Danny Briere has come at this Philadelphia Flyers rebuild full force during his first few months as GM. He traded Ivan Provorov and Kevin Hayes. Tony DeAngelo is expected to be on the move soon as well. Other names have been in the rumor pool like Travis Sanheim and Scott Laughton.
One of the biggest names thrown around in rumors was Travis Konecny. He is arguably the Flyers’ best asset and could likely net them a solid return if traded. But it doesn’t look like Briere will be pulling the trigger on a trade according to the latest from Pierre Lebrun.
"“The Flyers have continued to listen on Travis Konecny, and I know they’ve received a few trade offers of late, but unless something changes, GM Danny Briere is likely to keep Konecny in the fold to start the season. Nothing that’s come the Flyers’ way has made them blink. It needs to be an overwhelming offer for Briere to move him. If Konecny isn’t moved this summer, all eyes will be on him at the trade deadline.”"
Konecny is coming off his best season to date in the NHL. After stalling at 24-goals for three straight seasons between 2017-2020 and falling under 20 the last two, he finally broke through the 30-goal mark this season. He also tied his career high of 61 points from the 2019-20 season. He was easily the team’s best player and should’ve been their All-Star. He became a favorite of John Tortorella’s after responding to being benched early in the season.
He averaged, by far, the most time on ice (20:07 according to Hockey Reference) during his seven-career. Konecny also added penalty killing to his repertoire and found success on the unit. He had three shorthanded goals and six shorthanded points, tied with Laughton in goals for the team lead. He did just about everything right this year.
So why would the Flyers want to trade him? That’s where the rebuild comes in. The team is not expected to contend for the next three years at least. Konecny has two more years left on his contract and is likely going to deserve a raise if he continues to contribute the way he did last year. Right now, he has a cap hit of 5.5M, which is looking like a bargain right now.
Will the Flyers be competitive enough for Konecny to want to stay? He will be 28-years-old when his contract ends. While that’s not necessarily that old, he may want to cash in and play meaningful hockey at that point. The Flyers have made the playoffs twice during Konecny’s career. He had seven points, all assists, during the bubble playoffs which was the last time the team made the postseason. And that drought is going to get even longer now that they’ve committed to a rebuild.
Another thing we know, though, is that Tortorella seems to have a very meaningful voice in the organization. Konecny is clearly someone he likes and may want to build around. While Briere is the one who makes the final decision, he will certainly be listening to Tortorella in regard to how he feels. After all, he was made one of the faces of the organization when the Flyers unleashed their “New Era of Orange.” And there is an expectation that he will have a voice on this team for the foreseeable future.
Konecny could bring the Flyers a hefty amount of assets in a trade. Now if the move was going to happen, it likely would’ve come before the draft so Philadelphia could’ve possibly found a way to have three first round picks. They tried to do that in the Hayes trade by including Sanheim, but that didn’t work out. And they even were rumored to have turned down late first round picks for Laughton as well.
As LeBrun said, Briere and the Flyers have yet to be blown away by a trade proposal. Was that always going to be the point? If the ask for Konecny is so high, were the Flyers ever going to trade him? Briere meant it when he said that the team was “open for business” and that they were taking calls on everyone. And it’s not as if they are overvaluing Konecny either. It just feels like they were never serious about moving him.
A lot can happen the rest of the off-season as teams might get desperate and could come back and offer Briere what he’s looking for. Or Konecny remains with the Flyers, adds even more to his value, and gets moved to a contender at the deadline. It doesn’t seem likely that he will make it to the end of his contract at this point, though. The Flyers are getting younger and added some offensive talent to their prospect pool, including Russian talent Matvei Michkov.
Konecny is one of those players that embodies what it means to play in Philadelphia. But his time might be coming to an end, something that won’t be easy when it happens. It may not be soon, but it could end being a good thing for the Flyers to do while his value is high.