The rumors continue to fly around the Flyers and some of the league’s top players.
With a team that finally looks like it will be able to contend past this season, the Flyers are becoming a hot destination. And with that comes the many rumors of what players they could acquire. That is exactly where they find themselves right now.
Patrik Laine has been linked to the Flyers for quite some time now. Johnny Gaudreau’s name is also floating around now as well. And that is due to the team having younger players that are attractive to other teams in the league.
But are the Flyers willing to part with any of them? The answer is likely no on that one. Teams would certainly love to find a way to get Ivan Provorov, but he has to be one of the untouchables on the backend. The team probably also does not want to get rid of Travis Sanheim or Philippe Myers either. Though, Myers is a restricted free agent so a trade involving him would have to come before next Thursday.
Friedman on 31 Thoughts says be prepared to hear a lot of Flyers trade talk, not cause they want to make, but because they have what a lot of teams want (young D) and teams will come calling. Says they could do a Laine or Gaudreau trade easily. Only question is, will they?
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) October 3, 2020
Any deal for a player such as Laine or Gaudreau would almost certainly involve one of the latter two mentioned above. But dealing one of them would leave quite a big hole in the Flyers lineup. The likes of Egor Zamula, Wyatte Wylie, and Cam York are not ready to step up to the NHL level. They would be banking on Shayne Gostisbehere coming back to form as well. And if he doesn’t, the team is in big trouble after they have seemingly solidified that part of the lineup.
And with Chuck Fletcher speaking to the Flyers defensive depth and its need for more, it’s hard to see them wanting to trade away any of their young pieces. The only defensemen that they seem willing to part with is Gostisbehere. And it all depends on how teams view his current situation.
He owns a $4.25M cap hit for the next three seasons. If he can get anywhere close to his 60+ point campaign, that contract has huge value. But can he be the centerpiece of a deal for either Laine or Gaudreau? That might be a tough sell. That leaves some of the defensive prospects that are in the system.
Would the team part with Zamula or York before seeing what they can do in the NHL? That is always a risk when trading away young talent, something the Flyers didn’t like to do under GM Ron Hextall. Fletcher hasn’t shown a desire to do that yet either, but we don’t truly know.
And as for offense, what does the team have that they are willing to part with? Both the Jets and Flames would probably want an NHL-level forward coming their way. Is there anyone in the top-six that the Flyers would be willing to part with? Some rumors have come out that involve Travis Konecny, but the team isn’t giving up on him after one bad offseason.
James van Riemsdyk has also been in rumors this offseason, though those have quite down. He has been one of the best scorers for the Flyers during the last few seasons since he came back. He is also significantly older. He has three years left on a contract that holds a cap hit of $7M. That is only slightly more than both Laine and Gaudreau. So cost is likely not the issue there.
That leaves some of the young players on the team. If a forward was to go the other way, you may be looking at a Joel Farabee or Morgan Frost type of player. The limited NHL experience comes into play with both, but especially when it comes to Frost. Each has room to grow in the league and has the potential to develop into stars.
But again, they are not proven in this league. In trades like this, you have to give to get. However, sometimes the price to give can often outway what you are getting in return. And that appears to be the case in either situation. Parting with a top defensive player leaves the Flyers with a huge hole and they may not have the proven offensive talent to go the other way. At least not one they could part with.
As much fun as it could be imagining one of Laine or Gaudreau on this team, the Flyers might be better off not paying the price it would take to pry one of them away.