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Flyers preparing for offseason move, considered adding a defenseman



Chuck Fletcher Philadelphia Flyers Free Agency

The Philadelphia Flyers are in purgatory. They didn’t live up to expectations this season and don’t have a lot of flexibility with their roster.

Lifeless after the deadline: Flyers allow six to Capitals in uninspiring effort

Chuck Fletcher did what he could at the trade deadline, but there wasn’t much out there. Fletcher may have another big offseason ahead of him, however.

It was a relatively quiet deadline around the NHL. Elliotte Friedman dropped his 31 Thoughts column on Tuesday night and had a few tidbits about the Flyers.

Friedman mentioned the Flyers in four of his 31 points and we’re going to jump around a little bit to dig into everything.

Flyers preparing to move player with term in the offseason

First, let’s start with perhaps the juiciest tidbit. Friedman writes that the Flyers have been one of the most active teams in terms of preparing for the offseason. In particular, they’re laying the groundwork for the possibility of trading a player with term on their contract.

“21. We will count the two late-night Sunday deals because they’re close enough, so, on deadline day, eight of the 29 players dealt had contracts for next season (Anders Bjork, Madison Bowey, Carter, Haydn Fleury, Matthew Highmore, Curtis Lazar, Mantha and Richard Panik). Some of those deals are about the expansion draft, but it’s actually a higher number than I thought it would be. Behind the scenes, there’s been plenty of groundwork done on the possibility of moving those with term in the offseason. Two teams that would be most active in terms of preparation would be Calgary and Philadelphia.”

It’s no secret that the Flyers need to add a defenseman this offseason. Unfortunately, they don’t have much cap space to do that. Therefore, they’ll need to ship out a player with term or hope that one gets taken by the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft.

There are a few candidates that fit the bill. Jakub Voracek ($8.25 million AAV through 2024) and James van Riemsdyk ($7 million AAV through 2023) are the two main veterans.

Travis Konecny‘s name gets thrown around a lot on social media, but moving him would be risky. Nolan Patrick was in the rumor mill a bit before the deadline and could be a piece in a bigger trade.

Of course, Shayne Gostisbehere has fallen out of favor in the organization and has a $4.5 million cap hit through 2023. He was waived this season, but teams will be in a different situation in the offseason. He could be a part of a trade either for a defenseman or to clear cap room for a defenseman.

Chuck Fletcher on Scott Laughton’s value, Flyers underperforming, offseason plans

Nevertheless, it’s good to know that Chuck Fletcher is laying the groundwork for the offseason. He set up the team for success in his first offseason but failed to do that last fall. We’ll see what happens this coming summer.

Flyers considered adding Alex Goligoski

After assistant general manager Brent Flahr went to a Coyotes game in late March, there was speculation that the Flyers could be after an Arizona defenseman. Alex Goligoski and Jason Demers were the two main names.

Friedman said that the Flyers considered Goligoski at the deadline.

“14. Philadelphia considered Alex Goligoski from Arizona, but the Flyers ultimately decided it didn’t make sense. Think the Jets looked at him, too.

Goligoski is a pending free agent with a $5.475 million cap hit. It could’ve worked, but it only would’ve made sense if the Flyers were buyers.

The 35-year-old defenseman wouldn’t be worth extending. Adding a veteran defenseman just for 15 games wouldn’t do much. Fletcher and the Flyers ultimately deciding that it didn’t make sense, well, makes sense.

Flyers conceded salary after testing market on Laughton

Friedman confirmed what we already assumed in that the Flyers tested the market on Laughton. He also noted that the Flyers conceded on salary, however.

“11. Tanner Pearson happily secured his future, saying Monday, “This is what I wanted from the get-go, I made that clear.” His three-year, $3.25-million deal with the Canucks certainly affected the market. Los Angeles and Philadelphia completed important business with Alex Iafallo and Scott Laughton, respectively, and things altered in both negotiations in the aftermath of Pearson’s contract. The Kings conceded on term (they initially didn’t want to go four years), and the Flyers on salary (they were below $3 million per year).

Four- and five-year deals aren’t going to be thrown around, so what we learned is how strongly those organizations felt about those players. Los Angeles indicated it wouldn’t trade Iafallo even if a contract wasn’t done. The Flyers did test the market on Laughton, but ultimately chose to keep him.

It’s interesting that the Flyers conceded on salary. The five-year term is already a bit much and the $3 million cap hit seemed reasonable.

Making sense of Chuck Fletcher’s three moves on trade deadline day

Laughton wanted to be a Flyer and he got his five-year contract. Now, he’ll need to live up to it.

Jeff Carter reunited with Ron Hextall

Friedman also mentioned the Flyers in his point about Jeff Carter and the Penguins:

20. Jeff Carter was an interesting get for the Penguins, because he’d declined at least two previous opportunities over the past couple of seasons. Both Arizona and Philadelphia expressed interest, but he preferred to stay in Los Angeles. So there was some surprise he accepted this one; credit to the Penguins for appealing to him.”

The Flyers reportedly looked at Jeff Carter at last year’s trade deadline, but nothing came to fruition. That’s probably for the best given his contract and how this season has turned out.


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