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Flyers Trade Talk: Assistant GM Brent Flahr could have eyes on Coyotes defensemen



Alex Goligoski

While the Philadelphia Flyers lost with a disappointing effort against the New Jersey Devils, their assistant general manager was across the country.

GIF Rewind: Flyers booed off ice; Sean Couturier’s two late goals not enough

Assistant GM Brent Flahr was listed as one of the many scouts at Gila River Arena for the Arizona Coyotes game on Wednesday night.

The Flyers don’t play either the Coyotes or Avalanche this season, obviously, so unless Flahr was scouting for next season, he had his eyes on a player or multiple players. The Coyotes aren’t exactly in playoff contention in the West Division and should be in selling mode ahead of the trade deadline.

If the Flyers are looking to add a defenseman or two before the deadline, there are a few Coyotes that they could be looking at.

Flyers looking at Coyotes defensemen?

First and foremost is Alex Goligoski. Goligoski, a left-handed defenseman, is an unrestricted free agent after this season. Also, the Flyers have reportedly been linked to Goligoski. Goligoski, No. 9 on TSN’s Trade Bait list (as of March 17th) and could be a good fit for the Flyers.

Goligoski is a veteran defenseman that has played on both the left side and right side in his career, so he could be an option on the top pair. He has averaged over 20 minutes per game over the past 10 seasons and is playing 22:21 per game this season. However, he obviously wouldn’t have the impact that Mattias Ekholm or Ryan Ellis would.

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Someone that could have an Ekholm-type impact at the top of their game is Oliver Ekman-Larsson. Elliotte Friedman reported last week that the Flyers kicked the tires on OEL over the summer, but the defenseman has a no-movement clause.

Another more under-the-radar defenseman target could be Jason Demers. The Coyotes and Flyers talked Jason Demers in the offseason, according to Friedman back in October, and perhaps they are revisiting those conversations.

Demers is a right-handed defenseman that would also be a rental. He was a teammate of Justin Braun in San Jose from 2010 to 2014. Demers has averaged 17:38 per game this season and 19:14 per game in his career. He was exactly at the 20-minute mark two years ago and at 20:30 last season. Demers is a guy, like Braun, that should be solid on the blue line.

Mind you, this is all speculation. However, given the past reports behind it, there could be more than just some smoke here.

Chuck Fletcher, Brent Flahr, and the rest of the Flyers brass have a few options at the deadline. If the Flyers go on a run, they can try to pry a defenseman from Nashville. These two options from Arizona could be in the cards if they stay afloat. If they continue to sink, they can sell off a few pieces and focus on next season.

Photo: Heather Barry Images

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