Philadelphia Flyers: 5 Players With Most to Prove in 2023

Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Sean Couturier, Philadelphia Flyers (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA - NOVEMBER 16: Travis Sanheim #6 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on against the Calgary Flames at Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA, PENNSYLVANIA – NOVEMBER 16: Travis Sanheim #6 of the Philadelphia Flyers looks on against the Calgary Flames at Wells Fargo Center on November 16, 2021 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Tim Nwachukwu/Getty Images) /

If the Philadelphia Flyers were aggressively seeking to move any player this summer, it was probably Travis Sanheim.

Travis Sanheim signed an eight-year, $50 million contract extension with the Philadelphia Flyers in October, by way of Chuck Fletcher. Included in the extension was a no-trade clause for the first four years, which officially kicked in on July 1. Sanheim was not traded and now has the no-trade clause active, so the Flyers are stuck with him, for better or for worse.

In the past, Travis Sanheim was a legitimate top-four defenseman who, more often than not, showed signs of being capable of being a top-pairing defender. He was anything but in the 2022-23 season, and the Flyers’ record and defensive results reflect that.

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The positive news, though, is that Sanheim will have help with Cam York and Sean Walker on the way. Sanheim can improve his play from an individual standpoint, and maybe Carter Hart too bounces back and inspires some confidence in the blueline.

If Sanheim is unable to return to form, his massive contract extension would just be the latest addition to a laundry list of Chuck Fletcher farces. It would also mean a long wait until 2027 for Philadelphia Flyers fans, when Sanheim’s full no-trade clause becomes a 12-team no-trade list that would allow the team to dump his contract to roughly half of the NHL.

It takes two to tango, though, and the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2023-24 season is looking filled with questions, and empty on answers.

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