Evaluating Danny Briere's First Trade Deadline as Flyers' GM

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The NHL trade deadline has come and gone. Some teams, like the Avalanche, Golden Knights, and Hurricanes made a lot of big moves in an effort to improve their teams. Other teams were pretty quiet.

The Flyers were quiet for the most part. Some thought they'd be sellers and we'd see guys like Scott Laughton shipped away. Others thought perhaps they'd be buyers and prep up for a Stanley Cup Playoff run. However, Daniel Briere, in his first time out as the general manager at trade deadline time, did a combination of both. They added some players for a postseason run while building for tomorrow and beyond. Let's examine all of his deals since January.

Flyers Trade Cutter Gauthier to Anaheim for Jamie Drysdale

This one my take a while to see thefull results. If Gauthier becomes the player we all think he was, we may be dreading this. Briere did the best he could. He didn't want to play here and it was only a matter of time before other teams found out and stole him for a broken zamboni. Instead, the Flyers got a second round pick and Drysdale.

Drysdale arrived here and picked up assists in his first two games. Then got sick. John Tortorella seemed to like him and deployed a seven-man defensive rotation unit to give him some playing time. At times he seemed to do well. At times he struggled. Then he hurt his oft-injured shoulder. It's also important to remember that he will turn 22 in April. He is the youngest Flyer on the team. He is raw and could have a very bright future ahead of himself. If he bcomes the player that was once worth of a first round pick, this one could be a great trade, especially if that second rounder becomes something awesome.

Flyers Trade Sean Walker to Colorado for First Rounder and Ryan Johansen

We knew Walker was going to be traded. Ever since the fall, the rumors have abounded, especially since he was playing well. Briere wanted a first rounder for him and he got him. The Flyers also got Ryan Johansen, who was promptly put on waivers. The Flyers sent him down to Lehigh Valley after he claimed and they couldn’t find a trade partner for him. In case of injury or the playoffs, he could be a valuable depth forward for the third or fourth line. After all, he does have 13 goals this year.

Flyers Re-Sign Nick Seeler

Sometimes the best moves are the ones you don't make. Ever since last season, the Flyers have phoned calls on Seeler's availability. Allegedly, high draft picks were offered. Tortorella and Briere really liked Seeler, his playing style, and his influence in the locker room. Those guys can be hard to replace. Despite his age, the team was wise to hold onto him for the next four years. This could pay off huge dividends. He is easily becoming a fan favorite.

Flyers Get Pick in Hanfin Trade

One of the biggest moves was in Calgary sending Noah Hanifin to Vegas. The teams, however, needed a third team to help out with the salary cap space. Here's how Briere helped out. In order to help out with the trade, the Flyers agreed to take a quarter of his salary for the year, roughly $1,237,500. In return, the Flyers got a fifth rounder from the Knights in this year's draft. Easy peasy.

Flyers Trade Wade Allison to Nashville for Denis Gurianov

Allison had his opportunities to play and wasn't clicking. Here's a guy who needed a fresh start somewhere else. It wasn't going to happen in Philly. Hopefully he can turn it around.

Gurianov had a great rookie year in 2019-20 where he scored 20 goals. He's 26 and will be a free agent at the end of this year. He's also cheap, making under $1 million this year. If he fits in with Tortorella’s system, maybe he sticks around. Most likely, this was a chance to unload Allison on someone. However, if he sticks it out, he could be a good veteran piece moving into the postseason. I just wouldn't count on much from this deal.

Flyers Trade Fourth-Round Pick to Buffalo for Erik Johnson

Ok, the Flyers lost a fourth round pick to Buffalo for a 35 year old defender. Seems kind of crazy for a team that is rebuilding. However, because of other moves, the Flyers have 10 draft picks this year. So, coughing up a mid-level pick is ok.

In return, they get a cagey vet whose name is etched into the side of Lord Stanley's Cup. Johnson, much like Marc Staal, will be around to teach players like Cam York, Drysdale, Egor Zamula, and Ronnie Attard what it means to be in the playoffs. They can provide valuable veteran experience while helping to stabilize the backend of the ice while the team is battling through all the defensive injuries lately.

Final Evaluation

Looking at these deals, Briere did well. For a team not selling off a lot of pieces (see Calgary Flames), they got some decent draft picks back. That will help build up the future. The Flyers also got some valuable veteran depth pieces without paying a lot for them. Overall, I think Briere did well. It's a heck of a lot better than last year's do nothing moves by former GM Chuck Fletcher. In that respect, I'd say that this was a successful year at the deadline. Now let's see if the team can build on it.