With the 2022-23 Philadelphia Flyers season mercifully coming to a close, the direction the franchise takes during the offseason is under the microscope. New interim GM Danny Briere has been unafraid to use the term “rebuild” and head coach John Tortorella has recently used the term “subtraction” when talking about the future of the roster. The level of overhaul the team will undergo this summer is yet to be seen, but there are some guesses to be made when it comes to who exactly Torts was hinting at when it comes to potential subtractions.
Number 5: Tanner Laczynski
Laczynksi has been Tortorella’s public enemy number one all season long for some reason despite the fact he’s barely playing. He missed a bulk of the campaign with a lower-body injury, and when he’s healthy he’s regularly seeing about eight minutes of ice time a night. He’s under contract for one more season at just a $762,000 cap hit and considering his trade value is next to nothing, a “subtraction” in this case may just be a one-way trip to the AHL next season. Either way, it’s unlikely Laczynski is on the Flyers main roster voluntarily as long as John Tortorella has something to say about it.
Number 4: Felix Sandstrom
Felix Sandstrom has been treated pretty poorly by the Flyers organization over the last calendar year leaking into the 2021-22 season when he was kept in the AHL even after Carter Hart’s season ended early because of injuries and Martin Jones was awarded the lion’s share of the starts late. Then Sandstrom makes the opening night roster as the backup and proceeds to play just 17 of the Flyers’ 70 games as of this writing. With Sam Ersson knocking on the door and Sandstrom clearly out of favor from the coaching staff, it’s hard to imagine he’s the backup to start next season. Like Laczynski, he’s under contract for less than a million dollars next season and could very well find himself back with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms provided he’d clear waivers first.
Number 3: Wade Allison
While John Tortorella originally took on Wade Allison as a project earlier in the season, he has seemingly fallen out of favor with the coach due to his stints on the injured shelf. Despite the fact that he’s missed 22 games, Tortorella went on record saying the Allison is “always injured,” a phrase he used seven times in the same speech when he was asked about Allison’s development. Even though he’s under contract next season, the logjam at right wing could force Allison as the odd man out if the team opts to keep Cam Atkinson and Travis Konecny on the roster.
Number 2: Joel Farabee
Despite both Chuck Fletcher and Danny Briere listing 23-year-old Joel Farabee as a likely candidate to stick around on the roster, his on-ice play has been less than stellar upon his return from offseason neck surgery and has found himself in Tortorella’s doghouse on more than one occasion this season. He’s got five years left on his contract at a $5 million cap hit, which makes moving him in his declined state rather difficult, though as a former first round pick and still young, he could be apart of a bigger deal if the Flyers actually choose to make some roster additions this summer.
Number 1: Kevin Hayes
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for Hayes, who butted heads with Tortorella early but later put up career-best stats and was named to the all-star game. His offensive pace has cooled tremendously over the last month or so and his weaknesses are once again on display. We know he was unhappy they didn’t bring in Johnnu Gaudreau last summer, and would more than likely be willing to waive his no-movement clause in order to get a fresh start elsewhere, it’s just a matter of which team would want that contract.
Chuck Fletcher signing Sanheim to a dumb eight-year extension on opening night just a few months before he was fired will haunt the Flyers organization for years to come. He has been underwhelming to say the least this season and has drawn the ire of Torts because of it, mounting when he was scratched during a game against Calgary earlier in the season. Moving his deal straight up is going to be almost impossible, though swapping his contract for another not great contract but someone who better fits in the lineup is a real possibility.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com