The Flyers are gearing up for an overhaul! Or at least we all hope so. Chances are the outcome of the 2022 offseason is much more tame than we would like to believe. There will be moves, but instead of gigantic blockbuster trades that will be talked about 30 years from now, they could be very calculated under-the-radar deals that could help improve the team, but be rather unspectacular when the trade breaks.
Number 5: Morgan Frost (+) for Kirby Dach
Kirby Dach is the most recent name to hit the rumor mill in Chicago as the Blackhawks continue to put price tags on most members of their roster. The 21-year-old center and former third overall pick in 2019 has had a much calmer start to his NHL career than originally anticipated. A fractured wrist sustained during the 2021 World Juniors has hampered him even further and the Blackhawks could look to see if any team would be willing to take a chance on him just in case his value continues to dip.
The Flyers have 23-year-old Morgan Frost, who has also struggled during his transition to the NHL. He’s a pending RFA with 23 points in 77 NHL games, but his overall game did take a step forward in 2021-22. This could be a tale of trading two youngsters who aren’t succeeding in their current settings and may just need new scenery to truly live up to their original draft hype. Dach may be a bigger name in the grand scheme of things, but he holds a very similar murky ceiling as Frost.
We’re leaving the (+) open ended for now, as Dach’s value is probably higher than Frost’s, so the Flyers may have to sweeten the pot from their end.
Number 4: Travis Konecny for Brock Boeser
It feels like this has been a trade in the rumor mill for years now. While dealing two players that are fairly even in terms of offensive contributions may not be overly enticing, it’s the financial side that could factor into this trade.
Boeser is a restricted free agent and could demand a decent raise this season as a four-time 20+ goal scorer. Travis Konecny has three years left on a contract that pays him $5.5 million. The Flyers would get the slightly better player and potentially pay him slightly more as well, whereas the Canucks get some cap certainty without losing too much offense in the process.
The Flyers really don’t need another winger in the system, and any real life trade featuring Konecny will probably be for a center, but it is a deal that could theoretically work out well for both teams without making headlines across the league.
Number 3: Kevin Hayes to Boston for picks
Boston native Kevin Hayes could potentially make his valiant return to his hometown team this summer. The Bruins don’t have many natural centers on the roster and, especially if Patrice Bergeron retires, they may need at least one top-six center to hold down the fort. Hayes, who has been effective when healthy in Philly, has four years left on his contract at a $7.1 million cap hit. It’s a number that may be too rich for the Flyers’ blood if they intend on actually overhauling the roster. Getting rid of his contract for a couple of draft picks would do wonders for the Flyers, and it would be an emotional reunion with Hayes returning to his old stomping grounds.
Number 2: James Van Riemsdyk and picks for nothing
The “what to do with JVR” storyline has been the talking point of the offseason so far, and it may boil down to the Flyers paying whatever price they have to in order to clear the last year of his contract with a $7 million cap hit. It’s not a sexy way of going about it, the Gostisbehere deal of similar substance still fresh in the minds of fans, but clearing $7 million is quite literally the difference between make or break this offseason.
His contract is actually only worth $4 million in real money, so in theory, a team like Arizona, who needs help getting to the cap floor by doesn’t actually want to pay out big money, should be interesting in this deal. There has been a theory floated that it would cost the Flyers’ a first round pick in 2024, the one acquired in the Claude Giroux trade with Florida, but given how favorable the deal is for a financially strapped team, and the fact it’s only one year, it shouldn’t have to come at a premium to make it happen.
Number 1: Jesse Puljujarvi’s right for picks
Jesse Puljujarvi has been a polarizing figure for the Oilers since being taken fourth overall in 2016. One of those guys that does a lot of things right but the entire package isn’t coming together type of players, which can be frustrating to sit through the development process, especially for a former top five pick on a team featuring two of the top offensive players in the world. Now Puljujarvi’s a restricted free agent and the cash-strapped Oilers may not have the funds to re-sign both him and fellow youngster Kailer Yamamoto.
For a team like the Flyers that just hired a very structure-based coach like John Tortorella, adding a middle-six winger who plays a solid overall game and won’t do anything crazy in the offensive zone feels like a real possibility. Chances are his rights can be acquired for cheap and a new contract won’t cost all that much, but considering he still has potential and just turned 24 years old, it could be a high-risk, high-reward signing if he can put the pieces together in Philly. Any potential big addition on the cheap should pique the interest of the Philadelphia Flyers this summer.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com