The Philadelphia Flyers are technically still alive in the standings, but Flyers General Manager Ron Hextall has indicated that the team will likely be sellers as the NHL trade deadline approaches. Several Flyers have been rumored to be on the trade block, namely defensemen Mark Streit and Nick Schultz as well as forwards Ryan White and Sam Gagner.
In particular, Gagner is looking to be one of the safer bets to be moved before the deadline Monday afternoon. Timing is everything this time of year for players with trade value and Gagner is getting hot at the right time.
Gagner has been in and out of the lineup since the beginning of the season, but has three goals in his last four games, including a beauty against the Arizona Coyotes Saturday afternoon. He’s put a lot of pucks on net since slotting into the second line with Sean Couturier and Michael Raffl and being surrounded by a good supporting cast has drastically improved his overall performance.
But will the Flyers actually be able to move him?
Originally acquired over the summer in the trade that sent Nick Grossman and Chris Pronger‘s contract to the Arizona Coyotes, the Flyers placed Gagner on waivers in late December and went unclaimed. In other words, all other 29 teams had the opportunity to pick him up for essentially nothing, but chose not to. Would Gagner’s recent performance sway their opinion?
That’s very possible.
Gagner has provided good scoring depth as of late and that’s something a contending team may like to add as the regular season winds down. Hextall knows how to make a deal and it’s very possible that Gagner could be wearing a different uniform by Monday.
And let’s not forget, Hextall was able to get a third-round pick for Zac Rinaldo over the summer. Nothing is impossible with an evil genius making the deals.