Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers are hopefully gearing up for one of the busiest offseasons in recent Flyers history and that includes making some trades. It’s been many moons since the Flyers made a blockbuster trade, almost ten years, in fact, but could this be the year the wheeling and dealing picks back up? If Fletcher throws his hat in the trade ring, where are some destinations that may suit his needs?
Number 5- Calgary Flames
Many moons ago, the Los Angeles Kings used to be called the “west coast Flyers” because so many former players were there. Today, the Flames fit that role better, not because of player personnel, but because both organizations are at a similar crossroads. The stale, repetitive failures and missed playoffs is a similar occurrence for both clubs and may force a seismic shift, so why not pull a massive blockbuster trade with each other that will provide a much needed shakeup in both foundations? The Flyers and Flames have already been linked as possible partners in the past, mainly because the Flames’ roster touts Johnny Gadreau, a native to South Jersey, incase you haven’t heard, but could this be the summer he finally returns home?
Number 4- Detroit Red Wings
One of the main goals for the Flyers this offseason will be to clear some cap space. Whether that comes at the expansion draft or not will soon be determined, but the Wings are a team with plenty of cap and will more than likely take on contracts, for the right price, of course. If the Flyers are serious about change, ditching an expensive veteran player will be the way to do it. In a perfect world, one of James Van Riemsdyk or Jake Voracek get selected by Seattle, and the other gets traded away. Whether that ends up happening or not is TBD, but it’s worth keeping Steve Yzerman’s number close by just in case.
Number 3- Nashville Predators
The Flyers and Predators seemed like star-crossed trade partners before the trade deadline, but with the Flyers falling from grace and the Predators miraculous comeback, no deal ended up happening. Though if there was smoke with the trade scenarios before the deadline, maybe there will be fire in the offseason if the Predators are still looking for change. Ryan Ellis and Mattias Ekhlom, who were the rumored targets in April, and are both still under contract, so it’s not unreasonable to think the Flyers will be keeping tabs on blue line additions if either Predator pops up on the trade scene again.
Number 2- Seattle Kraken
If there is one team the Flyers will almost assuredly make a deal with this offseason, it’s the NHL’s newest team, the Seattle Kraken. While there’s a possibility the Flyers walk away from Seattle only losing a meaningless piece from their unprotected list, Fletcher needs to be far more proactive than that and try to get rid of one of the expensive veterans on the team. Who and what a trade will look like will become more clear as the expansion draft draws closer, but the price tag shouldn’t be overly unreasonable, especially for the long-term benefits the Flyers would receive clearing big money this summer.
Number 1- Buffalo Sabres
The natives are growing restless in Buffalo and they may be close to having a fire sale of their veteran players after many voiced their displeasure of the state of the team during the exit interviews. Whether it’s Jack Eichel, Sam Reinhart, Rasmus Ristolainen or otherwise, there will be plenty of opportunity to snag a roster player or two. From a Sabres perspective, the Flyers may be an attractive team to deal with, as there are plenty of young players already in the NHL. It’d be a way to add in Buffalo without either going into a full rebuild or adding older players that don’t fit the timeline they’re looking at.
Columbus Blue Jackets
The Blue Jackets bottomed out this season and may be looking to make a few moves to try and find a quick rebound. The biggest issue is the Blue Jackets will be back in the Metropolitan Division next season and may be hesitant to deal with a team behind enemy lines. While the thought of rival teams refusing to trade with division rivals may be an antiquated way of thinking, there may be a higher asking price if the Flyers and Blue Jackets were to make a blockbuster deal centered around, say, Seth Jones.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: youtube.com / nhl.com