Carter Hart, currently, is injured and listed as day to day with a lower body injury. It is unclear how long he is out, though Sam Ersson was loaned back to the Phantoms. But considering he’s missed the end of the season the last two years, it’s worth wondering if he is going to be healthy in years to come.
If he can’t play, the Flyers have goalies in house named Sam Ersson and Felix Sandstrom. Ersson seems to be streaky, but effective for the most part. Sandstrom has struggled most of his time in Philly, but seems to have played better as of late.
Meanwhile, there are many publications and websites who think the Flyers should trade away Hart (Travis Konecny too). The idea being that they are the most valuable players on the team and could, theoretically, bring in the most haul for a quick rebuild. Hart is “being wasted” in Philly by playing phenomenal hockey on a losing team while entering his prime.
So, theoretically, let’s say the Flyers go the nuclear option and trade Hart away and bring in a bevy of draft picks, prospects, and/or players. Let’s say they stick with Ersson and/or Sandstrom. What other options are available via free agency? The answer….well…not very good.
You can check the full list right here at Cap Friendly. And we’ll only look at the unrestricted free agents. There are 86 total goalies between UFA and RFAs but just 49 UFAs. We will not examine all of them but highlight some of the better known ones here.
Perhaps if it was 2015 and not 2023
Jonathan Quick (37) leads this group. He still has some pep in his step as he has two shutouts this season before he was traded by the LA Kings. I wouldn’t mind seeing him as a Flyer, but the problem with this group is that most of these guys might have a year or two left in them, at best. This is the case that you find a prospect that you love, draft, and develop and hope it pans out…basically what the Flyers have been doing since Ron Hextall retired. If you want to go for that, Quick might be the best option.
Other options could include: James Reimer (35), Craig Anderson (42), Brian Elliott (38), and Jaroslav Halák (38).
Still Old, But May Have Some Gas in the Tank
These guys are also on the wrong side of 30, but are not as old as the ones above. Perhaps you might get three-five years out of them whereas the ones in the first category might get you a season or two. If there is a goalie prospect the Flyers like or if they want to develop Ersson more, these are your best options at being a stopgap goaltender.
Cam Talbot (35) has been in Philly before and has been, mostly, a career backstop. He’s having a mostly good year in Ottawa. And if you are looking to platoon two goalies together, he might not be a bad option.
Others include Semyon Varlamov (35), Antti Raanta (34), Frederik Andersen (33), Martin Jones (33), and Magnus Hellberg (32).
On an interesting note, the Carolina Hurricanes do not have a steady goaltender and haven’t had one since Cam Ward left. Two of their three rotating goalies will be free agents this year. My point is, if you have a solid defense and a team that can put up goals while shutting the other team down, you can throw just about anyone in net.