With the 2022-23 NHL season past the half way mark, the trade deadline breaks on the horizon, and for the Flyers, it could be a very interesting day. The team remains on the outside looking in on the playoff picture, but they’ve been too good to flat out tank, leaving them in their typical ugly middle ground. With any luck the Flyers are a much different looking team going into the 2023-24 season than they are right now, but in order to do that, Chuck Fletcher and company are going to have to be active in the trade scene. Let’s take stock of the roster and figure out which players hold the most trade value for the Flyers heading into the trade deadline and offseason.
Number 5: James Van Riemsdyk
JVR is finally in the last year of his contract and he’s finally bringing something to the table that has been frustratingly lacking from his game during most of his second run with the Flyers- consistency. He’s got 19 points in 25 games, a rate that would be even more impressive if he didn’t miss over a month with a broken finger back in November. The Flyers struggled to move JVR during the 2022 offseason as teams wouldn’t eat the last year of his deal without being heavily compensated, but now that the trade deadline is almost upon us and the Flyers can also retain half of his remaining cap, they should have no problem moving the 33-year-old winger. What he’ll bring in return is up for debate, but securing at least a third round pick should be doable for the Flyers.
Number 4: Tony DeAngelo
The Tony DeAngelo experiment hasn’t worked out in Philly as well as Chuck Fletcher had hoped and they could very well look to deal the 27-year-old in the offseason. He’s still got 26 points in 40 games, 13 of which have come on the powerplay, but his play on a night-to-night basis has been erratic and he’s untrustworthy as a top guy. He’s a guy that can play on a sturdy defensive team like the Hurricanes but is going to struggle when he’s tasked with being a relied up top four guy on lesser teams. There’s got to be a better fit for DeAngelo out there, and his offensive production should at least be enough to draw interest in the trade market. The Flyers gave up a second, third and fourth round pick for the guy last offseason, so at least recuperating most if not all of those draft picks should be ideal.
Number 3: Ivan Provorov
If the NHL was a league with any kind of standards or morals, Provorov’s actions on pride night would tank his trade value. Luckily for the Flyers, the NHL is a heartless league and by the time either the trade deadline or offseason roll around, the fact Provorov is a human piece of shit will be a distant memory to other team’s front offices. The trade scene for Tony DeAngelo was apparently pretty hot before the Flyers gave up three draft picks for the guy, so once the media attention to Provorov’s stunt cools off, the Flyers will still probably have no problem moving the 26-year-old defenseman. The question as to what exactly the Flyers could expect to get in return for Provorov even before his antics was always the major question mark when it came to a potential trade, so for their sake, Chuck Fletcher better hope the rest of the NHL has short memories when it’s time to sit down for trade negotiations.
Number 2: Carter Hart
Thanks to the emergence of 23-year-old Sam Ersson, the Flyers’ top netminder Carter Hart may become expandable, something that would’ve seemed unconscionable not all that long ago. It’s obviously a huge risk to move a cornerstone like Hart on a couple month sample size from Ersson, but in terms of value, teams across the league, bottom feeders and Cup-caliber clubs alike would be willing to pay through the nose for Hart’s services. Considering the Flyers lack high-end talent, if there’s a team that’s desperate enough to give up a top forward in the name of salvaging their goaltending, the Flyers might have to honestly consider making that move. 24-year old franchise goaltenders don’t exactly get moved often, so there’s not much history to draw from when crafting a potential trade scenario, but if Ersson is the real deal, the Flyers can at least dangle Hart in the trade market and see just how crazy teams are willing to get for a potential franchise changer in the crease.
Number 1: Travis Konecny
If the Flyers were a true rebuilding team, they would be foaming at the mouth to trade Travis Konency, who is having by far the best season of his career. Though, as this team continues to hover in the ugly in between, they may consider keeping the soon-to-be 26-year-old and hoping this breakout campaign is the new norm. Moving him would be very unpopular among the fanbase. This is a classic case of a fan favorite player that has a spotty track record when it comes to actual on-ice production, so the “we can’t trade this guy because his value is low” arguments change into “we can’t trade this guy because he’s playing well.” The Flyers should at least do their due diligence when it comes to scoping out a potential deal. If the Flyers aren’t going to be legitimately competitive before his current contract expires in 2025, maybe selling high on Konecny is the best move for the long-term betterment of the franchise.
Hayes is such an intriguing player when it comes to trade value. He’s got 40 points in 44 games this season, was named to the all-star team, but has simultaneously been butting heads with John Tortorella and his overall play has been hit or miss. He’s also about to turn 31 and has three years left on his current contract at a $7.1 million cap hit. Chances are the Flyers actively try and move him this summer and there should be interest around the league, but it’ll be about getting out from under as much of that contract as possible. If they have to retain one or maybe two million per season for the remainder of his deal in order to get the rest of his cap hit off the books, it’s a deal the Flyers just might have to make. Any more and it may not make sense for the Flyers to part ways with Hayes. They may get a draft pick or two in return, but the endgame in any Hayes trade is just thanking their lucky stars that they were able to move a majority of his cap that can be better used elsewhere on the roster.
2023 First Round Pick
It’s wouldn’t be the smartest thing to do, but in terms of trade value, the Flyers’ 2023 first round pick possesses quite a bit of worth if they were to consider moving it. The Flyers didn’t move the pick last summer when it came to clearing JVR to add Johnny Gaudreau, and they ultimately didn’t trade their 2022 first rounder either when they had Alex DeBrincat in their sights, so it does feel unlikely they move the 2023 pick this time around, but it can’t be taken off the table for the Flyers either, especially if the pick ends up being later than anticipated.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com