The Flyers stand at the precipice of the unknown and could very well be staring down the barrel of a long-term rebuild, whether they want to admit it or not. The work begins at the trade deadline for the Flyers and will continue throughout the offseason, but right now it’s about taking stock figuring out which players are best served being dangled as trade bait and which players should stick around for the long haul.
The $7.1 million Hayes is owed until 2026 will more than likely keep him in Philly for a bulk of that deal. Hayes had a career year in 2019-20 then spent the majority of the last two seasons playing injured which has impacted his on-ice value. Though, the most value Hayes brings seems to be his personality and leadership in the room. Obviously with him missing most of the season with injury, they haven’t gotten to reap the benefits of either to the fullest, so all they can hope is he can return next season at full health and return to a worthwhile form both on and off the ice.
Even though his ceiling still seems a bit murky, Joel Farabee, at just 21 years old, is the only thing even close to a top forward prospect the Flyers have. He has one 20-goal season under his belt and should be on pace for another if he can overcome the injuries this season. Consistency has been his biggest issue, but it seems like something they can overlook in the short term and blame on the lackluster roster surrounding him.
James Van Riemsdyk
At this point in time James Van Riemsdyk is one slight step above totally washed up. He’s good for a tip-in powerplay goal once every three weeks or so, but beyond that doesn’t contribute much on a night-to-night basis. He’s still got one year left on his current deal at a $7 million cap hit which makes him just about impossible to move. If the Flyers were competitive, buying him out (owed $4.3 million in 2022-23 and $1.3 million in 2023-24) or pulling a Gostisbehere-esque trade to get his cap off the books could be possible, but the Flyers may as well just bite the bullet and keep him in the lineup for one more year and wash their hands clean of him in the summer of 2023.
Cam Atkinson has not only been one of the only shining stars of the Flyers’ offense, he seems to be a genuinely great human, too. It’s a trait that should make him a cornerstone of the team moving forward in whatever direction they take.
Lindblom has shown signs of his old self on the ice from time to time, but even if his play isn’t as strong as it once was, he still has to be looked to as an inspirational figure in the room. His $3 million cap hit for one more season may make him a prime target to move in the offseason if they need extra funds elsewhere, but probably shouldn’t be done unless absolutely necessary.
The injury log just continues to get longer and longer for Allison, but the flashes of potential he shows between his IR stints has been incredible. Unfortunately, he may never be a star because of it, but he also feels like a prime candidate that would get healthy and turn into a superstar if traded away. Best just to keep him under their control for the time being.
MacEwen may be nothing more than a depth guy, but he’s been a very good depth guy and one of the only bright spots on the entire roster all season. No reason to move him when they can probably re-sign him cheap this summer.
Brassard has actually been a pretty decent player when he’s not injured, unfortunately, he’s played less than half of the Flyers’ games thus far, so his trade value is fairly limited unless he can return for a long healthy stretch before the trade deadline rolls around in late March.
You can’t trade what doesn’t exist.
As hard as it’s going to be to watch Claude Giroux pull on another team’s sweater, it’s pretty clear the end is nigh for his time in Philadelphia. His contract is up at the end of the season, and at 34 years old, he’s done pretty much everything there is to do in a career except secure a Stanley Cup, something that now seems impossible to do with the Flyers. It’s not everyday somebody hits the trade market the caliber of Claude Giroux, and getting the best return possible for him will be a crucial first step of the Flyers’ rebuilding process.
Hands down the biggest mistake made during Chuck Fletcher’s stint as Flyers GM was handing Sean Couturier a shiny new $62 million contract that will make it virtually impossible to move him, or at least not for the king’s ransom that an upcoming free agent with a $4.3 million cap hit could’ve gotten at the trade deadline. Even with the contract, he’s one of the more valuable pieces the Flyers have in their possession and may be better off selling him for a lesser price and putting the entire last era of Flyers hockey to bed. Even with that contract in place, surely some team will have interest in Couturier.
With the benefit of hindsight, the Flyers probably should’ve sold high on Konecny in the summer of 2020, but now that his value just goes further and further down, the best option may be to cut their losses and hope some other team sees him as a reclamation project.
At this point in his career, we all know what Laughton is as a player, a strong bottom six forward who can step into harder minutes for a few games if need be. He has seemingly emerged as a key figure for the Flyers, but any playoff team looking for a legitimate depth forward may be willing to pay through the nose for Laughton, a deal the Flyers should seriously consider.
They hype and fanfare that accompanied Morgan Frost to the NHL sure hasn’t been worth it. There’s a good chance he doesn’t have much value on his own right now, but he’s a guy they could potentially package with someone like Couturier to make eating his contract more enticing for another team. He’s young and they could keep him around for a rebuild without much stress, but he may be best served as a trade chip at this point.
It certainly isn’t the popular opinion, but if an offer for Provorov comes across Fletcher’s desk, he should very well consider it at this point. It’s possible some team desperate for a top defenseman could create a package that’s more valuable than Provorov himself.
Ristolainen should probably be one of real life players that gets moved at the trade deadline. He’s a top-four defenseman who is on an expiring contract. It’ll be a safe bet that most playoff teams would at least sniff around on someone like Risto to add to their team, and for the Flyers it’ll be about recouping most if not all of the massive price tag they acquired him for last summer.
Sanheim was signed to a short-term deal last summer so they can pull the rip cord, and with Cam York in the NHL and just a matter of time before Egor Zamula shows up, they may as well try and cash out on Sanheim and pick up a few extra draft picks and let the youngsters get their opportunity on the left side.
Braun has been a hero for the Flyers over the last two seasons, but as a veteran right hander on an expiring contract, he may now best be served as a trade chip. Chances are teams will line up for a depth righty, and the Flyers can probably snag a nice return for a man they once gave up a second and third round pick for.
If anybody wants him come and get him. A seventh round pick in 2057 will do just fine.
Thanks to the atrocious state the Flyers are in, they really snuffed out the rebirth of Martin Jones this year. Hopefully there is a team desperate enough for a goaltender that they’ll take a chance on Jones, who was playing pretty well before the train came completely off the tracks for the Flyers.
York may be the last real bullet in the chamber for the Flyers when it comes to potential stars in their current crop of prospects. He’s shown much potential in his short stay in the NHL thus far and will be counted on into developing into a solid top four defenseman over the next few seasons. Probably want to keep this guy at all costs unless it’s part of a major deal.
Even though the goalie pipeline in Philly looks promising, they finally have the legitimate starter that has eluded them for decades, no way do they give up Hart unless one of the youngsters is in the NHL kicking down the starter’s door.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhlrumors.com