Flyers Roster in 2023-24 When They Don’t Make Any Additions

Chuck Fletcher and the Philadelphia Flyers were stopped in their tracks during the 2022 offseason when it came to adding significant talent because they couldn’t clear enough cap space to even begin to entertain the high-priced free agents. We’ve began theorizing some potential moves the Flyers could make during the 2023 offseason, such as getting rid of Kevin Hayes, trading Travis Konecny and/or Ivan Provorov, but what if nothing is done internally or externally during the 2023 offseason?

Thanks to his general incompetence, the team is still stuck in a very tight financial corner this summer, very similar to the situation that kept them at bay last summer, so unless they clear a bunch of cap, which is still up for debate and rather unlikely, chances are they will have to sit on the sidelines yet again as the stacked 2023 free agent pool finds new homes.

So what could the Flyers’ roster look like next season based solely off the players already under contract?

James Van Riemsdyk, Patrick Brown and Justin Braun are pending unrestricted free agents, and Keiffer Bellows and Zack MacEwen are pending restricted free agents who will more than likely not return next season.

Now, there could be quite a few internal names that will more than likely be NHL regulars out of training camp in October. Tyson Foerster, Elliot Desnoyers, Cutter Gauthier and potentially whoever they draft in the first round of 2023 could all be on the main roster to start the 2023-24 season at foward and Egor Zamula and Ronnie Attard are their closest NHL-ready defenseman.

That’s five new top prospects that could snag a main roster spot full-time next season.

The added layer here is health, something that hasn’t been too friendly to the Flyers over the last few years. So far, other than Ryan Ellis, whose career is more than likely over, everyone is (so far) projected to be healthy by the time the 2023-24 season gets underway. Sean Couturier, who hasn’t played in well over a calendar year, is projected to return late in the 2022-23 season, and Cam Atkinson should be ready to start next season after undergoing surgery before Christmas.

So based off that, the opening night roster could look like-

Cutter Gauthier – Sean Couturier – Owen Tippett

Joel Farabee – Morgan Frost – Tyson Foerster

Scott Laughton – Kevin Hayes – Travis Konecny

Elliot Desnoyers – Noah Cates – Wade Allison

extras: Nic Deslauriers, Cam Atkinson

Ivan Provorov – Cam York

Travis Sanheim – Tony DeAngelo

Egor Zamula – Rasmus Ristolainen

extra: Ronnie Attard, Nick Seeler

Carter Hart

Felix Sandstrom

The main takeaway here is that there are a lot of forwards on this team. Not just too many, but too many with similar ceilings in the “good but not great” category. This isn’t even taking other prospects like Bobby Brink or Olle Lycksell into consideration. There’s simply too many right wings and not nearly enough talent down the middle or on the left side.

The rag tag top four defense remains intact with Zamula and Attard getting their shot in the NHL, with Nick Seeler not too far behind ready to jump in the lineup when one of the two youngsters inevitably falls in the John Tortorella dog house like we saw with Zamula earlier in the 2022-23 campaign. If nothing changes on the back end, Cam York may still be forced to play on his off-side with Provorov not conceding the top spot on the left, York’s natural side.

Does the team presented above possess the ability to make the playoffs? If everything goes right, it’s possible, but with Couturier’s state still unknown and Cutter Gauthier and Tyson Foerster’s potential at the NHL still up for debate, it’s the kind of make-or-break risk the Flyers have relied upon one too many times over the last handful of years to just magically assume the cookie will crumble in their favor this time.

Chances are the Flyers do something during the summer of 2023, but Fletcher has a track record of underwhelming offseasons and not always taking risks to clear cap space. That could mean Hayes is still here, Atkinson may not be able to be moved thanks to missing an entire season, there may not be a decent enough return to move Ivan Provorov, and they balk at the idea of trading Konecny despite it making sense.

If some vets aren’t cycled out, it’s going to stall the potential youth infusion and limit the overall potential of the team if they can’t or won’t make any outside additions. Just the way the Flyers like it. It’s always safe to prepare for the worst when it comes to the Flyers these days, and as long as Fletcher is still the general manager and he can hide under his desk on free agency day, betting on this staying relatively similar to what it is right now may be the most likely outcome, no matter how unpopular and wrong it may be.

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

photo credit: Getty Images


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