ll score in streaks.

Not much can be said about JvR’s game.  He’s just a guy that stands out in front of the net and when he’s not scoring, he’s not really doing anything else.  He’s not defensively sound. He’s not fast.  He’s just a goal scorer.

JvR is expandable with having the giant Issac Ratcliffe in Lehigh Valley, he could easily be the replacement.  With him being bigger, he will certainly be able to screen goalies, and once he learns to, over power guys trying to move him out of the crease and pick up rebounds and tip in pucks.

Similar to JvR, the contract could become an issue.  While its only a $5 mil cap hit, having 5 years plus this year doesn’t make it friendly.

By Mike Bailey (@mbailey010)

 photo credit: NBCPhilly

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