Should the Philadelphia Flyers also be buyers at the deadline?

Flyers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Flyers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

The Philadelphia Flyers are in a weird situation due to this Flat Cap Era. This hockey team is starting to play like a team who has promise. The two ways to build in this Flat Cap are through trades and the draft. This trade deadline, there will be some very good players on the move.

The question is, do the Flyers have the players or draft picks to move to get some of these players? In fact, the better question is should the Flyers make moves to get some help?

With the Flyers being so up and down this season, the biggest issue they have had has been goal-scoring. With James van Riemsdyk and Justin Braun most likely on the move because of their expiring contracts, expect some more draft picks and potentially either role players or prospects to be brought back into Philly.

While the prospects will be the better move for the Flyers to get, to maybe snag a guy under 30 with a few years of control and is an established difference-maker would be huge not only for this franchise but for the locker room as well.

There will be plenty of teams selling and looking to buy and those teams will be calling the Flyers. In fact, Kevin Hayes and Ivan Provorov will have a lot of suitors and Chuck Fletcher should listen to offers. If you can bring in an expiring contract for one of these players to resign the player you’re bringing in, you shouldn’t write it off.

John Klingberg, Timo Meier, Shayne Gostisbehere David Pastrnak, Bo Horvat, Tyler Bertuzzi, Dylan Larkin and Matthew Dumba are all expiring contracts for guys who would be difference-makers and good players who would excel under Torts. Especially since the players most likely will want to be signed long-term or given some time to stay in the same city.

Flyers: Defensemen

John Klingberg

Leaving the Dallas Stars to try and bet on himself to get a better contract, Klingberg went to Anaheim. A right-handed shot standing at 6’3″ and 190 lbs. Klingberg has been doing his best on a bad team. Playing 34 games out of 41, Klingberg hasn’t exactly been the playmaker we have come to know him as. Obviously, playing on one of the worst teams in the NHL doesn’t help, but it’s the same thing you can say about Johnny Gaudreau. Good players make bad teams a little better.

Anaheim is going to be selling and looking for expiring contracts. They will also want some draft picks. Moving Braun, a prospect or two and a few picks might get you Klingberg.  With 5 goals and 8 assists, Klingberg has made his mark on the offensive side. Klingberg can move the puck and has always been a solid top-pairing player.

Klingberg has 39 blocks and 38 hits. With 18 takeaways and 19 giveaways, Klingberg can take the puck away but with the amount he asked to carry it as a puck mover, he will lose the puck. Similar to Shayne Gostisbehere’s role when he was here.

While Ryan Ellis was supposed to be that Veteran leader in the defensive department of this team, Klingberg could be signed for a little cheaper for a solid 3 years here and will make a good partner for either Provorov or Cam York (if Provorov is indeed moved at the deadline. Then next season, if Ellis can play, Klingberg becomes a 2nd pairing guy or the partner for Ellis.

Shayne Gostisbehere

Ghost is obviously a known commodity and a player many fans want back on this team. A player who wears his heart on his sleeve and his emotions on full blast, Ghost is the perfect locker room guy to bring in. The Flyers love reunions and Ghost’s would be an extremely emotional one. Not just for the fans but the players who were here during his tenure.

Ghost is a Philadelphian through and through. Ghost basically grew up in Philly. If it wasn’t for Alain Vigneault and his mismanagement of players during his tenure, Ghost might still be here. In his time with Arizona, Ghost rebounded, and his confidence burst through the seams. Last season, Ghost played a full 82-game season racking up 14 goals and 37 assists. His defense seemed to really reemerge as well. With 115 blocks and 60 hits, Ghost was healthy once again.

This season, Ghost has played 40 games. Ghost has 9 goals and 19 assists. What’s really impressive is his -5. Ghost has 1 Shorthanded goal and 1 powerplay goal. Ghost also has 7 powerplay assists. The Flyers have been looking for a second powerplay QB for the second unit, but between DeAngelo and Ghost, the Flyers will have some insane firepower at the blue line.

This will be the year we all remember Ghost and we fell in love with him as fans.

Pairing Ghost with Ristolainen would be the Sam Morin/Shayne Gostisbehere pairing that we never got in the NHL. They would also be a really good 3rd pairing under Brad Shaw and Torts. This would allow Seeler to be a 7th defenseman as he should be and give you some depth for when one of your guys either needs a Maintenace day or go down with an injury.

Matthew Dumba

Dumba is the type of player who does everything and does it well. At 6’0″ and a little over 180 lbs., the right-handed shot is the type of scrappy player we love in Philadelphia. Whether it’s fighting, moving the puck, shooting or leading in the locker room, Dumba would be the perfect veteran piece to add to this roster. He is a threat on the ice and isn’t afraid to lay the body out to defend his teammates.

Dumba is more of a defensive defenseman. While he can put some pucks into the back of the net, he would be much better being on the PK and in late-game situations for protecting the net and keeping the puck out of it. Dumba would excel under Shaw’s system and ultimately be a great partner for either Tony DeAngelo or Travis Sanheim. His defensive nature would allow for either player to be able to open up their game offensively and join up in the rush or the play.

In 40 games, Dumba has 4 goals and 7 assists. Dumba also has 56 blocks and 55 hits. His game is electric and can really bring a lot of energy to this team as well giving his forwards the peace of mind of him being on the ice with them.

With already having a connection with Fletcher, He could be a perfect swap for JVR. The Flyers could also potentially pick up a draft pick or prospect in the move as well.

Flyers: Forwards

David Pastrnak

This is most likely not going to happen, but this is a dream scenario where you swap Kevin Hayes, Ivan Provorov, and a prospect or two and some draft picks for David Pastrnak. This would be a perfect trade. The Bruins get a defenseman with control for some years (and would make a great partner for Charlie McAvoy) and at a discount, a leader and player who can control the pace of the game, alongside some picks and prospects for when their eventual rebuild will have to start, and the Flyers get the Superstar they have been waiting for.

Pastrnak is one of the premier franchise players in the NHL. With slick hands, a rocket of a shot and IQ bursting through the seams, Pastrnak would propel this franchise forward and attract other free agents to play here. Pairing him with Sean Couturier and Travis Konecny would make this line similar to Boston’s “perfect line’. The Bruins have a lot of players and decisions to make at this deadline. With multiple pieces coming off the book after this season, the Bruins will have to decide what’s important to them.

Pastrnak has 32 goals and 26 assists in 40 games. The Bruins will not be looking to let go of Pastrnak unless the return haul has players that have years of control and can contribute to this lineup. While Pastrnak might not go at the deadline, it will depend on if the Bruins feel like they can resign him. If the Bruins decide they would rather get talent back before their superstar goes for free, it would be a good move on their part considering anyone who comes into their lineup will instantly get a boost.

One can dream for this to happen, but it will have to really fall into the hands of Pastrnak wanting out and more money than the Bruins are willing to spend. Maybe the hockey gods will shine upon this franchise for skipping Gaudreau and being patient.

Timo Meier

Another young winger who can score goals and move the puck really effectively. Meier is another expiring contract for a team that has continued to flop like a fish out of water (pun intended). The Sharks are most likely going to sell and are going to want draft picks and prospects. The Flyers are the perfect team to trade with. The Sharks know they are dead in the water and need to make some moves to become better. Maybe trading for a goalie like Felix Sandstrom might be a good idea.

With the emergence of Samuel Ersson, Felix Sandstrom has become expendable and still young, making him a target for a team looking to build a young core with players who will get along and grow together. Sandstrom would be a perfect project goalie for the Sharks, especially with him just turning 26, Felix would be the goalie for the future with Martin Jones and Devan Dubnyk leading the way for the Sharks right now.

Timo Meier is a smart and fast winger who can easily find himself in space to make plays whether it is making accurate passes or firing the puck into the back of the net. Meier could be a difference-maker for the Flyers. Becoming a top-line playmaker, the Flyers have been searching for a player of Meier’s caliber. With 23 goals and 18 assists, with 10 of his goals coming from the power play, he could be the JVR replacement. Pairing him up with Cam Atkinson (when he is healthy) and Noah Cates in the middle, would make this a dangerous line and one that could be considered a top line. You could even throw him on a line this season with Owen Tippet and Morgan Frost and watch them make magic.

This is a move the Flyers could definitely make and lock Meier up for the foreseeable future. His game would be elevated under Torts and would become an absolute threat that teams would hate to go up against night in and night out.

Bo Horvat

For all the firepower and talent that Vancouver has, they just cannot keep things together to be a contender. Bo Horvat, who is the cousin of Travis Konecny, might be on the trading block considering the state the Canucks are in. This could be a trade for some picks and Kevin Hayes as a swap. Horvat would come in and be the Flyers 2nd line center, maybe 1st line depending on Sean Couturier’s play when he comes back. The Flyers need some depth at center and players who can win faceoffs.

The Canucks aren’t going anywhere soon and need to bring in some players who are locked up and can make a difference. Hayes is making only 2 million more than Horvat right now. Horvat won’t command a ton of money considering he has never put up more than 61 points and usually averages about 40 some a season.

Horvat’s player comparison when he was drafted was Boone Jenner. One of Tort’s favorite players to use in his time in Columbus. Horvat has become a great locker presence and leader for the Canucks. He can kill penalties, play on the powerplay and is good in all three zones of the ice. Horvat is the prototypical player that Torts would love to have on this roster and in his locker room.

With 29 goals and 16 assists, Horvat is poised to pass his career high in goals this season. While players tend to play better during a contract year. Horvat would excel and be a big difference maker for this team and bring depth to the center position. He most likely will have some chemistry with Konecny so pairing him with Konecny and Farabee would be a dangerous combination. Noah Cates could move to the 2C or 3C depending on Morgan Frost and Sean Couturier or even Cates could become a winger.

Tyler Bertuzzi/Dylan Larkin

Tyler Bertuzzi and Dylan Larkin are both currently on the Detroit Red Wings. The Red Wings are still currently in limbo. They have finally started adding a little more talent and not just players whose careers are heading to their end. Bertuzzi and Larkin could come here as a pair or separately but either player would be great for the Flyers.

In the case of Tyler Bertuzzi, he is currently coming off a big injury and just played in his first game since November 30th. Bertuzzi in 10 games this season has 1 goal and 3 assists. Bertuzzi might come through a trade cheap if the Flyers choose to pursue him. Especially coming off of a 30-goal 32 assist season prior.

While Bertuzzi still needs to get back into game shape, if he can regain his form from the previous season, he would be a great addition to this team for goal-scoring. Bertuzzi would be a great fit with Owen Tippet and Morgan Frost.

Dylan Larkin is another good center who can play in all zones on the ice. His faceoff percentage is very good and something the Flyers could use. Larkin would slide into your 3C roll alongside Laughton and Allison. It would make for a very good third line who can forecheck effectively and defend when asked to do so.

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Scoring 14 goals and assisting on 21 this season, Larkin has been good for a team that is once again seeming like it’s going to miss the playoffs. Like Bertuzzi last season, Larkin had a 31-goal and 38-assist season. Bertuzzi is a scrappy player and works hard. Under Torts, Larkin would regain his form from the season prior and become a dangerous player on all accounts.

This team has earned the right to get help from the outside. Fletcher needs to make a move. If he sits on his hands, it could be his last chance with the Flyers.