The 2023 offseason is going to pose many questions for the Philadelphia Flyers, and whatever path the organization finally chooses could lead to a rather large roster overhaul one way or another. The league-wide cap struggles and general lack of talent on the Flyers’ roster could make trade crafting a rather daunting task for whoever takes over as general manager, but when talking about trades, there are some players that stick out more than others.
Number 5: Felix Sandstrom
It’s hard to think of a player more openly mistreated in recent Flyers history than Felix Sandstrom. From being completely overlooked in favor of Martin Jones when Carter Hart got hurt late last season to the fact he’s only played 19 of their 80 games this season despite the fact he’s been on the main roster the whole time, the team clearly doesn’t care much for their Swedish netminder. Obviously Hart and Ersson are the duo they pretty clearly intend to run with in the future, but Sandstrom is no longer waiver exempt and they don’t have the in-house third stringer to call upon just in case either of the former get hurt. That can change this summer when free agency rolls around and they add a new third stringer to the team, which means Sandstrom could get shipped out of town. Quite frankly, he deserves a chance to start over elsewhere and would probably welcome a change of scenery at this point.
Number 4: Kevin Hayes
It’s been a real interesting season for Hayes, who set a new personal best in points which led to him being named an all-star, but his completely lifeless play and butting of heads with John Tortorella has signaled that he’s not the happiest camper in Philly these days. He’s got three years left on his current contract at a massive $7.1 million cap hit, which is going to make trading him harder than it already was, but all paths seemingly lead towards a separation this summer, even if it isn’t the most painless thing for the Flyers to do.
Number 3: Ivan Provorov
Speaking of players wanting out, Ivan Provorov’s brooding more than a grounded teenaged middle schooler these days. There’s been noticeable frustration from the player for well over a year now and his antics on pride night that blindsided the team and threw them into the national media for all the wrong reasons may finally be the move that pushed the team far enough to expedite a trade. He also happens to be one of the Flyers’ biggest trade chips and, with a rebuild now underway, could be moved for a few key assets to continue that process. Even though he hasn’t been the legit number one defenseman they once hoped he was, he also plays a role that isn’t going to be the easiest to fill, leading to questions about what the post-Provorov era will look like in Philadelphia. Is the grass always greener on the other side?
Number 2: Travis Konecny
Plain and simple, if the Flyers are rebuilding they need to trade Travis Konecny. His value is at its peak, he’s a point-per-game player and he’s on a team friendly contract. He’s 26 years old and has two years left on his current deal at a $5.5 million cap hit. If the Flyers don’t plan on being competitive before that deal comes to an end, and all signs point to them not being ready in time, they’re best moving him for the best return possible before he needs an extension. If he cools off next season and returns to a 15-20 goal, sub-50-point guy, it’s gonna look real bad that they didn’t capitalize on the gift they were given with his hot play during a rebuild.
Number 1: Tony DeAngelo
The Flyers didn’t exactly get the player they hoped for when it came to their Hail Mary acquisition of Tony DeAngelo from the Hurricanes last summer. He does have 42 points through 70 games with nearly half coming on the powerplay, but his defense is flat out atrocious. He’s been benched quite a bit down the stretch for the Flyers, which could signal the end of his short run in Philly. Deangelo’s only got one year left at a $5 million cap hit. Given he’s a right-handed powerplay specialist with no long-term commitment, there should be at least a few teams interested in his services this summer.
It’s been a rather disappointing season for Joel Farabee coming off neck surgery last summer. He posted 14 goals and 38 points through 80 games, which is his lowest goal total since his rookie year, though it ties his career high in points dating back to 2020-21. Farabee just turned 23 at the end of February, and if the organization leans in the direction of a rebuild, there will be no rush to move him, but it may also be worth the risk to dangle his name out there in search of a young center, taking the gamble that Farabee doesn’t have more to offer rather than let his value dip lower in Philly.
By: Dan Esche (@DanTheFlyeraFan)
photo credit: nhl.com