What Should the Flyers do at the Trade Deadline?

We are less than a month away from the NHL trade deadline, March 3, and the Flyers are in an interesting spot. They’re not in the league basement, to the chagrin of a portion of the fanbase, but they aren’t in a playoff spot either. The Flyers need to figure out what they’re doing at the trade deadline because doing nothing would be the absolute worst thing for this team. So, what should the Flyers do?


With John Tortorella’s recent letter to season ticket holders, the Flyers, unsurprisingly, are not a playoff team. He doesn’t mention any reference to trading away major pieces, nor is there any mention of a rebuild, but some can see some insinuations that this is fairly similar to the letter that the New York Rangers sent out to fans a few years ago.

The vast majority of fans want the team to sell, and for good reason. The Flyers aren’t good, and at best, this team can lose in the first round after barely squeaking in. So, if selling is the road Chuck Fletcher goes down, what do we sell? The answer is pretty much anything. The three pieces that are probably pretty off-limits would be our first-round pick this summer, Carter Hart, and Cutter Gauthier. Of those three, the 2023 first is probably the one least likely to be traded, though most likely none of these three are traded. The most likely candidates to be traded are James van Riemsdyk and Ivan Provorov.

Let’s start with James van Riemsdyk. JVR’s contract has been hated a lot ever since he signed with Philly in 2018. He’s now in the final year of his contract. Even though JVR is overpaid for what he does, he does provide a net-front presence that many teams would love to have for a run, and with his contract coming off the books this summer, Chuck could very well retain as much as needed to make the deal any sweeter. What he gets is. the real question. A player of his caliber could land a decent draft pick or prospect from a team that needs what he brings, but how desperate could another GM be?

Next, let’s take a look at Ivan Provorov. Provorov has been in the rumor mill for a couple years now. Apparently, he was a piece dangled in front of Cheveldayoff’s face when the Jets were trying to trade Patrik Laine. He’s been mentioned in trades since then, especially with the log jam on the left side of the back end that either pushes Cam York down a few lines or forces him to the right side. Sanheim just signed an extension before the season, and Cam York looks like the future of the back end, so that leaves Ivan Provorov as the odd man out. He has a couple more years on the books, which could be enticing to another GM looking to get a good defenseman that’s not being paid $9 million. The recent drama surrounding Provorov could prove to be detrimental to a trade for him. Some teams may see what he did as something that doesn’t align with their team values or could see it as a distraction because we know NHL GMs HATE distractions to be public.

An interesting trade piece could be Felix Sandström. With how Samuel Ersson played in his call-up, many fans wanted him to stay with the big club, but that would mean they’d have to waive Sandström and potentially lose him for nothing. While the debate about whether or not it’s better for Ersson to be getting more starts in the AHL or be up in the NHL is still up in the air, the truth is that if the Flyers decide they want Ersson up behind Hart, but don’t want to lose Sandström for nothing, they would need to get a better third-string goalie than Grosenick.

An under-the-radar move that could happen, again, would be to trade away Justin Braun again. Justin, you’ve been a solid third-pairing guy, but you don’t owe this team anything and I’m still confused why you came back and didn’t just enjoy retirement. Whatever the reason for you to come back to this dumpster fire was, you could at least get an asset back at the deadline. Last year, the Flyers got a 2023 third-round pick for him from the New York Rangers, could Chuck get the same thing again? Probably not, but a mid-round 2024 draft pick could be had.

Another guy that could be traded is Kevin Hayes. Sam Carchidi mentioned that there is at least one GM in the NHL that is interested in Hayes and moving him back to center. The Flyers would probably have to retain salary close to, or even, 50%, which might be the better option than buying him out. If the Flyers bought out Hayes, he’d have a cap hit of about 2.53 million next season then about 4.7 million the next two years, and then about 1.6 million for the three seasons after as opposed to about 3.57 million for just three more years at most.


That might be a ludicrous idea, especially since the Flyers are not a playoff-caliber team, but one name does spark some intrigue, Timo Meier. Meier is in the last year of his contract which pays him six million and he will be an RFA this summer. Meier is an interesting option as he would bring star power to the Flyers, but there are some holes in the plan that Dan went more in-depth into in his article about Meier.

Besides Timo Meier, there really doesn’t appear to be a player out there that is on the block that would be enticing to a Flyers team trying to build/rebuild this team, and it seems that the only way of “buying” a payer that would be best for a team that is still being built would probably come in a trade for a player like Provorov or JVR.

By Noah Caplan (@Phlyers24)

Photo credit:: Getty Images


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