The Seattle Kraken selected Carsen Twarynski from the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers didn’t get rid of one of their larger contracts nor did they open a roster spot. It’s almost as if the Expansion Draft didn’t happen for them.
The Flyers are essentially in the same spot that they would be without an Expansion Draft. Twarynski wasn’t in the Flyers’ plans as anything more than a fourth-liner at absolute best. He likely would’ve spent most of the season with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms.
The impact that the Expansion Draft had on the Flyers is more about who the Kraken didn’t take from Philadelphia. Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk are still in Philadelphia –– as are their contracts. Voracek has an $8.25 million cap hit for three seasons and van Riemsdyk has a $7 million cap hit for two seasons.
What’s next for the Flyers?
Chuck Fletcher certainly has to pivot a bit –– or at least take a detour –– with Twarynski being Seattle’s selection. He doesn’t have the extra cap space to work with just yet, but he’ll get there if he needs to.
People are talking about Voracek and JVR like they’re completely washed up. They’re not. Both Voracek and van Riemsdyk had 43 points last season to tie with Claude Giroux for the team lead. It’s not the worst thing in the world if the Flyers are “forced” to keep two of their top scorers from last season.
In that same vein, the Flyers shouldn’t have to attach an asset of too much value to either Voracek or JVR to get rid of their contracts. They are both top-six wingers and I’m sure there are plenty of teams that would be interested.
One of those teams that might be interested is the St. Louis Blues. Vladimir Tarasenko has been in the rumor mill over the past week or two and the Flyers are one of the teams interested.
With Tarasenko and Voracek both not being selected by Seattle, that keeps open the possibility of a trade involving them. Tarasenko has a $7.5 million cap hit for two seasons. His injury history may cause the Flyers pause, but the worst-case scenario is Tarasenko goes on the LTIR and the Flyers free up that cap space anyway.
Fletcher should be busy this weekend
The Expansion Draft was only the beginning of an exciting week around the NHL. The NHL Entry Draft is on Friday night and the Flyers currently hold the 13th overall pick. It’s one of the Flyers’ assets that should be in play as Chuck Fletcher continues to try to upgrade the roster.
“Look, it’s a really good asset,” Fletcher said last week. “If we use our first-round pick to select a player, we’re obviously going to be able to draft a high-quality player that’ll help us. Yet, because it’s of high asset value, I think we have to explore what we can do with it. The likelihood is you normally end up keeping your first round picks, but this offseason, in particular, I think I’m more willing to look at moving it. If there’s some way we can help our team, not just in the short term, but more over several years over the longer term and it cost me the first-round pick, if I can get that type of asset, I’ll certainly look at doing it.”
It should be a whirlwind 30 or so hours on Thursday and Friday. The NHL Roster Freeze lifts at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday and the NHL Draft is at 8 p.m. EDT on Friday night. Fletcher could look to move out some salary and then trade the first-round pick in the same breath. Hell, it could be in the same trade.
After that, NHL free agency opens on Wednesday, July 28th. The Flyers will be looking to add a backup goalie, possibly another defenseman, and perhaps a forward as well.
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