While the the Flyers will be returning to practice, there are still a few days before they will play an actual game. With this extra time, the front office should be looking at possible trades to help this franchise exceed expectations. The Flyers are not a perfect hockey team by any means but they are good enough to go out and be aggressive in the trade market.
So who would the Flyers want? Here are three blockbuster trades that they should try to make before the trade deadline.
PHI: Dougie Hamilton
CAR: Morgan Frost, Shayne Gostisbehere, 2022 1st round pick
Hamilton would be an absolutely perfect fit for the Flyers. A top right-handed D-Man to pair with Provorov would help this team’s defense drastically. Hamilton would also be cheap, given he’s on a contract year. Yes, the Hurricanes are a playoff team, but Hamilton has always seemed to pop up in trade rumors. With Carolina also needing money to pay Martinook, Svechnikov, Foegele, and McGinn, Hamilton is the odd man out contract wise.
Replacing an RHD with a fairly decent younger NHL level RHD and adding on a young center to slot behind Aho as well as a future first would all probably suffice to get Carolina to move Hamilton. The Flyers should ask for an extension to be signed at the time of trade, though, if they want to make this a long-term success. A future defense of Provorov-Hamilton, Sanheim-Myers, Zamula-York sounds like a dream.
#2: The Reverse Timonen
PHI: Duncan Keith (30% Salary Retained)
CHI: Scott Laughton, 2021 2nd round pick, 2022 4th round pick
After the Blackhawks traded the Flyers two draft picks for Alternate Captian Kimmo Timonen in February of 2015, they went on to win the Stanley Cup. Keith could be that Stanley Cup winner that comes into the locker room and meshes that culture altogether.
With the Blackhawks rebuilding and a low chance of Scott Laughton returning next season due to the Flyers cap problems, Laughton would be the contract to send away to make this deal work. The Blackhawks, in the middle of a rebuild, would also take on a percentage of Keith’s salary to acquire Laughton and the two picks.
Even with Keith’s cap hit next season, the Flyers can just leave him unprotected for the expansion draft or trade him to another team when either one of Zamula or York is ready.
#3: The Long Shot
PHI: Kris Letang (20% Salary Retained)
PIT: 2021 1st round pick, Shayne Gostisbehere
This trade makes too much sense for both sides, and with Hextall now as the GM for the Penguins, this long shot may have gotten a bit shorter. The Penguins don’t have a first-round pick this year after they traded it away last season for Jason Zucker. The Flyers need a defenseman and could also use another player with Stanley Cup finals experience. They only have two players who have been to a Cup final in Giroux and van Riemsdyk.
With Hextall coming in this also means the Penguins are potentially looking to rebuild. With talks that if the Penguins miss the playoffs this season they’ll look to ship Crosby, might as well look to see if they’ll ship Letang too.
All of this sounds like a long shot: a rival trade where a cornerstone player of Stanley Cup winning teams gets shipped off in the middle of the season by the rival team’s former GM. Unlikely right? Well here is where the true long shot comes into play though. Letang does have a NMC and the Flyers probably wouldn’t be on a list of teams he’d waive the NMC for. If he does for some reason want to remove this NMC for the Flyers, Fletcher should call Pittsburgh to kick around a Letang trade.