Rasmus Ristolainen latest Flyers’ player in trade rumors

Add Rasmus Ristolainen to the list of Flyers’ players who have found themselves in various trade rumors.
Add Rasmus Ristolainen to the list of Flyers’ players who have found themselves in various trade rumors. / Tim Nwachukwu/GettyImages

Buckle up, it’s the time of year when trade rumors fly. Aside from the Flames, the Flyers have dominated plenty of the rumors out there. As expected, Philadelphia has numerous players that could be gone at or by the deadline.

Sean Walker has been obvious choice to be moved. There was a brief amount of time where some thought he had played himself into an extension instead. But with the addition of Jamie Drysdale, Walker’s services may no longer be needed.

Scott Laughton’s name has intensified as another option to move on from. With younger players stepping in and contributing more on an offensive level, the Flyers have an opportunity to move on from Laughton. It certainly won’t be an easy decision to make as he is one of the leaders on the team and carries a lot of weight in the room.

Morgan Frost’s name has popped up occasionally due to his prior relationship with John Tortorella. While it could still happen, Frost has played well and has been much more noticeable since his private conversation with the head coach. The Flyers can still gauge his market, but rumors have cooled down.

The latest name thrown in the mix is Rasmus Ristolainen. It would be a tougher sell for teams as his contract carries a hefty term with it. He is only in the second year of a five-year deal that has a cap hit of 5.1M. That’s a lot for most teams to take on. With the cap expected to go up in the near future, it could end up being a bargain. But would the Flyers need to retain money?

They are already retaining just over 3.5M on Kevin Hayes for this year and the next two. They also have Tony DeAngelo’s buyout on the books for this year and next, thought that’s just under 1.7M. Theoretically, they could retain part of Ristolainen’s contract to make him more affordable to teams.

After a rough first year in Philadelphia, Ristolainen has revitalized himself under the guide of Brad Shaw. The assistant coach has worked wonders with numerous Flyers’ defensemen, including Walker and Nick Seeler. Ristolainen has been on the positive side in regards to driving play. He missed some time at the beginning of the season and took a bit to get into the swing of things.

What acquiring teams may have to understand, though, is that Ristolainen is not a top-six defender unless absolutely necessary. He works well in a limited, third pair role, which makes the price tag hard to swallow. But if you’re looking for a depth defensemen who can add some physicality to the team, Ristolainen does just that.

The Flyers could be one of the busiest teams when the March deadline rolls around.