The Philadelphia Flyers are entering the biggest offseason in recent history and started the week hot with the addition of Ryan Ellis on the blue line and an expansion list which features Jake Voracek and James Van Riemsdyk exposed to the Kraken. What else is up the sleeve of GMCF? Let’s take a guess.
Number 5: Nothing
Certainly not the flashiest option to open with, but it has been the path Fletcher has stayed on so far. While “nothing” may be a bit too extreme, taking the path of least resistance may be the better way to phrase it. This entry took a bit of a ding when Fletcher acquired Ryan Ellis on Saturday, but it still feels well within the realm of possibility that Fletcher enters the expansion draft on Monday and loses someone inconsequential like Justin Braun, have a very quiet entry draft on Friday and Saturday, then sign a bunch of depth scrubs during the first few days of free agency. It’s the worst possible outcome, but unfortunately can’t be ruled out yet either.
Number 4: Ghost Disappears
While this one isn’t a guarantee, the writing is on the wall and if Fletcher is smart, or wants to make moves anywhere else in the lineup, they’re gonna need some cap space. Shayne Gostisbehere being traded has been a rumor for seemingly years now and we’ve reached a point where it may finally become reality. Ghost entered the 2021 season with a chip on his shoulder. After falling from grace over the last few seasons, he said he was fully healthy and ready to earn a spot. An early-season battle with Covid ruined that momentum out of the gate and spent much of the season in Alain Vigneault’s doghouse. Ghost did, however, manage to suit up for 41 games and racked up nine goals and 20 points. It was his best season in two years and would’ve been on pace for one of the best seasons of his career. With his career potentially on the rebound and still on the outside looking in on the Flyers’ roster, it only makes sense that this is the year Ghost Bear disappears out of Philly.
Number 3: The First Rounder Gets Dealt
While it’s easy to think about the Flyers always trading away their draft picks, they have made at least one selection in the first round every season dating back to 2011. That’s right, 11 years since they sat out of the first round. Though as the team sits on the precipice of success or failure, it’s time to use that draft pick as currency and address holes in the lineup immediately. Given the 2021 draft will be a big question mark in terms of talent available due to the lack of playing time and scouting thanks to Covid ruining most junior seasons, holding the 14th overall pick will be even more of a crapshoot than it usually is.
Number 2: Voracek Goes to Seattle
There have been constant rumors regarding the fate of the Flyers at the expansion draft over the last few months. From the Kraken taking a worthless nobody like Robert Hagg, to them selecting a huge contract like that of James Van Riemsdyk or Jake Voracek. Rumors have heated up that Voracek may be the Flyer on the chopping block. When the official lists came out on Sunday, it was confirmed that Voracek will be exposed and will certainly be the most enticing option on the Flyers’ roster. Losing someone like Voracek will leave a hole in the lineup, but the benefits of clearing $8.25 million for the next three seasons outweighs any negatives. It’d be another huge step forward in terms of leaving an ugly era of Flyers hockey behind.
Number 1: Add Another Top D to the Mix
Chuck Fletcher stunned everyone when he finally came out of hibernation and acquired Ryan Ellis, but what if that’s not the only trick he has up his sleeve? While the addition of Ellis quells the rumors or Seth Jones or Dougie Hamilton, there will be plenty of names available thanks in part to the Seattle expansion and flat salary cap, which has caused some interesting names to shake free. Maybe one of his former players in Minnesota is Matt Dumba or Ryan Suter peak his interest, maybe he tries to snag Mark Giordano or Erik Johnson who were exposed by their respective teams. time will tell which player he targets, but adding Ellis shouldn’t be the only move that Fletcher pulls off this summer.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com / thehockeywriters.com