The Philadelphia Flyers offense has dried up and it is quickly reaching desperation levels as they seek a remedy to the drought. The best way to fix the scoring and their lack of center depth may have to come via trade. But certain teams that are projected to be sellers (Detroit, San Jose, Nashville) are still very much in the playoff picture in their respective divisions, thus making it unlikely they’re in the market to make a franchise-altering trade just yet. So picking the bones of already underwhelming teams may be the way to go when it comes to looking for an addition or two.
Even though a center would be optimal, the Flyers can’t really turn their nose up at any offensive position for help right now.
The Coyotes have made no secret they’re in full-on sell mode. They’ve already hoodwinked the Flyers once this year with the Gostisbehere trade. Only four of the players on their current roster are signed for next season, so the opportunity to snag a rental or two is strong.
Clayton Keller– If I had to guess, there’s probably two players that are untouchable in Arizona, that being Jake Chychrun and Clayton Keller, but the latter of the two is quickly approaching the “crap or get off the pot” stage of his career. At 23 years old and signed at a $7.15 million cap hit until 2028 seems to be a cornerstone of the flailing franchise. That being said, his offensive totals have fallen for four straight seasons from his 23-goal, 65-point season in 2017-18 to just 14 goals and 35 points last season. There’s a good chance that everyone has a price in Arizona and if the Flyers wanted to take a risk on a young talent with plenty of upside, Keller would be their guy.
Phil Kessel– The Coyotes have made no secret of the fact that they’re actively shopping Phil Kessel. He’s at that point in his career where he just can’t carry the offensive load like he once could, but Kessel had a 20-goal campaign last season and has nine points through 18 games this season. He may not be exactly what the Flyers need, and his $6.8 million cap hit would be hard to fit under the ceiling, but in the right scenario there is still offense to be squeeze out of Kessel before he calls it a career.
Lawson Crouse– With the additions of Zack MacEwen, the Flyers have found their physical depth forward, but if they wanted to grow stronger on the wings and have a chance at a slight uptick in offensive production, Crouse could raise an eyebrow. He would’ve been a great fit on the team last season, but doesn’t seem like the same level of importance this year.
The Canucks are in a full-on tail spin and Jim Benning’s seat couldn’t be any hotter if was actually on fire. If that level of desperation isn’t eased soon, they could be in the market for a blockbuster trade to try and right the sinking ship.
J.T. Miller– Miller, now 28, has aged like a fine wine during his career, finally finding his niche as a member of the Canucks. He has 19 points in 18 games in Vancouver. He had 46 points in 53 games last season and 27 goals and 72 points in 69 games in 2019-20. He’s got one more year left at a respectable $5.2 million cap hit. Given his production and cap hit, he’ll be a hot commodity if his name hits the trade market.
Bo Horvat– Horvat may be the true player the Flyers could have their eye on if they’re looking for a younger center. He’s a pretty consistent 20-goal, 50-point guy and only under contract for one more season. Given the cap struggles the Canucks are dealing with, there’s a chance they won’t be able to afford him and could look to get a king’s ransom in return for the 26-year-old.
Elias Pettersson– If the flood gates do indeed open in Vancouver, there’s a good chance Pettersson will be one of the untouchables, but if the Flyers are serious about addressing their offense, Pettersson would be a great pickup. He has 68 goals and 163 points in 183 career games so far and is one of the more creative offensive players in the league. If you’re going to sell the farm, this is the guy to do it for.
Brock Boeser– Boeser may be one of the more underrated goal scorers in the league today. He’s broken the 20-goal mark in three of his four full NHL seasons. He’s on an expiring contract that pays him $5.875 million a season and will be a restricted free agent this summer. He won’t be cheap to acquire or re-sign, but he’d be a great jolt to the offense.
It’s not very often a team goes from Stanley Cup finalists to basement dwellers in one offseason, but that’s exactly what’s going on in Montreal. Thanks to franchise pillars Shea Weber and Carey Price ending upon the shelf and some of the production from their young guns drying up, they’re struggling big time. After cleaning house in the front office, one has to wonder if potential roster shakeups aren’t far behind.
Tyler Toffoli- Now 29 years old, Toffoli has been going through a later career renaissance of sorts. He is best know for his early days with the Kings where he hit the 30-goal plateau in 2015-16. He was a solid middle-six forward in the years since and broke back out in Montreal last season with 28 goals and 44 points in 52 games.
The Seattle Kraken are just as big a disaster as the expansion draft made them look. There’s not a whole lotta offensive talent to try and poach from the Kraken, certainly not the level the Flyers need.
Morgan Geekie- Geekie is a 23-year-old former third round pick of the Carolina Hurricanes that had plenty of success in both juniors and the AHL, but has struggled to find his footing in the NHL. He seems to be a guy who can do it all- a potential scorer with a solid enough two-way game to plug in anywhere in the bottom-nine. He’d be a work in progress, but if he hits his stride could be a worthwhile addition to the roster that is shallow on center depth.
Yanni Gourde- As a depth pillar for the powerhouse Tampa Bay Lightning over the past four seasons, Gourde is finally being tested on a team that isn’t quite so bulletproof. So far, he’s holding his own with 10 points in 14 games. with his history of solid offensive output and a respectable two-way approach to the game, Gourde may be a fascinating addition on a Flyers’ roster that needs all the help it can get.
Not sure anybody is actively interested on touching the Blackhawks with a ten-foot pole right now, but they’re certainly not living up to the lofty expectations they entered the season with, making them a prime target for a trade or two.
Dylan Strome– Strome is slowly but surely getting worked back into the regular rotation in Chicago after spending the early part of the season in Jeremy Colliton’s dog house. He’d be a high-risk, high-reward trade, banking on his potential that was once highly touted to shine through on a new team. He’s an RFA at the end of the season making an easy-to-eat $3 million this season.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com / puckprose.com