Eight Older Vets Perfect for Flyers Youth Movement

Mar 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wade Allison (57) defends Florida Panthers center Eric Staal (12) in the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 21, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers right wing Wade Allison (57) defends Florida Panthers center Eric Staal (12) in the second period at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Kyle Ross-USA TODAY Sports /
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Eric Staal — (Age: 38, Current Salary $750,000)

Eric Staal was a mainstay of the Carolina Hurricanes for many years, helping to guide them to a Stanley Cup victory in 2008. He’s had a bounce back year of sorts with Florida, scoring 14 goals with 15 assists. His 29 points would put him tied for ninth place on the Flyers with James van Riemsdyk.

If he would be willing to not retire and come back for one more season, at or just above his current salary (up to $1 million), his experience could be well worth it. He is fundamentally a sound player, doing a lot of the little things right. He is a border-line Hall of Famer with 1,063 points to his name. Having a guy like him could do wonders with guys like Noah Cates and Morgan Frost. He would be a great bargain and a great team leader to have.

Jonathan Toews — (Age: 35, Current Salary $10,500,000)

He made be old, but he is still a competitor. He led the NHL this year with a faceoff percentage of 63.3%. He had15 goals (up from 12 from the year before), but 31 total points; the lowest of his career.

Now, how much of that is because the Blackhawks were wretched. He’s battled some injuries and is not the same player he was before. At one point, he was a sure-fire Hall of Famer. Now, he’s kind of borderline.

He’s not going to produce like he did. But if he’d be willing to take a low salary (like $3-4 million), which he might have to anyways, he still has some leadership qualities this team can use. Let’s be honest, he could easily be a third or fourth line center. He’d have a lot teach the young players and has some playoff experience that this team could really use.

Derek Ryan — (Age: 36, Current Salary $1,250,000)

Derek Ryan scored 13 goals this season. Edmonton can’t sign everyone and the price is right. Of course, a lot of it depends on if he retires and if the team wins the Stanley Cup.

If he is open to playing, he’d be a great guy for this team to sign. He’s a good depth piece who could play a strong fourth line center. He has playoff experience and has played with some of the best players in the game. His experience would be valuable to this team.

Patrick Kane — (Age: 34, Current Salary $10,500,000)

Much like teammate Towes, Patrick Kane is not what he once was. He has battled injures and a decline in production. However, his 57 points would put him just behind Konecny for the team lead. And his 21 goals would be only behind TK and Owen Tippett.

Out of all of these guys, he would cost the most, but he is not worth the $10+ million he is used to. His salary would probably be in the $5-7.5 million range. He could easily give this team some leadership as a three-time Stanley Cup champion, Calder Trophy winner, and Hart Trophy winner. I’d be willing to sign him to a three-year deal. He may be “over the hill” but he has something left to give.

Nick Bonino — (Age: 35, Current Salary $2,050,000)

Even though he is a Penguin, I’ve liked his style of play. He plays all out and has the experience that winning two Stanley Cups can bring. If you are looking for a valuable depth piece as a bottom six forward, he would be a good one to go for. He does a lot of fundamental things right and he should be able to fit into the things that Tortorella is trying to build on here. More importantly, the price for him should be within the Flyers’ budget.

Kyle Okposo — (Age: 35, Current Salary $6,000,000)

Kyle Okposo has actually had a fairly decent run in Buffalo. Working with some young players like Tage Thompson, he has shown that he can help develop some of the young guys. The Flyers have a lot of young players that could benefit from his experience. He’s probably worth a deal that is $2-4 million. But he could really be a valuable contributor to this team. He might be worth taking a look at.

 Milan Lucic — (Age: 35, Current Salary $6,000,000)

The former Bruins star has suffered this year in Calgary on a team that was supposed to be competitive. Milan Lucic may want to look elsewhere. He’s a Stanley Cup winner. He’s worked and played with young players in Calgary. That sort of experience, much like others on here, could be invaluable for a team looking to help it’s young stars grow. Lucic could earn a payday around $4-5 million here.

Nick Foligno — (Age: 35, Current Salary $3,800,000)

Earlier this year, Nick Foligno was on the waiver wire. The Flyers had a chance to pick him up but didn’t. Instead, he signed with Boston. Foligno also played with Torts in Columbus and the two of them had a lot of respect for each other. If Cam Atkinson can come back healthy, he and Foligno could help change the culture here with Tortorella; especially if Kevin Hayes is gone. He could be a great addition, would come cheaply, and would fit in immediately.