The Philadelphia Flyers will have a new goaltender next season.
No, Carter Hart isn’t going anywhere. But they could use a younger goalie to be behind him.
Martin Jones was serviceable. Nothing more. And it speaks volumes that no one wanted him for a cheap price at Monday’s trade deadline.
Now it’s time to move on,
Felix Sandstrom, 25, who has played much better than his numbers look with the AHL’s Phantoms (2.98 GAA, .899 save percentage) this season, is a possibility. He was excellent in his only start with the Flyers this season, a 3-2 overtime loss in San Jose in which he made 43 saves — the most in franchise history by a goalie making his NHL debut.
That said, don’t overlook 6-foot-6 Russian goaltender Ivan Fedotov.
The Flyers selected him in the seventh round of the 2015 draft, and he has made continual progress. Fedotov, 25, starred for Russia in the Olympics, and the Flyers are trying to sign him and bring him to North America to get used to the smaller rinks.
In his last seven games in Russia’s KHL, he is 7-0 with a .948 save percentage and 1.47 GAA.
“We can’t bring anyone over until after the World Championships in May, and he’s likely to be their goaltender there,” Flyers assistant GM Brent Flahr said the other day. “Obviously, everything is day to day with the world events.”
He was referring to Russia’s war in Ukraine.
The Flyers have talked to Fedotov’s agent several times. The goaltender “has expressed an interest in coming over,” Flahr said.
Flahr was asked if Fedotov was ready to be an NHL backup next season.
“Potentially,” he said. “It’s a different game here, and there is an adjustment period, but it’s not like he’s a 19-year-old kid coming out of junior, either. He’s had a lot of experience at a pretty high level over there. We;’re hoping he’s a quick study, but, again, the NHL is a whole different animal in the style of play and the traffic (in front of the net). Those are things he has to work on, but the potential is there, for sure.”
Philadelphia Flyers prospect Jay O’Brien, 22, will probably need lower-body surgery and likely will play one more season at Boston University. He finished the season with 22 points, including 10 goals, in 24 games.
The Flyers drafted O’Brien in the first round (19th overall) in 2018.
The Flyers (20-32-11) started their road trip with a 6-3 loss Tuesday in Detroit. Here are some numbers as they prepare to face St. Louis (35-18-9) on Thursday, their second stop on what looks like a treacherous five-game trip:
- The Flyers have lost 13 straight on the road, getting outscored by a 57-29 margin in those defeats. They have gone 5 for 40 (12.5%) on the power play during that time, while their opponents have gone 16 for 38 (42.1%). Enough said.
- Overall, only four teams have a worse record than the Flyers (51 points), who have an 8.5% chance to win the draft lottery, per tankathon.com. Montreal and Arizona, each with 44 points, have the best chance to win the lottery. But with four tough road games ahead, the Flyers could get closer to the bottom when this trip ends.
- The Flyers are 12-22-7 under interim coach Mike Yeo. They were crippled by injuries earlier in his stint, and now are a shell of their team because of trades.
- With Claude Giroux (18 goals) traded, it looks as if Cam Atkinson (23 goals) will be the only Flyer to finish with 20 or more goals. James van Riemsdyk (15 goals) needs five goals over the last 19 games to reach 20. According to the Elias Sports Bureau, the Flyers have never had a full NHL season with less than two scorers who had at least 20 goals.