The Expansion Draft came an went on Wednesday night without any trades. No official trades, no reported trades, and no leaked trades. The Seattle Kraken took a player from 30 teams and that was that. But things should pick up at 1 p.m. EDT on Thursday when the NHL roster freeze lifts. The Philadelphia Flyers have their eye on Vladimir Tarasenko and Tyler Pitlick, among other names in the trade market.
Let’s start with the bigger name: Vladimir Tarasenko.
Flyers in the hunt for Vladimir Tarasenko
Tarasenko wants out of St. Louis but has missed a lot of time the past few seasons due to three shoulder surgeries. The Russian winger is one of the best snipers in the game –– something that the Flyers need ––, but he has a large contract and injury question marks. Still, if he’s available, the Flyers are interested.
Last week, it was reported that the Flyers are on Tarasekno’s trade list. The winger has a no-trade clause but will waive it for a trade to Philadelphia.
Tarasenko is 29 years old and has a $7.5 million cap hit for the next two seasons. St. Louis may be willing to retain some salary and Tarasenko is more than worth the risk at $5 or $6 million.
Tarasenko was in his prime from 2014 to 2019. He scored 182 goals and added 174 assists for 356 points in 395 games. However, due to a shoulder injury, Tarasenko has played in just 34 games over the past two seasons, recording 24 points (seven goals, 17 assists) in that time. He had 14 points in 24 games last season.
A trade for Tarasenko would likely involve Jakub Voracek or James van Riemsdyk to match up salaries. Shayne Gostisbehere at a $4.5 million cap hit could also fit the bill if the Blues wanted a defenseman to replace Vince Dunn.
On Tuesday, Elliotte Friedman said on the 31 Thoughts Podcast that the Flyers were one of the teams that requested Tarasenko’s medical records. The Flyers aren’t the leaders for Tarasenko, but they’re definitely in the hunt.
Tyler Pitlick could be flipped by Seattle
UPDATE: Seattle traded Tyler Pitlick to Calgary for a fourth-round pick on Thursday afternoon.
The second and more familiar name is Tyler Pitlick. It’s also a lower-tier option for the Flyers. They could potentially get both players if they wanted to as Tarasenko would slot into the top-six and Pitlick would be in the bottom-six.
Pitlick was one of the more underrated parts of the Flyers’ 2019-20 team. He had 20 points (eight goals, 12 assists) in 63 games. The Flyers let him walk in free agency, which was a mistake. He only had 11 points in 38 games in Arizona, but he could’ve helped the Flyers’ abysmal bottom-six situation last season.
Now, with Pitlick in Seattle, the Kraken may look to flip him.
Friedman said on Wednesday night that the Flyers are among “some teams looking at him.” He postulates that “he’s a gut who is probably going to get moved.”
Pitlick would be a good addition for the Flyers’ bottom-six forward group. If they want to be a contender again, they need to be able to roll four lines. Pitlick would help with that.
Keep an eye on Pitlick on Thursday. It’s quite possible that he’s moved shortly after the roster freeze ends at 1 p.m. EDT this afternoon. The Flyers should be active in the trade market. Chuck Fletcher has a busy weekend ahead of him after the Carsen Twarynski selection.
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