Which Philadelphia Flyers players could potentially be in a new uniform later this month?
Finding themselves in the middle of a hotly contested battle for a playoff spot in the Eastern Conference, I think it’s safe to say that the Philadelphia Flyers may possibly be in the market for an upgrade or two as they head into the upcoming 2020 Trade Deadline. Though their lack of cap space could make it tough for them to do anything substantial, that shouldn’t and likely hasn’t stopped General Manager Chuck Fletcher from making calls around the league to try and add a bit more depth to the Flyers roster.
Having said that, teams don’t just give away assets for free, and Fletcher will have to part with either a current roster player, prospect, draft picks, or a mix of the three to bring in somebody to help strengthen the squad. Fortunately for Fletcher, Philadelphia possesses some interesting pieces in their organization, with three players standing out the most to me as some of their more compelling chips.
Philly’s first trade candidate going into the deadline is none other than Shayne Gostisbehere. The 26-year-old defenseman’s name has been no stranger to the rumor mill through the past few years, and is once again on TSN’s Trade Bait List, coming in at number eight this year. While he’s struggled mightily in the two seasons since his electric 65-point campaign in 2017-18, Ghost still has a solid amount of skills to offer any team looking for an offensive-minded defenseman.
The Florida native is a plus-skater, allowing him to move through each zone with the puck on his stick, and can effectively pass into or out of them, too. The Flyers have also created more shots with Gostisbehere on the ice at 5v5 in each of his five years at the NHL level, showing the value he can have to an offense even if the points aren’t there. Additionally, Ghost can slot in on the power-play, and won’t break the bank with a 4.5 million dollar cap hit. The dip in point-production will surely concern some teams, but there’s still some value there for Fletcher to utilize.
The next potential trade piece just so happens to be Robert Hagg. The Swedish blueliner, like Gostisbehere, certainly comes with his own set of flaws but could benefit an organization that’s looking to get a little younger on the back end. Hagg’s your prototypical stay-at-home defenseman who utilizes a physical play style to knock attacking skaters off of the puck, something that old school hockey minds love to have as part of their team.
Furthermore, Hagg’s defensive skill set gives him the ability to kill penalties, and he can chip in on offense with a point every now and again. All of those attributes, along with Hagg’s youth, cheap 1.15 million dollar cap hit, and safer style of play, could intrigue a GM in a possible deal, especially if they’re planning to pair him with a more mobile type of defenseman.
Lastly, I went back-and-forth between James van Riemsdyk and Mikhail Vorobyev on this one but ultimately went with Vorobyev because I think he’s more likely to be dealt before or by the deadline than JvR. While Vorobyev likely has little-to-no trade value by himself, Fletcher could opt to use him as a throw-in to sweeten the pot a little. We’ve all seen that the Russian centerman clearly has the talent to make the NHL but hasn’t possessed the will or effort needed to stick at this level. A potentially interested team could look at Vorobyev and think a change of scenery together with a few more shifts would do him well, though taking a flyer on him would be nothing more than a shot in the dark.
Whatever ends up happening, Fletcher’s unquestionably going to be a busy man as the February 24th deadline date draws closer.