The Philadelphia Flyers still have the ability to make some moves on the free agency market. Some of the best names have already come off the board, but elite veterans like Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane remain available. The Flyers still have some cap space they can use to lure free agents like Jonathan Toews, but like the Marc Staal signing, the price and the fit must be right.
Daniel Briere can seize this opportunity to sign some veterans to short-term, team friendly deals. The main goal is to not hamper the team going forward by blocking the development path of Flyers prospects who might be ready for a step up in competition. Signing some vets to shorter contracts could also help them make savvy trade deadline deals to add more draft picks.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane
Let’s be honest, there is almost no way that either Patrick Kane or Jonathan Toews would come to the Flyers. However, one or the other (or both!) would be perfect fits. A team filled with young, rising stars could greatly benefit from their winning experiences together.
When healthy, there are fewer players better. They may have lost a step and injuries have decimated their bodies, but they still have the intelligence and experience to make it work. Jonathan Toews, for example, was one of the top faceoff men in the National Hockey League this year once again. Kane, on the other hand, is recovering from hip surgery, so his iron may be out of the fire for a while.
Jonathan Toews and Patrick Kane are at that stage in their career where they would want to play for a contender to win one more Stanley Cup. Kane was most recently dealt to the New York Rangers, who were dealt a first-round exit at the hands of the New Jersey Devils in the playoffs. At this time, Jonathan Toews’ future is unclear and his playing career hangs in the balance. Perhaps the superstar duo could be convinced to sign with Philadelphia with the promise of a trade deadline deal to the contending team of their choice.
Matt Dumba is another player who is surprisingly still available. Dumba was once known as a premier offensive defenseman in the NHL, but his even-strength offensive impacts have cratered in recent years. To make matters worse, Dumba was never a super strong defender in his own end.
Dumba has worn the ‘A’ for the Minnesota Wild in the past, so he’s a proven leader. However, he may need to settle for a short-term deal to prove to NHL teams he still has his gusto before he hits age 30.
With a rehabbed trade value, Dumba could end up providing more value to the Flyers than Sean Walker or Marc Staal.
Josh Bailey has spent his entire 15-year career in Long Island. Late in June, the Islanders dumped Bailey and his contract on the Chicago Blackhawks, who thanked the Islanders for their second-round pick and bought Bailey out.
Much like many of these players, Bailey is no longer at the peak of his abilities. He struggles to keep up at both ends of the ice, but can still finish his chances and kill penalties. Bailey was long a respected leader in New York.
Bailey likely fits the Flyers as a bottom-six depth center. He’s never been a dominant player, but he’s been steady and consistent throughout his career; much like Scott Laughton. It wouldn’t hurt the Flyers to have two of that.
Tomas Tatar finds himself a casualty of the New Jersey Devils’ desire to get younger, compounded by a dismal individual playoff performance. Tatar is now 32 and is coming off of his best season since his 61-point effort in 2019-20. His 48 points and 20 goals in 2022-23 would rank him third in both categories on the Flyers.
Sometimes the best of a player comes out when they want revenge on a team that let them go. With the Devils being a divisional rival, Tatar is a prime target for Daniel Briere to poach and flip.
Pius Suter is not a flashy name, but the 27 year old is among the most dependable players in the free agent class. The undrafted Swiss army knife has scored no less than 14 goals in each of his three seasons in the NHL and can play both special teams.
Suter could use a change of scenery from Detroit to really flourish. Remember, Mike Knuble thrived after he turned 30 when he carved a supplementary role around stars in Boston and Philly. Suter could be very similar. He’s not big or burly, but he can play anywhere in a lineup.