Flyers Tradecraft: Are the Flyers Really Buyers?

Flyers, Chuck Fletcher (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Flyers, Chuck Fletcher (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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The Flyers have several pieces that should garner interest from eager contenders.

Philadelphia Flyers
Scott Laughton, Philadelphia Flyers (Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports) /

The Rentals

The best thing about these players is they are all unrestricted free agents at the seasons’ end, which means the Flyers may be able to re-sign them to their roster once the expansion process has played out.  In the meantime, let these guys try to bring a cup home while stockpiling assets for the future.

Erik Gustafsson

Moving Gustafsson is a necessary move, mainly to clear some of his salary off the books.   As Fletcher pointed out finding salary matching deals make things much harder, and Gustafsson is not a piece the Flyers need and his salary is acting as an impediment.   Gustafsson fetched a third-round pick at last year’s deadline, but it seems unlikely he could fetch that today.  The Flyers should look to move him quickly, even if it nets them less than market value so it can clear the deck for bigger deals.

Scott Laughton

I like Laughton’s game, he really has made strides over the last few seasons and has proven himself a versatile second-line player.  Laughton kills penalties, scores, wins faceoffs, plays center or on the win, and can stir the pot and take the body when it helps the team.  There are a lot of gaps he can fill and a lot of roles he can play.  It is hard to say what the market would be for him as a true rental, but Derek Grant fetched a 4th round pick from the Flyers last season, so Laughton must much more than that.  Eric Staal fetched a third and fifth-round pick, Laughton should fetch more than that.

Laughton should have plenty of interested parties since he can help in a variety of ways.

Michael Raffl

Raffl is a quality depth forward that is excellent on the cycle, can score, and will take the body.  Raffl has seen time as a penalty killer but is only average in that capacity. Raffl is defensively responsible but is prone to the occasional miscue or bad turnover.  Raffl is a good player that soaks up minutes with a low cap number.  Raffl should return at least a fourth-round pick

A team looking to make a run that needs veteran forward depth that can provide some scoring is Raffl’s ideal suitor, it would not be a surprise if our old friend in Pittsburgh inquires about Raffl’s availability.