Ways in Which the DeAngelo/Hayes/Provorov Sagas End for Flyers

Mar 28, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) against the Montreal Canadiens at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Mar 28, 2023; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Ivan Provorov (9) against the Montreal Canadiens at Wells Fargo Center. Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

When your team doesn’t make the playoffs, no matter what sport it is, rumors will swirl around about which coaches and players might, could, and should be moved. There is endless speculation that abounds. And for the Philadelphia Flyers, there is no exception.

You could probably make a rumor for just about any of the members of the team. Either good players who could bring back prospects and draft picks (Travis Konecny or Carter Hart) or moving on from players who aren’t good or disgruntled.

Top among the speculative players are: forward Kevin Hayes and defenders Tony DeAngelo and Ivan Provorov. When we look at each of the players, there are ways that it could end positively for both the Flyers and the player involved. There are also ways it could blow up in everyone’s face.

Tony DeAngelo

For most Flyers fans, Tony DeAngelo has looked kind of like this in April:

He’s been benched by John Tortorella. There has been nothing publically stated by the head coach about this. DeAngelo did show his frustrations about this, but ultimately knew it wasn’t his call.

"“Do I agree with it, what happened in the last five games? Absolutely not. I think it’s ridiculous that I didn’t play the last five. That’s one thing, but he’s also the coach of the team. It’s not my job to decide that. All I can worry about is being a good teammate, which I think I did.”"

While offensive skills (11G, 31 assists) are one of his strengths, his defensive abilities (-27, 57 takeaways) are lacking. This has been an ongoing struggle this year between getting benched and not willing to listen to Tortorella.

How this can end positively

Tortorella and DeAngelo have a heart-to-heart sit down and hash it out. They come to some understanding of what is expected and how DeAngelo could be a very valuable part of this franchise. They sort out their differences, air out any resentments, and find some common ground on which to build from. Both are better for it. Even if DeAngelo wants a trade, they can make a move under better terms than a falling out.

How this can end negatively

DeAngelo demands a trade or he sits out. We know when that happens, it doesn’t end well for a team. Usually, the Flyers are on the receiving end of this sort of scenario: Keith Primeau and Ilya Bryzgalov come to mind. Although, the Flyers had to do this with Eric Lindros.

The Flyers won’t get much back for a player on an expiring contract. The feud will become public and fans/players will end up taking sides. This will get ugly.

DeAngelo has done a lot to repair his image in Carolina and Philly after his actions got him kicked out of New York. It would be most unwise for him to head down that path again. He could undo a lot of that depending on how he acts.

Kevin Hayes

By some metrics, Hayes had a decent year. But he also was a poor defensive forward, for someone who normally plays a lot better than that. He became moody after being benched and his scoring ability vanished for about two months. This is despite him being an All-Star selection this year. Much like DeAngelo, he has been benched and has been upset by it.

How this can end positively

Again, much like DeAngelo, a sit-down is needed with the coach. Once again, they can air out their issues and get it all out. Maybe Hayes is a center. Maybe not. Maybe he’d be better on the wing. Maybe not. But if they can come to some sort of reconciliation, this can be repaired. Again, Hayes is popular in the locker room and with the fans. There is no reason that this can be mended. He seems resigned to starting over somewhere else, but says he loves playing here.

How this can end negatively

Well, again like DeAngelo, it escalates and falls apart. I could see Hayes demanding a trade, but I think DeAngelo is more apt to do it publicly. Hayes seems like the sort of guy who would get traded and then start talking smack about his ex-coach rather than during the process. It’s hard to say how much he’d bring because of his salary, but if it is done in the right way, he could bring something good back.

If he takes it public and wants out, see a repeat of DeAngelo’s situation. The harder thing of Hayes is that he is on the wrong side of 30 and has never really put up great offensive numbers to justify his salary. If that happens, the return is going to be minimal.

Ivan Provorov

Most of the talk of getting rid of Provorov is coming from the fan base and local media outlets. They are not happy with his performance. He led the team in minutes but also lead the Flyers with 85 giveaways. Also, his offensive abilities have been continually trending downward.

How this can end positively

It is obvious that Tortorella respects him. He is one of three players to play every game this year (Noah Cates and Joel Farabee). He has stood by him throughout the season. Yes, he has struggled with his game and he has always seemed to rely on whomever he is paired with.

Provy is still young enough. He can still turn around his game and be a good defender and can still be used well in Tortorella’s system. He just has to commit to it.

How this can end negatively

He decides he wants off the team. This won’t be as big a mess as Hayes and DeAngelo. But he’ll want out of Philly, away from the fans and the media. And when he comes back, he’ll be solidly mocked and booed.