The Philadelphia Flyers have a offseason wishlist as long as a CVS receipt. Just about every position can use an upgrade, but with limited resources both in assets and financially, the front office will have to pick and choose which holes to fill. Assessing and addressing the biggest areas of need is the best way to put a successful team on the ice in 2022-23.
Number 5: Left Wing
The Flyers have enough natural right wingers for two teams, but lack any real depth on the left side, often deploying the wingers on either side to fill the hole. Especially if the organization moves on from JVR, finding at least one player who is naturally comfortable on the left side will be crucial to ice an even lineup.
Number 4: Backup Goalie
The Martin Jones experience was about as bad as expected, so the Flyers will be forced to once again find a new tandem partner behind Carter Hart. Whether it comes from within the organization from the likes of Felix Sandstrom or Samuel Ersson, or they dredge through the free agent pool, finding a new backup goalie will once again be on the docket.
Number 3: Depth Center
Couturier and Hayes are locked up and will take two of the center spots, but there are still two more up for grabs. With basically no options internally, the franchise needs to find a couple new bodies to fill the depth roles. Tanner Laczynksi is seemingly the only in-house option for fourth line center, so it may be his role to lose, but adding an extra body from the outside may be a worthwhile backup plan, too.
Number 2: Right-Handed Defenseman
With Ristolainen re-signed, Braun traded away and Ellis still M.I.A. the right side of the defense still has no clear answers. A lot of this comes down to whether or not Ryan Ellis is projected to be healthy when the season starts. If the organization doesn’t believe he is, they may need to once again enter the trade or free agent markets looking for help on the right side. Even if Ellis is given the green light to return, finding a higher-end defenseman may still have to happen in case the injury bug strikes again and they need a legitimate top guy to fill in.
Number 1: Top Center
The idea of entering the 2022-23 season with 29-year-old Sean Couturier coming off back surgery and 30-year-old Kevin Hayes coming off at least three core surgeries sounds less than ideal. Finding a younger, offensively dynamic center to take the role of 1C. It’s the hardest position to fill when it comes to trades or free agent signings, so as much as it’s not going to be easy, it will also be crucial for the Flyers’ success next season.
Any player at any position that has a history of putting the puck in the back of the net should be on the radar. Ideally, it comes in the form of a center, but even a high scoring winger needs to be considered. The Flyers sit second last in the league in goals for per game, so any extra ounce of offense they can obtain will go a long way.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: dailyfaceoff.com