Travis Sanheim has been one of the main stays on the Flyers blue line for quite some time. He has become one of the most dependable second pairing defensemen in the league. Well, he was, until this season.
While Sanheim scored seven goals again this season, he did have eight fewer assists from last season. His +/- was also worse. It could have been the different partners that he has been paired with this season, but he has had a rough time. With a lot of young talent in the wings, it is possible the Flyers move on from Sanheim to make room for a Ronnie Attard or Adam Ginning.
While Sanheim has shown his upside, the question is if he can return to last season’s form under John Tortorella. I understand that players can have a down year, but the Flyers needed Sanheim to step up this season. Being benched was a message for Sanheim. Taking the benching with class and professionalism bodes well for him and his future in Philly. Unfortunately, there are other players who can ultimately take his spot.
Ronnie Attard, Adam Ginning and Egor Zamula are all fighting for a spot on this team. With Tony DeAngelo and Justin Braun being the two players certainly on their way out and Rasmus Ristolainen having his best year as a Flyer, Sanheim has become expendable. Danny Briere will be looking to improve this team. Getting more draft picks will for sure help speed up this rebuild.
Moving on from Sanheim would be a good move for the Flyers. Sanheim could be a good trade piece for a team needing a decent defenseman who they can use as a top pairing or second pairing guy. Sanheim being moved is a win-win situation. I fully believe that in John Tortorella’s system, he just doesn’t fit. The experiment was tried to see if Sanheim could develop into more than just an average piece.
Ultimately moving Sanheim creates cap space and a roster spot to allow the kids to battle for a spot on this team. There are to many players in Lehigh Valley who want to take the leap and ultimately might have a better ceiling than Travis Sanheim. Competition breeds talent and chemistry. Moving Sanheim creates that.