Flyers Can't Consider Anyone Untouchable This Offseason

New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers
New York Rangers v Philadelphia Flyers / Mitchell Leff/GettyImages

As we embark on another offseason of building for the Philadelphia Flyers, the club is in an odd spot. If they had made the playoffs, one would think that they'd need to maneuver in such a way as to keep themselves there and continue building toward serious contention. If they had been outright awful, it would also be pretty cut-and-dry: continue to sell off what you can to get younger and cheaper to aid a long-term rebuild. But what to do for a club that ultimately overachieved but still fell apart badly in the final weeks, which left them out of the postseason and landed them firmly in the 'meh' tier of NHL clubs in the final standings?

Well, for one thing, you can't be married to any of the players you have on hand. Sure, some guys will still be here when the puck drops next season because their contracts are either unmovable or they were recently extended, so you wouldn't expect to be blown away by any trade offers from other teams for them. Instead, we have to talk about more prominent pieces of the roster.

Flyers should not consider any of their players as untouchables

Because, even if this down period in Flyers history hasn't expressly been the fault of guys like Travis Konecny, Joel Farabee, and Scott Laughton, the fact that the team has been spinning wheels with them for years should indicate to Keith Jones and Danny Briere that perhaps they aren't essential to returning the team to contention. The 'veteran leadership' angle carries a good deal of weight in NHL culture, but it can't overcome major talent deficiencies on the roster. Tough decisions will have to be made.

There isn't anyone on this team so promising that they should be considered 'unmovable' or 'untouchable'. You certainly couldn't envision the club dealing someone like Tyson Foerster or Cam York, but everybody has a price, and the Flyers aren't in any position to refuse an offer for anyone if it's good enough. I'd go so far as to say that Matvei Michkov is the only player in the pipeline that the team wouldn't trade under any circumstances. Then again, you would have said the same thing about Cutter Gauthier a year ago, so make of that what you will.

The Flyers' new management group has shown every indication of being able to make shrewd and smart decisions, and the next few months should prove to be no different. Expect at least one, if not a few, of the Flyers' relatively higher-priced veterans to be shipped out if the club can get assets that better fit their timeline. Despite how much it would hurt to lose the production of a player like Konecny, you have to wonder if the new contract he is likely to command fits the contention window that the Flyers appear to be aiming for.

Ultimately, Flyers brass will need to make some difficult calls to figure out what it takes to put the team in a better spot next year, whether that involves a serious push for the 2025 Stanley Cup Playoffs or not. If, and when, they finally get there, they mustn't be merely first-round cannon fodder for superior teams. And you have to wonder if the main components of the current roster can rise above that level. As usual, the Flyers have their work cut out for them.