Now that the NHL trade deadline has ended, the Philadelphia Flyers are continuing with General Manager Ron Hextall’s slow & steady approach to rebuilding this team. With only one trade made, two resigned contracts and an entry-level contract we can start to look at the young future in the stars.
What can I say, Hexy is a man of his word. Now, a couple days into March 2017 and it is evident that the days of blockbuster trade deadline deals and franchise altering moves are null and void. The GM has reiterated many times his mantra for the Flyers as heard last July,
“We’re building something here to be a top team for a long time.” – (Ron Hextall)
The Flyers were able to trade away the 39-year-old D-man Mark Streit who’s contract expires on July 1st, 2017. In return, they received the 32-year-old center Valterri Filppula with a fourth round pick in this year’s upcoming draft and a conditional seventh round pick from the Tampa Bay Lightning. (See more on that trade)
Also, the team nailed down two contract extensions with current Forward Pierre-Edouard Bellemare and Netminder Michal Neuvirth. Finally, they signed their 2016 first-round, 22nd overall draft pick F German Rubtsov to an entry-level contract.
These moves probably left very few aghast. The Flyer’s brass are continuing to show consistency which may even aid in the players being less concerned about movement off the ice and more on-the-ice; at least until free agency in July.
What we have to look forward to…
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Filppula is a solid two-forward. He can also provide a bit more offense to a team that is ranked 22nd in Goals For. (He has posted 40+ points four times over the last 8 years with a career +/- of 30.) Although not a drastic increase our offense has improved.
With 7 expiring contracts, we have to think that a few of the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, will be grinding it out for a spot. Names like Anthony Stolarz, Robert Hagg, Samuel Morin, Travis Sanheim, Jordan Weal (currently active) and even Scott Laughton all must be considered. Newly signed German Rubtsov may even attempt to shock the waters after crossing the pond to join the Chicoutimi Saguenéens in the QMJHL this year.
The Flyers are less than 5 points behind the New York Islanders for the last wild card spot. With one game in hand, still, we have a chance to compete. Though, if we miss our playoff chances we can at least begin to season our youth for the following year.