Despite the Philadelphia Flyers owning two first-round picks in this year’s draft, the real challenge for Daniel Briere is improving the team in other ways, which may include trading for RFAs looking for a new home.
The NHL salary cap is only expected to increase by about $1 million this offseason, leaving commissioner Gary Bettman to wishful thinking for future endeavors. However, this means that opportunity fills the air for the Philadelphia Flyers. Daniel Briere’s first big move as Flyers GM saw Ivan Provorov jettisoned out of Philly, in exchange for assets, on top of more assets, thanks to the Los Angeles Kings needing to salary dump goalie Cal Petersen and defenseman Sean Walker. The Flyers still have some wiggle room with their own salary cap, despite all of the extra moving pieces they added. Now might be a good time for Briere to buy on the swing.
Just a year ago, Yegor Sharangovich was poised to be one of the NHL’s next breakout snipers, and then the 2022-23 season happened. Most Flyers fans should already be familiar with the Belarusian, who has scored five goals and five assists in 15 games against the Orange and Black. The only team Sharangovich has scored more points against is the New York Rangers, whom he has six goals and five assists against in 16 games. This season, Sharangovich managed just 13 goals and 30 points. That said, despite the down year for #17, the ability is certainly still there. He’s made plenty of highlight-reel plays despite mostly being relegated to third or fourth line duties and receiving almost no power-play time. Truthfully, Sharangovich is only involved in trade rumors thanks to New Jersey Devils coach Lindy Ruff’s wild mismanagement of the player. Like any player in the NHL, Sharangovich has his ups and downs, and strengths and weaknesses. He’s a great shooter with good foot speed and can use his reputation as a shooter to fool defenses. He struggles as a puck carrier and is weak along the boards for his size. Although Sharangovich struggles with his defense at even strength, he excels on the penalty-kill by being aggressive, having good spatial awareness, and using his long reach to clog passing lanes up high.
Sharangovich scored 26 goals in the 2021-22 season, which makes him the dream buy-low target. The problem though, for the Philadelphia Flyers as well as other teams, is that almost everyone wants him, besides the Devils. Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic and NHL insider Elliotte Friedman have both reported that the trade market for Sharangovich is heating up substantially. The Devils winger is also eligible for arbitration, which won’t make sense for New Jersey given Lindy Ruff’s reducing of his role in the regular season, and removal from the playoffs almost entirely. Obviously the Devils would like to get something for Sharangovich, and the Flyers could (and should) put in a trade offer. Sharangovich is certainly not a star, but he’d be a great complimentary piece for the next generation of Philadelphia Flyers talent.