Easy call for Flyers: Don’t trade Carter Hart

Carter Hart. Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Carter Hart. Photo: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports /

Carter Hart is the Flyers’ most valuable asset stuck in a losing situation. There is talk that the rebuilding Flyers should make the most of that talent and trade him. Easy call for them: Don’t trade Carter Hart

According to nhlrumor.com, the Ottawa Senators would be interested. Their No. 1 goalie, Cam Talbot, is about to be a free agent and the no-playoff Senators said they are not going to re-sign him.

Trading Hart would be a flat-out mistake. The return probably would not be worth losing the security he represents. Teams that trade their best player are asking for trouble. Hart is considered a world-class goalie. Smart teams keep such goalies.

Need a great goalie

Great hockey teams can be built from the goalie out. Flyers legend Eric Lindros played 13 NHL seasons, eight with Philadelphia. In many of those seasons, the center was not only the best player on the ice, but the best player in the entire league.

As great as Lindros was, he never won the Stanley Cup. Only made the Cup final once. Why? The Flyers were never good enough in goal — among other reasons — during the Lindros years. Many other years, too.

When they won back-to-back Stanley Cups, Bernie Parent was the main reason why. He won the Conn Smythe Trophy in both years.

Pelle Lindbergh was superb in leading the Flyers to the 1985 Cup final. Ron Hextall led them to the Cup final as a rookie in 1987, but never matched that performance again.

In Hart, the Flyers are secure in goal. Their priority should be improving their defense. Imagine Hart playing behind a strong, puck-moving, forward-clearing defense instead of the shooting gallery he faces most games.

The Flyers need to show patience, historically not part of their DNA. Hart is 24 years old and should enjoy a long future. Rebuild the team through the draft and through free agency. Some pieces are in place — Owen Tippett, Travis Konecny, Cam York, Joel Farabee, Noah Cates. Let them be the cornerstones in front of the goalie.

The expected asking price for Hart would be a first-round pick and a top prospect. Is that enough? Any draft pick is iffy, as are prospects. If the Flyers entertain any Hart offers, they should ask for the moon. Why not? If a team meets their outrageous demand, that would give the Flyers something to consider.

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Much like the Eagles are set at quarterback with Jalen Hurts and can build everything around him, if the Flyers believe Hart is the answer they can take the same approach.

The Flyers are a long way from Cup contention. But you have to start somewhere. Wanna win another Stanley Cup? Make sure you have a Cup-worthy goalie. The Flyers have theirs.