When he took over the reigns as Flyers general manager in March, Daniel Briere hinted that anyone can be acquired from the team for the right price when he remined the NHL that “Even Wayne Gretzky was traded.” And in his first major move, dealing away Ivan Provorov, he got would could be a fairly good return for a player with a mixed history. It was a bold stroke, but it could be the first of many bold moves.
If you look at many articles by hockey experts and hockey managers, there are lots of rumors floating around these days. Some talk about Carter Hart being shopped around. Others examine the more obvious pieces to be moved like Tony DeAngelo or Kevin Hayes. These make sense. Two of the players aren’t happy about being here and the other, Hart, is most likely the team’s best tradeable asset
However, the next best tradeable asset is Flyers forward Travis Konecny. What?!?!?!? Why would the Flyers get rid of their best forward? Why would they trade the guy who was their top scorer….their only consistent scorer?
First of all, there are no suggestions or hints that the Flyers are even remotely interested in doing this. Well, with the exception from the “Gretzky was traded quote” anyway. However, many hockey experts predict that Konecny will be shipped out. Right before the trade deadline, many articles were written that the Flyers needed to do this. From The Athletic, to The Hockey Writers, to NHL Trade Talk, everyone thinks that Philly could get a good return for a player in his prime. It’d be good for him because he wouldn’t be “wasting” his talents on a bad team and he could be great for a contender.
All of these are good points. And we will consider a return for him in just a second. More importantly, let’s look at his recent career in Philly.
Konency was the 24th overall pick in the 2015 draft; the same draft that Provorov was drafted seventh overall. He made his debut in 2016-17 and has been playing ever since. As a rookie, he put up 28 points with 11 goals. As time went on, he improved a little bit every year and showing remarkable consistency, scoring 24 goals in each of the next three seasons.
Then Alain Vigneault happened. For whatever reason, the two didn’t click. AV benched Konecny several times and criticized his performance in the Bubble Playoffs in 2020. In fact, the 2020-21 season saw Konecny revert to scoring just 11 goals. The following year, he struggled again as the Flyers were floundering. He struggled with minor, nagging injuries as well as COVID.
When Vigneault was fired on December 5, 2021, Konecny had scored only five goals with just seven assists in 23 games. After AV’s ouster, he scored 11 goals and 29 assists the rest of the way. He was free and woke up.
And when John Tortorella was hired, there were fears that this could be AV all over again. And truth be told, Konecny was benched in during one game. Instead of sulking, like he did with Vigneault or like Kevin Hayes would wind up doing, he toughed it out and improved. And even with injuries this year that kept him out of 22 games, he put up a career high of 31 goals and tied a career high of 61 points. He bought into what John Tortorella was selling and had a great season because of it.
So, after a career year, what could Konecny be worth? Let’s look at four trades from Flyers history to see.