It’s no secret the Philadelphia Flyers need a massive shakeup this offseason. In order to accomplish the most overhaul with the least amount of moves, Chuck Fletcher and company will have to have the most creative offseason of their careers. Whether that means multi-player deals, smart hockey trades, or ditching salary cap on a 4-D chess plane, these are the top five creative moves the Flyers can make this offseason.
Number 5: Shakeup with Vancouver
The Canucks are in a similar situation as the Flyers, and when there are two teams looking to make significant shakeups to their current rosters, there’s always the possibility of executing a big deal between themselves. 29-year-old center J.T. Miller and 25-year-old winger Brock Boeser highlight the pieces available in Vancouver and both could interest the Flyers. Miller quietly posted 99 points during the 2021-22 season and Boeser has broke the 20-goal plateau in four of his five NHL seasons. Even if both players end up being relatively similar to their Flyers’ counterparts, a new environment could ultimately be best for both the players coming and going in a deal with Vancouver.
Number 4: Dealing Hayes to Boston
It’d be hard to call this a fairytale story given the sad circumstances that are behind the move, but Hayes returning to his hometown Bruins could be a good deal for both the Flyers and Bruins this summer. There have been two different versions of Hayes since he signed with the Flyers in the summer of 2019, the healthy, very good two-way forward, and the injured, glacial-speed mess. When he’s healthy, which he appeared to be late in the 2021-22 season, he can still be a low-end 2C or a high end 3C, but with his $7.1 cap hit for four more seasons, it really hamstrings what the Flyers can do. The Bruins may need some center depth, especially if Patrice Bergeron retires. It would be a proper homecoming for Hayes, and a bit of financial relief for the Flyers so they can truly address the need for a legitimate top six center.
Number 3: Konecny for a Center
Travis Konency is a polarizing figure for the Flyers. Love him or hate him, he is one of the best, and most realistic, trade chips the Flyers hold going into the 2022 offseason. While they won’t be dealing him for a king’s ransom of picks and prospects, he could be utilized to acquire a roster player in another position of need. The Flyers desperately need some center depth, and executing a “hockey trade” where Teeks gets dealt for a legitimate middle-six center could be the easiest and most painless way of doing so.
Number 2: Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome
The fire sale in Chicago may be ready to commence and the Flyers should be one of the teams lining up to acquire the services of some of their best players. They’ve got quite a few pieces that could interest the Flyers, but 24-year-old winger Alex DeBrincat and 25-year-old center Dylan Strome are atop their list. We’ve broken down an individual trade for DeBrincat before, But if the Flyers are prepared to pay the steep price to acquire the two-time-40-goal scorer, they might as well try to snag the negotiating rights of Strome as well. The Flyers need a third line center with some potential upside, and desperately need a player who knows how to put the puck in the back of the net, a perfect two birds, one stone scenario and would make up for the Flyers passing on Sam Reinhart when they paid top dollar for Rasmus Ristolainen last summer.
Number 1: Dumping JVR and Acquiring Chychrun
This was a theory actually proposed in the most recent Deal or No Deal piece and it is kind of ingenious. It’s no secret the Flyers are interested in dealing James Van Riemsdyk and the last year of his $7 million contract. Arizona is the popular dumping ground for terrible contracts, but they also hold one of the more valuable offseason trade chips in defenseman Jakub Chychrun. Why not try and do both in the same deal?
What this trade ultimately looks like is hard to even dream up. What would Arizona charge to eat the last year of JVR’s contract? What is the base price they’re asking for Chychrun? Hoe much of the deal overlaps in terms of value?
The fan proposed theory was Chychrun for Konecny, Van Riemsdyk, 2024 first round pick and a 2023 second round pick. It seems to be an “in the ballpark” suggestion, but they Coyotes having interest in Konecny doesn’t really make sense. They would probably rather have Tyson Foerster or Bobby Brink instead, a player for the future rather than one for today.
If there’s a real way to pull this off, rather than just get hoodwinked by the Coyotes once again for strictly dumping Van Riemsdyk’s contract, it could help earn some trust back from a weary fanbase and be a legitimate fix for a questionable defense.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com / fiveforhowling.com