If you’re a Philadelphia Flyers fan, the last few days of been full of trade rumors. There was the reported blockbuster trade that would send at least Kevin Hayes and Travis Sanheim to the St. Louis Blues. Torey Krug was expected to be part of the return, but he has currently decided to not waive his no-trade clause. Which is his right, of course.
Another potential trade broke on Saturday night as well. The Flyers were going to send Tony DeAngelo back to Carolina, retain 50% of his deal, and receive a low-level prospect instead. Turns out that deal has hit a snag as well, and it’s because of an NHL rule.
DeAngelo was traded to Philadelphia from Carolina during the draft last summer for a second, third, and fourth round draft pick. The Flyers, days later, signed DeAngelo to a two-year contract worth 10M. Less than a year into the contract’s signing, Philadelphia is ready to move him. So why didn’t things work out and what is the problem with trading him?
There are a variety of reasons things didn’t work out for DeAngelo and the Flyers. The team tried to pair DeAngelo and Ivan Provorov together, something that appeared to work briefly and then fell apart. DeAngelo’s defensive work, not a strength of his to begin to, also turned for the worse. Things turned relatively ugly as John Tortorella scratched him for the Flyers’ final five games of the season. Neither coach nor player got too much into the decision, though DeAngelo did say he feels he should have played.
Regardless, Danny Briere has decided that things are not going to work out and wanted to move DeAngelo. The Hurricanes, DeAngelo’s previous team, seemed welcome to bring him back. Here’s where the NHL has stepped in.
There is language in the CBA that mentions that players cannot return to a team within 12 months of them being there. With the Flyers expected to retain 50% of DeAngelo’s deal, the league views that as potential cap circumvention. That’s a phrase that NHL fans have heard quite a bit over the last few seasons.
As LeBrun mentions in the article, the Flyers and Hurricanes have likely argued with the league about a few things. First of all, the deal was never signed by the Hurricanes. DeAngelo came to Carolina on a one-year deal in 2021. He was traded to Philadelphia in July of the next summer and then the Flyers signed him to a different deal. The other argument is that Chuck Fletcher was the one who signed DeAngelo to the contract and he is obviously no longer the GM.
So talks will continue, but with the draft coming up in a few days, things may take a bit more time. Either the league decides this is not circumvention and allows the trade to finally go through. Or the two teams have to wait until it has been a full year since the original trade. That would be July 9th.
Would waiting another week change anything? The expected return from the Hurricanes was said to be one of their prospects that was not currently under contract. It’s also known that it will be a center as well. There are three of those players who fit the bill: Massimo Rizzo, Nikita Guslistov, and Lucas Mercuri. Rizzo, drafted in the seventh round in 2019, will be entering his third season at the University of Denver. Guslistov, drafted in the seventh round in 2021, is currently in the KHL, playing for Severstal Cherepovets. And Mercuri, drafted in the sixth round in 2020, is entering his third season at UMass.
If the two sides have to wait to make this deal, would they both be willing to do so? The Flyers, who are clearly ready to move DeAngelo, may be willing to wait. But free agency opens on July 1st. Will the Hurricanes pivot away from DeAngelo if this trade takes more time? The only thing we can do at this point is wait things out.