Keep or Trade: 2023 Offseason Flyers’ Roster

With a rebuild officially declared by interim GM Danny Briere, the ‘for sale’ sign should be placed on the roster and everybody should have a price, but it doesn’t necessarily mean every gets moved. So let’s go down the roster, player-by-player, and determine which players likely get moved and which return for another season in orange and black.

*only counting players on the main roster full time

Travis Konecny

Travis Konecny recently turned 26 years old and was in the middle of a stellar season before a hot from behind in late February sidelined him, possibly for the rest of the regular season. He registered 54 points in 52 games before that, including a new career high in goals with 27. He’s got two years left on his deal with a $5.5 million cap hit. The Flyers should do everything in their power to move him this summer. Not only is his value likely the highest it’ll ever be, but the abundance of up-and-coming right wing depth makes him expandable, especially during a rebuild. There’s absolutely no reason why Travis Konecny should be on this roster next season.

Verdict: Trade

Kevin Hayes

Hayes seemed like a sure thing to be moved during the 2023 offseason, and it’s possible he still might, but with the Flyers now focusing on a rebuild, it no longer makes sense for the organization to retain money on his deal or potentially throw in a draft pick to move him. If some team wants him with little to no cap retention, there may be a deal to be had, but otherwise, he may just have to ride out another season in Philly. Sorry, Kevin.

Verdict: Probably stuck with him

Scott Laughton

If Laughton’s name were to end up on the trade block, the Flyers would have no problem moving him and probably garnering a nice asset or two to do so. Though Laughton seems like a critical leader in the locker room and could very well be the next captain of the team. If there’s an irresistible offer they may just have to take it, but he’s more than likely returning next season as one of the veteran leaders.

Verdict: Keep

Owen Tippett

Other than Travis Konecny and mixed patches from Kevin Hayes, Owen Tippett was probably the Flyers’ best player this year. He’s still got work to do and would benefit substantially from actual NHL-caliber talent on the roster around him, but 18 goals and 34 points through 62 games is nothing to turn your nose up at.

Verdict: Keep

Tony DeAngelo

The Tony D experiment in Philly went about as well as expected. He can put up some points and is serviceable on the powerplay but is a complete disaster at playing defense. He’s only got one year left on his deal at $5 million, so the fact that he’s a right-shot powerplay guy should mean the Flyers have no problem moving him to a team desperate for help on defense, especially since the free agent market is rather underwhelming. The Flyers have Ronnie Attard in the pipeline who is set to serve the same purpose for much cheaper and probably not as bad defensively.

Verdict: Trade

Morgan Frost

Frost is a pending restricted free agent who has finally started to hint at some fruition to his potential. He still seems unlikely to ever become a bonafide star, but if the Flyers are rebuilding and the organization still lacks center depth, bringing Frost back for another year or two isn’t the worst thing in the world. Though if they look outside the organization for center depth or get lucky in the lottery plus the potential return of Sean Couturier or signing of Cutter Gauthier, Frost may quickly become the odd man out on the roster and have his rights dealt.

Verdict: Keep… barring a miracle upgrade at center

Noah Cates

The experiment of moving Cates to center took some time to pay off, but he’s quietly developed into one of the better shutdown forwards in the league this season. A few more years and the Flyers may have a serious player on their hands. Cates is a big part of the future in Philly and will get a new contract this summer.

Verdict: Keep

Joel Farabee

It’s been a long season for Joel Farabee, who had disc replacement surgery in the cervical region of his neck during the offseason. While it’s a sizable built in excuse for his lackluter play this season, it’s also been a couple years since he truly dazzled. Given his just turned 23, they probably give him another kick at the can next season, and considering he’s got five years left on his current deal at a whopping $5 million cap hit, the Flyers are probably hoping Farabee figures things out sooner rather than later.

Verdict: Keep

Ivan Provorov

Tensions around Ivan Provorov and the Flyers have seemingly been boiling over for quite some time now, and he could finally be moved this summer. He’s one of the more valuable trade chips the Flyers possess and considering there’s no love lost between the two parties at the moment and the team has Cam York waiting to take the 1LHD role, it seems to be a safe bet that this is Provorov’s last season as a Flyer.

Verdict: Trade

Travis Sanheim

Willing to bet the organization is kicking themselves for letting Chuck Fletcher negotiate an eight-year extension with Sanheim on opening night. He sucks and so does that contract. Guess it helps the tank?

Verdict: Stays… unfortunately

Rasmus Ristolainen

Believe it or not, Ristolainen is actually one of the more interesting players when it comes to this exercise. By all metrics he’s been one of their most consistent defenseman all season, and as a right-shot defenseman on a relatively cost-controlled contract for four more years ($5.1 million aav) they could very well keep him for another season, although the case for trading him at his peak could be made as well. If the Flyers end up trading Provorov and DeAngelo this summer, there’s a good chance Ristolainen stays just to keep a few familiar faces around, but if some team is willing to pay up and the Flyers can recoup the assets they dumped into him a few years ago, a trade could very well make sense.

Verdict: Keep

Wade Allison

Allison has become quite the work in progress this season as one of John Tortorella’s favorite projects. He’s played up and down the lineup and 13 points in 45 games. Does he ever carve out a top six slot? Probably not, but there’s no reason to not keep him around to see if there’s further polishing to the diamond that is Wade Allison.

Verdict: Keep

Cam York

It’s been a hot and cold season for York, who has spent the bulk of this campaign palying on the right side of the defense, his off-side because everyone else has been a disaster. He’s still there defenseman of the future and if the corps improves around him, he could very well be a star they’re looking for.

Verdict: Keep

Nick Seeler

There was apparently some trade interest in Seeler around the deadline, but Chuck Fletcher couldn’t make a deal (who’da thunk!) There really isn’t anything wrong with keeping Seeler around considering he has one year left on his deal at $750,000, but if his spot goes to a young guy like Egor Zamula instead, it’d be better for the organization in the long run and they can snag an extra pick for Seeler.

Verdict: Trade

Nic Deslauriers

Tortorella loves Deslauriers. Deslauriers is under contract for a whopping three more seasons. He’s not going anywhere.

Verdict: Keep

Tanner Laczynski

Laczynski’s first full season at the NHL level didn’t exactly go as planned. He found himself in John Tortorella’s doghouse out of the gate and a pair of injuries that kept him out for a bulk of the season stalled any real chance he had to get out of it. He is under contract for one more season and with a rebuild supposedly taking place, there’s no real reason to expect he won’t be within the organization somwhere, but it may just not be on the main roster.

Verdict: Returns to the AHL

Kieffer Bellows

Bellows is a pending restricted free agent with a $1.2 million qualifying offer. The Flyers can’t afford it and they rarely use him anyway.

Verdict: Doesn’t get a qualifying offer

Carter Hart

There’s a portion of fans that have already packed Hart’s bags for him, but moving the 24-year-old is just a flat out bad idea. He may be their most valuable trade chip if we’re ranking that, but he is also their biggest and most important foundational piece. Unless a blow-away offer comes their way, it’s very unlikely Hart isn’t in orange and black for at least one more season.

Verdict: Keep

Felix Sandstrom

The Flyers have done a mighty fine job setting Felix Sandstrom up for failure this season. With Hart still in place and Ersson ready to take an NHL role soon enough, Sandstrom’s future seems to be in limbo for next season. Ideally, they can sneak him through waivers and he can wait in the AHL while they give Ersson his trial by fire in the NHL, which would be even better if Ivan Fedotov is no longer an option, but would he make it through waivers? It’s probably 50/50. Unless someone gets hurt during training camp or the offseason, it’s hard to imagine Sandstrom is one of the two goalies on the roster next season.

Verdict: Returns to the AHL

Sean Couturier

Sean Couturier is working towards a return from his second back surgery in less than a calendar year and a return to the ice could happen before the end of the 2022-23 season. What kind of player is he upon his return? Well that’s the big question right now.

He’s still got seven years left of that contract at a $7.7 million cap hit, so he’s stuck here regardless of how his return ends up going.

Verdict: Stays

Cam Atkinson

Atkinson missed the entirety of the 2022-23 season after a neck injury and subsequent surgery, though he himself stated he intends on playing next season. He’ll turn 35 in June and has two years left on his current deal at a $5.8 million cap hit. His trade value is probably next to nothing these days thanks to that cocktail, but he could very well be a candidate for a buyout due to his favorable cap savings and the fact there’s a slew of prospects at right wing that could make the jump full-time to the NHL next season. He may be a good guy with leadership qualities, but there just doesn’t appear to be a role for him on the current roster.

Verdict: Goes… potentially via buyout

By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)

photo credit: Getty Images


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s