There are a few names on the Flyers roster that find themselves in the trade rumors. Will the team actually pull the trigger on any of them?
Every year players around the league find themselves among trade rumors. The Trade Bait lists and general fan consensus are where it all goes down. The Flyers are not alone, they have a few names that could be shopped around this offseason.
With the flat cap, it may be hard to get deals done during this time. It is not expected to go up in the next few years. Teams may be desperate to shed contracts but also not desperate enough to take on extra money. So there will have to be some creativity if a deal is to be done.
The main names surrounding the Flyers are that of Shayne Gostisbehere and James van Riemsdyk. The former has seen his name in the rumors for the last few offseasons, but the team had not made a deal for him. There was talk that they may have had some offers, but didn’t want to trade him.
Injuries have hurt Gostisbehere often in recent years. He is just three seasons removed from the 65 point campaign during the 2017-18 season. He missed time again this year due to issues in his knee. He had arthroscopic surgery on it twice.
Gostisbehere looked good during camp and early on when he got the chance to play during the playoffs. It looked like he was finally feeling like himself again. But has too much time gone by to make it right?
Well, the Flyers decision could be made clear soon. Robert Hagg is set to be a restricted free agent. The two fought to be the sixth defensemen throughout the season. Hagg played 49 games this season while Gostisbehere appeared in 42. But it looked like the former had the inside track on the spot more often than not.
Re-signing him could guarantee that Gostisbehere doesn’t have a future here much longer. Justin Braun is likely not getting re-signed, but Mark Friedman looks ready for the NHL. Spots will be limited once again.
Gostisbehere is on a team-friendly deal that has three years left at $4.5M per season. That shouldn’t be a hard deal to sell. It depends how people view him. He could be a low-risk, high-reward type of player in the right situation.
For van Riemsdyk, he didn’t necessarily underproduce this season. He had 19 goals and 40 points. For what he’s being paid though, that isn’t what the Flyers were probably hoping for. He came from Toronto with two 60+ points seasons and two others where he had 50+. That is more of the contribution they are looking for.
It’s fair to say there are times where he doesn’t look fully engaged. But others, he’s flying all over the ice and is very noticeable when out there. He has been among the best at scoring goals the past two seasons, so it’s not all bad news with him.
And he has gotten quite the compliment from his head coach. According to Alain Vigneault, van Riemsdyk has one of the highest hockey IQ’s among all Flyers. He also admitted he’s the type of player that likely fits best among the top-nine, not the fourth line where he’s spent some time.
Unlike Gostisbehere, JVR’s contract is likely harder to move. He just finished the second year of a $35M contract. That could be a hard sell to some teams. Especially with the expansion draft looming.
But should the Flyers explore the trade market on either of these players? There’s no doubt they’ll be taking and making calls this offseason. Chuck Fletcher admitted to that during his end of year press conference. But again, the flat cap will make his harder than usual.
If van Riemsdyk is to get traded, it may not come during this offseason. After injuries hurt him a year ago and the shortened season this year, it’s fair to give him another year, especially when the Flyers are expected to contend once again. They’ll need him to be at his best more often, though.
Gostisbehere is the more likely of the two to see his time end in Philadelphia. It is more of a number’s game that could send him packing.