The trade deadline is less than a week away and for the Flyers, preparation for a potential bitter sweet split with long-time captain Claude Giroux has dominated the talk of the town. But this deadline can’t be just a Giroux memorial, it needs to be about addressing the future as well. Typically, the trade deadline isn’t used for non-playoff teams to make additions, but Chuck Fletcher and co. need to start their overhaul as early as possible.
Usually when this bi-annual piece gets written, it’s about fantastical trades to bolster the Flyers as they push for the playoffs. This year, it’s about building trades that bring the Flyers new cornerstones for the franchise to build off for the 2022-23 season.
Number 5: Hampus Lindholm, Maxime Comtois and Rickard Rakell for Travis Sanheim, Morgan Frost and Tanner Laczynski
Let’s start this list on the “reasonable” end of the spectrum. The Ducks have made it known they’re listening to offers on their pending unrestricted free agents as well as Maxime Comtois, who has been in the dog house most of the season. Comtois and Rakell have played up and down the Ducks’ lineup, currently both are in the top six, despite not being the biggest offensive producers. Lindholm is a 28-year-old left-handed defenseman who is a pending unrestricted free agent and could be an interesting option for the Flyers in the pursuit of a revamped blueline.
Rakell is a pending unrestricted free agent coming off a deal that paid him $3.7 million a season and Comtois still has one year left on his current contract at a hair above $2 million. Lindholm’s expiring contract paid him $5.2 million per season.
For the Flyers the price tag to acquire the rights to two players and one player entrenched in the doghouse can be relatively low, but not quite free. The Ducks are still rebuilding, but are quickly wrapping up and will probably look to be competitive next season. Sanheim is a 26-year-old left-handed defenseman that will replace Lindholm and is slightly younger and under contract for one more season at $4.6 million and Morgan Frost and Tanner Laczynski are prospects with potential NHL futures, but don’t appear to have the best chance to succeed in Philly.
Flyers get two main roster upgrades and swap LHDs and the Ducks get two prospects and a younger main roster defenseman.
Number 4: Patrik Laine and Jake Bean for Travis Konecny and Ryan Ellis
The Flyers have been circling Patrik Laine since his days in Winnipeg, and given his contract is set to expire this summer, all eyes return once again to whether or not Laine in interested in fleeing Columbus. The Flyers don’t have the right compensation to try an offer sheet, so if they want Laine, they’ll have to trade for his rights first.
Bean is a soon-to-be 24-year-old left-handed defenseman who has experience on either side and considering he’s still under contract for two more seasons at a $2.3 million cap hit, he could be an interesting target for the Flyers’ blueline depth. He has also seen powerplay time, with seven of his 28 NHL points coming on the man advantage.
The big question is how much of a pay raise is Laine looking for? He is currently making $7.5 million and thanks to his bounce-back season he could potentially seek more than that. He’s only turning 24 in
April, so the best years of his career are theoretically in front of him.
The Blue Jackets don’t really have a defined top right handed defenseman, so Ellis could potentially interest them, and if the Flyers could wash their hands clean of the guy, it’s an extra bonus.
The trade gives the Blue Jackets a respectable winger to replace Laine, who’s probably leaving one way or another, and a clear upgrade over Bean on defense. The Flyers get a desperately needed goal scorer and a solid depth defenseman with powerplay experience.
Number 3: Mark Scheifele and Nikolaj Ehlers for Travis Konecny, Travis Sanheim, Egor Zamula, 2022 first round pick
The Winnipeg Jets have desperately tried to keep their playoff core together for years and it may soon be time to wave the white flag and start parting out the roster. There have been some rumors surrounding the Jets, with one of the interesting names being 29-year-old center Mark Scheifele.
Scheifele has been over a point-per-game player for the last five seasons, and is just slightly below that pace this year with 51 points in 54 games. He’s registered at least 20 goals and 60 points in every season since 2015-16. He’s got two years left on his current deal at a $6.1 cap hit.
Ehlers is a five-time 20-goal scorer with 334 points in 456 NHL games and is widely considered one of the fastest skaters in the league. He just turned 26 in February and has three years left at a $6 million aav.
Konecny gives them a body to replace Ehlers, and Sanheim and Zamula gave them options on the blueline, which has been decimated over the last handful of seasons with players with players leaving either through free agency, trade or retirement. The Flyers get a long-awaited number one center and a fresh face on the wing with some speed.
Number 2: JT Miller and Brock Boeser for Travis Konecny, Cam Atkinson, Morgan Frost and 2022 first round pick
A Brock Boeser for Travis Konecny deal has been in the Flyers’ rumor mill for literally years now, but given Boeser’s contract expires this summer and he’s set to become a restricted free agent and the Canucks finding the cap to re-sign him becoming tricky, it may finally be time for the trade to manifest in real life.
Boeser is 25 years old with 115 goals and 244 points in 306 career NHL games. He’s coming off a three-year deal that paid him $5.8 million a season. JT Miller is possibly one of the most underrated players in the league with 70 points in 58 games. He’s 29 years old with one year left at a $5.2 million cap hit.
Konency and Atkinson are the dollar store version of their Vancouver counterparts, so the Flyers would have to sweeten the pot to make a deal work. Throwing in Morgan Frost, who is a forward prospect with an offensive upside, could fit in well with some of the goal scoring spark plugs with the Canucks and a first round pick to top it off.
Konecny for Boeser is a deal that works out well. Flyers get the better, more expensive player, but the Canucks get a worthwhile return and a bit of cost security for the next three seasons.
Once Miller gets involved the asking price goes up tremendously. Does Atkinson, Frost and a first rounder cover the cost? Maybe, maybe not, but it is a solid starting point.
Number 1: Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat for Ivan Provorov, Kevin Hayes, Joel Farabee, Morgan Frost, Tyson Foerster, 2023 first round pick
The fire sale in Chicago is about to begin and the Flyers might as well join in on the fun and snatch a couple desperately needed top offensive stars. Patrick Kane and Alex DeBrincat both have one year left on their current deals that pay them $10.5 million and $6.4 million respectively. They’ve been a duo for much of the past five seasons, so if they work well together, why not try to pry them both out of Chicago and let them replicate their magic in Philadelphia?
Patrick Kane (33) has 1,156 points in 1,085 NHL games and DeBrincat (24) has 284 points in 346 games.
The monumental deal means a massive return from the Flyers’ end. First and foremost, it’s about making the money work. $16.9 million isn’t exactly an easily digestible number, so the deal has to start with Kevin Hayes, even if it’s for no other reason than a $7.1 million dent taken out of Chicago’s end. Ivan Provorov gives them a main roster left-handed defenseman, something they’re lacking at the moment, and throwing in his $6.7 million cap hit is a nice bonus as well, taking the Flyers’ cash up to $13.8 million.
With the money relatively close, it’s all about offering them anything they deem of value.
It starts with Joel Farabee. The 22-year-old is still a work in progress but has a huge upside, something a rebuilding club should value. Morgan Frost and Tyson Foerster are the two best forward prospects the Flyers have in the system and a 2023 first round pick is an enticing throw in for a deep draft.
Is Hayes, Provorov, Farabee, Frost, Foerster, and a first round pick enough? It’s probably more than most teams would offer, but for the Flyers, bringing in two superstar forwards who can change the game right now should out-value any hopes and dreams the Flyers have for the youngsters they’re giving up.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhlpa.com / vancouverhockeynow.com / thehockeywriters.com