After taking on even more salary in the Ivan Provorov trade with Cal Petersen and Sean Walker, and their commitment to letting their young guns get more playing time, the Philadelphia Flyers never felt like they would be big players in free agency this year.
So far, the Philadelphia Flyers have signed three players: Garnet Hathaway, Ryan Poehling, and Marc Staal. Out of the three, Hathaway is the biggest fish, and he’s a career fourth-liner.
Hathaway is one of the best at what he does in the entire National Hockey League, which is why his signing doesn’t make a lot of sense for him or the Flyers. Sure he’s a veteran and a leader, but there were teams out there with a better chance of winning that could have used Hathaway’s services. Conversely, the Flyers need to get younger and they don’t necessarily need players who will help them win and overachieve.
Similarly, Marc Staal probably could’ve have signed an equally cheap deal somewhere else to try to win a Stanley Cup. As a member of the Florida Panthers, he fell just short of that. Staal is familiar with head coach John Tortorella dating back to his New York Rangers days, but he just isn’t good anymore. The Flyers have a ton of prospects vying for spots on defense, and Staal’s presence makes it that much harder to claim one, for no good reason.
Ryan Poehling is a high-upside signing at the center position, where the Philadelphia Flyers lack depth in the worst way. After scoring a hat-trick in his first NHL game, Poehling has done a whole lot of nothing at the top level. He’s been fairly productive at the AHL level, and maybe he produces more with a bigger opportunity in Philly. He could be something, or he could be nothing.
Overall offseason grade: B-