The Philadelphia Flyers may be looking at a multitude of options as the NHL trade deadline approaches. The deadline, which is on April 12th this year, is now less than two weeks away. The Flyers would like to battle back into the playoff picture, but that may be easier said than done based on their recent play.
One of the Flyers’ main issues this season has been their goaltending. Carter Hart is in the midst of at least a two-game break to “work harder” and “work better” in practice this week, with Brian Elliott and Alex Lyon dressing for both games in Buffalo.
The Flyers have a league-worst .879 save percentage this season due to poor goaltending and a lack of defensive structure in front of the blue paint.
Flyers pondering goaltending options?
If the Flyers want to contend while also managing Hart’s workload as he tries to regain his confidence, they could add a rental goalie at the deadline.
“My understanding is that the Flyers front office is having that discussion internally: do they go out and get goaltending help before the April 12th trade deadline,” Pierre LeBrun said on Tuesday evening.
That would allow the Flyers to give Hart a longer break if they so desire while also trying to stay in the race. Elliott has been solid as a backup, but there are diminishing returns if he plays too much.
LeBrun also mentioned the potential negative impact on Hart if the Flyers do add a goalie. However, it would likely be a rental option as Hart is still the franchise goaltender. So, “there’s pros and cons to all this, and that’s what I believe they’re discussing,” LeBrun said of the Flyers.
“One name to retain if they do decide to add a goalie: Jonathan Bernier, I believe on the radar of the Flyers; pending UFA for Detroit,” LeBrun concluded.
Bernier would be a good addition for the Flyers if they decide to go that route. He is 8-6-0 this year with a 2.78 goals against average and .918 save percentage for a Red Wings team that is 12-20-4 on the season. Bernier has a career save percentage of .913, which would be a drastic improvement for the Flyers.
The issue with Bernier is that he has not played since March 18th. Bernier was on the ice briefly on Monday but has no specific return date.
Photo: Heather Barry Images