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Carchidi column: Time for Flyers to deal Ivan Provorov or Travis Konecny

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Philadelphia Flyers, Ivan Provorov, Detroit Red Wings
Defenseman Ivan Provorov could bring the Philadelphia Flyers a nice return. The Flyers need a massive rebuild.

Right now, it’s not much fun being a Philadelphia Flyers fan.

Except for next month’s draft, there’s not much to get excited about — unless the Flyers commit to a full rebuild and start tearing things down.

A rebuild can be fun. Seeing the young players and the team take positive steps each year makes it more satisfying when the team finally does become a Stanley Cup contender.

Yes, it can be an arduous process, but no more than last season.

General manager Chuck Fletcher, however, has been reluctant to call for a major overhaul. Ditto Dave Scott, the chairman of the Flyers’ parent company, Comcast Spectacor.

In limbo

So the Flyers are in limbo. At best, if top players like Sean Couturier and Ryan Ellis return to good health, they will be a contender for a playoff spot, but not a Stanley Cup threat.

At worst, Couturier and/or Ellis won’t be their former selves, the Flyers will flounder again, and attendance will continue to plunge like the stock market.

Tear it down, guys.

The Flyers’ head honchos talk about “retooling” and being a few players away from being a good team. That’s probably why the Daily Faceoff did not list any Flyers when it released its top 28 trade targets the other day.

The feeling around the league is that the Flyers hope better health and the addition of a free agent will make them competitive.

But with the team in cap hell, adding a marquee free agent (hello, Johnny Gaudreau) won’t be easy.

Trade bait?

Here’s hoping the Flyers do the right thing. Here’s hoping they deal for high draft picks and try to acquire rising young players from a team’s farm system. The Devils are dangling the No. 2 overall pick. Go after it. Grab left winger Juraj Slakkovsky or center Logan Cooley.

There are several quality players the Flyers can deal, headed by defenseman Ivan Provorov and right winger Travis Konecny. Both are 25 and their careers have been good but seemingly stuck in neutral.

In the right situation — say, in a trade with Ottawa, or with Columbus, which has two picks in the top 12 — they could draw nice packages of young players and a high draft pick.

With the Philadelphia Flyers, the development of players like Provorov and Konecny has seemed to have hit a road block. That appears to be a problem with this organization. They draft fairly well, but their players don’t seem to be able to take the next step to stardom.

They are good players who either stay that way or take a step backward.

You watch the progression of other players around the league — the Mitch Marners, Sebastian Ahos, and Charlie McAvoys of the world — and their development, unlike those in orange and black, gets better each year.

The Flyers need to hire someone who can get more out of their players, someone who can take them to the next level, someone who can see talent in someone and squeeze the most out of them.

Ryan Hartman is a good example of someone who was just meh with the Flyers, scoring two goals in 19 games in 2018-19. Why wasn’t anyone able to see the strengths of a former first-round pick and get more out of him?

With Minnesota this season, Hartman, now 27, had 34 goals and 65 points. You can argue that he blossomed because he was centering Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov and Mats Zuccarello.

But could Hartman have been put on a line with Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek and maybe done the same thing with the Flyers?

Something amiss

Again, there is something amiss with the way the Flyers evaluate players and utilize their strengths and weaknesses. They need someone who does a better job of bringing out the best in their players.

Maybe John Tortorella, Barry Trotz, Rick Tocchet or someone else can help in that area.

Or maybe an assistant coach can do the job.

The Flyers need to take a long, hard look at that. Maybe a new hire can get more out of gifted players like Provorov and Konecny, each of whom was drafted by then-GM Ron Hextall in the first round in 2015.

In the meantime, trading at least one of them for a package that includes a first-rounder seems like the way to go from here. If you can get New Jersey’s first rounder for Provorov, do it. If you can get a later first rounder from another team — and some good prospects — for Provorov or Konecny, that would work, too.

Your thoughts?

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SpectrumSection51

Sam,
I agree that management is wrong in thinking that a couple additions and improved health will create a contender. I commented on an earlier article that they should try to trade up. Slafkovsky (sp.?) has great size and skill. If we could keep our pick as well, two picks in the top five would really foster a rebuild. If a Provorov and/or Konecny or even Frost can get that done, then go for it. As you said, player development is the primary issue that needs to be seriously addressed. This is a pivotal time for the organization: coaching decision and their overall strategy to move forward. Full rebuild seems the way to go.

Samuel Carchidi

I’m with you!

BigLeftHandie

Maybe I’m delusional, but I’d love to see a trade of that pick with a package of TK or Provorov for a group of already-vetted prospects from a team with a great drafting history. We need an entirely new layer, along with the college undrafted players, of skilled, cheap, young players to see who sticks for the next 1-2 seasons just to get out of the cap situation, add skill, and build a foundation with the new coach. Most of these young guys now won’t be here in year 3 of the rebuild due to injury or failure. Like Colorado, we’ll need to turnover 6 NHL ready players a year probably (not counting the goalie) for the next 1-3 years before we’re a contender.

BigLeftHandie

And not more Owen Tippets. Skilled, fast players and if they have a physical edge, great.

Tom

You just described Tippett???

Mark Campbell

Flyers are a complete dumpster fire. A good start would be the sale of the team. Highly doubtful this will occur, but it would be the best way to turn things around. If Coots and Ellis come back healthy and play great Instill do not see this roster making the playoffs.
I am in favor of trading Konecny. He is a human turnover machine. He coughs up the puck with great regularly, and the grit he once had is now missing. Konecny’s salary exceeds his contribution to the team. Provy played inexcusably poorly at times last year (especially midseason), but with York and Zamula playing real minutes next year we have a greater need for some veteran experience for our top 6 defenseman. From a fan of over 50 years the Flyers are losing their relevance as a major sports team in Philly based on their play and lack of progress the last decade. I do not see things improving for several years and at least two more coaches. Yes, things are that bad. The Flyers are one of the worst run professional teams is sports at the moment. Bad drafting, pitiful player development, and a mess in upper management are core issues that need to evaluated and changes made to address the problems. When you watch NHL playoff hockey the Flyers are light years away from playing quality hockey like the elite teams in the league

ERED

Provy is the one that needs to go. He is a malcontent 2nd pair d man masquerading as a top pair stalwart.He won’t be missed.

SpectrumSection51

I’m interested in knowing why you believe he’s a malcontent. I get that sense, too, but can’t point to anything specific, other than he seemed annoyed during his postseason interview session.

ERED

Seems to isolate himself from his teammates in practices and warmups as if he is too good for the rest of his team. Might just be his personality but it comes off as arrogance and being pissed off that he is on a poor team. I can see the latter but his on ice performance the last few years hasn’t helped the team either.

Carl

Frankly they have the wrong person in charge (CF) to do a proper full rebuild. Who could possibly have any faith in him to turn around this once great franchise. He simultaneously out the team back into salary cap hell and drove them to the depths of the standings. This team isn’t going anywhere until he is gone IMO.

Jay

I agree 💯 however if I’m Fletcher And I can obtain a few high picks for Sanheim and/or Konecny, I wouldn’t be afraid to deal some or all of those picks to Chicago for DeBrincat and Strome or maybe to Arizona for Chychrun & Lawson Crouse. Flyers need an infusion of young top end talent and if they aren’t going to rebuild then Fletcher needs to be aggressive and take some chances.

Steve Miller

While I agree with the majority of your sentiment, and your point about never maximizing a players true talents is spot on; I just don’t see this team getting out of this mediocre at best hamster wheel they have been on as long as they are owned by a conglomerate with no real desire other than to make money. Hence you get perpetual bandaids that may, if all goes well, get into the playoffs, leading to more revenue, but they never will do it right. Time has come for a complete overhaul, top to bottom. And please, no more former players in positions of management. Enough with the sentimentality BS.

JT Puck

Greetings. Sam. Hope all is well , and that you’re fully recovered from COVID.

It won’t make a bit of difference who the next coach is…unless changes to the front office are made, specifically in areas you addressed: talent evaluation and development.

This has been a decades-old problem: these areas are littered with ex-Flyers who have no business being there…and add no value to the club.

One thing I can almost guarantee: this new coach hire will have a shelf-life of 3-4 years; those former Flyers aren’t going anywhere, either…it seems like they have jobs for life, and are just ‘sitting pretty’ while they run this once-proud franchise into the ground.

We have the market cornered on drafting a bunch of stiffs who are nowhere near NHL-ready if they’re called-upon; that team on the other side of the Commonwealth, however, doesn’t have that problem. They know how to draft players who fit their scheme, and are ready to contribute…no matter what round they are drafted.

We need to focus on the lack of activity Off the Ice. Then maybe, the product On the Ice will improve .

Wishful thinking, I know, but I’ll take anything at this point.

Samuel Carchidi

Totally recovered from COVID, JT. Thanks for asking. I agree that talent development is one of many important areas that isn’t talked about much but needs to be addressed. Cheers…

Waiting for the Cup.

Totally agree, the front office is full of former flyers who can’t evaluate talent based on the current NHL. They still have the mindset that they can with size, well that mind set is going on almost 50 years without a cup. I also agree Pittsburgh was much better at drafting and changing with the times, granted they tanked twice (Lemieux and Crosby) but they have 5 cups to show for it. Player development is definitely a problem and the farm system shows it, not a lot of studs coming out of the phantoms.

Brian Becker

Trading for draft picks will mean waiting 3 to 5 years for them to hopefully develop. Until we put a quality talent evaluation and development staff in place we are stuck.

Gregg M

I would put together a package for the Devil’s pick and select Slafkovsky in a heartbeat. If Provy even up gets it done, great. If it’s a “retool”, make sure it’s an aggressive one with many pieces going and coming. And give Fedotov the chance to hopefully adjust to the smaller ice surface and crowded crease to compete with Hart for number one in the pipes.
Anything less would just be a treadmill going nowhere.

Michael Johnson

I think this is spot on. There is something systemically wrong with the organization.

dominick j lucente

I think you are delusional thinking provorov will net jerseys first round pick

Jfor

If Flyers can not draft well, then why trade for draft picks?

The Young Wolf

I think neither should be traded and most likely neither will be traded. In Provorov, how many mid 20’s, under term, (top) pairing guys get moved?? Based on what Hughes, Dahlin, and other like him will soon get in the near future this price will look pretty darn good. Yes he has his flaws as do the others mentioned. Further, as stated in your piece, Do you really want him to turn into the next Ryan Hartman for someone else??

As for TK, that is another story. It just depends of what direction you want to go? A 1 for 1 doesn’t seem likely. But part of larger trade package for something greater or part of an asset return package is more likely. I see neither of the 3 taking place.

What you need is for a polarizing coach to take the helm. (Yes, we just had that. And yes it worked and failed at the same time. But it doesn’t mean you go to riding a pony when you are use to broncos.) Most importantly, we as the fans, need to hear from him if these guys are cutting it. Let him get his paws on these guys, and with the right system in place, let these young guys play their hand and then if needed make a move next deadline or offseason.

I like Fletch but there have been too many head scratchers past and present and too many rolls of the dice lately to just try shuffling the deck again. I think he knows that. Hence the statement, about “letting the young guys play.” That said, He made some accurate and worthy statements about the on ice play- exiting the d-zone, PP production, and costly turnovers. But the old guard of “I am bigger, stronger, & slower than you” mentality has to go!! No more 2 way guys who can play center and wing but have limited skill on upper 6 lines.

The future is staring the Flyer’s management right in the face. It is the smaller skilled guys killing it in this league. Those guys help a team win and more importantly help sales

As the great traveling secretary, George Costantz once said, ” You want to talk about hotels…Go wins some games!”

Fletch, you want to win some games, ” Go draft Mattew Savoie and call your old cronies for Kevin Fiala.

Tell me then what exiting the zone and PP looks like then… In the meantime, we keep Provo and TK until further notice.

R M

Sam, You are spot on. Great article. I say, trade them both and even another player like Brink or Frost for that New Jersey 2nd pick and grab Slafkovsky, who could become Ovechkin light. Do it. Great article. I wish you were the GM. Time for Flyers brass to leave the world of delusion and get real. Time for an exciting rebuild with young studs. I say trade anyone who garners a top 12 first round pick this year. Or, trade anyone to a team who is likely to be weak for a 2023 first rounder. But picks are the way to go. They need three studs, three pillars, two forwards and one d-man who are all-star first liners for a contender quality team.

mari

Don’t forget a goaltender. Hart cannot carry a team tot he playoffs or farther .Again, something very wrong with the “system” who or what ever it may be.

Tom

Just to clarify, you want to trade Provy, TK, and Frost/Brink for the 2nd overall pick???? What else would you be getting back?

R M

Slaf, a perrenial all-star stud.

Keyser Soze'

The problem is if the players are getting stuck in neutral, it’s the MANAGEMENT, if it’s constantly happening, like the Flyers ways of doing business decade after decade. It’s the MANAGEMENT with this organization!!!!
As far as dealing who their best D man is…. dumb, just dumb because we had one of the worst defenses (vote for Trotz). If anything, you dangle Frost for trade because he hasn’t proven anything yet & maybe Konecny or, I hate to say it, Hayes. He’s good but holds on to the puck to long & to often and just doesn’t have the speed which this team needs, as well as new management(Fletcher, Holmgren & Clarke).

david good

this is philly. in almost every sport. bad drafts, bad player development, bad contracts.
nolan patrick
nerlins noell
tk
wentz
moniak
okafur
kingery
antone davis
jalen reagor
jp crawford
jd drew
the guy with the “yips”
danny watkins
and sadly smarty jones

RoadRules

As long as Fletcher and company are in the Front Office; the Flyers are going no where. They Do NOT have a Keith Allen in the Front Office to make good evaluations on the Players they do draft; and then develop those Players. They might hit on a prospect here and there; but if they do its mostly by luck. The Flyers are no closer to contending; let alone actually winning the Cup than they were 10 Years Ago. I look at the tems that are in the Stanley Cup Finals ; and the difference between them and the Flyers talent wise is gigantic.

Pazepher

You nailed it! Keith “The Thief” was the best. Unfortunately Clarke and company have destroyed this once proud franchise as also evidenced by the statement that young players don’t develop. Again, Clarke not being ca[able of not only identifying an organizational problem; but also, not being smart enough to fix it cause he wants to be omnipotent.

Brian

Hartman is a terrible example. He produced in Minnesota because he was put on the topline but he is not a topline center.

Tear downs don’t work in the NHL. Didn’t the Hextall years teach Flyers fans that? Look at Detroit, how long it took Edmonton to show signs of life (and that was only after Evander Kane fell into their laps), etc.

The drafts aren’t deep enough and development cycle too long. Picks and prospects are part of a rebuild but can’t anchor it.

Jaykwon

The Flyers stink at player development so lets trade established players for draft picks? Great insight Sam. Konecny is a winger, who was even his Center this year? Who was Provy D partner? If we trade provy, who plays with Risto? York? There goes another career down the drain. Fletcher sucks

Superunoriginal

I had high hopes for Provorov. He’s clearly demoralized just like Voracek and Ghost before him. I don’t see how the Flyers keep him. I also don’t see what they do if they trade him. It means that, by default, they’d pursue Nemec or Jiricek, and they’re 2-3 years away from the NHL. Then what, what does that say for Ellis? They traded for him specifically to help out Provorov and try to pull a redux of the success with Niskanen. And they’ve invested heavily is Risto. Moving Provorov with Ellis being in questionable health means they will rely/depend heavily on Risto to be a top-two or top-four blueliner. That’s not a recipe for turning it around. It would amount to tanking through managerial incompetence–because it wouldn’t be by design.

No, the Flyers may want to trade Provorov, but they can’t afford to. Trading Konecny makes more sense, but he’s the one they’d *prefer* to keep. Speed and skills which are there, but not exploited. If the team hires Torts as coach, then I think we go back to an AV style which emphasized forecheck and deemphasized offense. Konecny would be a casualty in that style of play.

My concern here is lose-lose scenario in trading for “change of scenery”–I don’t see either of these players really living up to their potential in Philly, and I don’t think Fletcher is capable of getting a good return in trading them. I also think they would be so relieved to escape the toxic situation in Philly that their play will significantly improve wherever they wind up–leaving Flyers fans more dejected and miserable. “Why didn’t we keep them? We traded them for this bag of used hockey pucks…”

Blowing it up seems to be the best option. Take away the expectations of trying to be a contender–which removes cause for heartbreak and disappointment. Instead, cash in on the value of some of these guys for younger prospects and picks. Free up cap space, and scout, scout, scout. That’s what a smart organization would do. That’s what the Rangers did. They realized they weren’t good enough and Lundqvist was getting too old, and they acknowledged the need to rebuild.

Will the Flyers do this? No. I think they’re too disconnected from reality and focused on trying to structure a team that will continue to be inconsistent and somehow just good enough to compete…but nothing more. Aim for mediocrity and sell it as both a success and disappointment. “We’re in the right direction…stay tuned!” And unfortunately enough fans will buy into this.

RoadRules

Agree 100 percent. The Flyers DO have a storied past; but lets face it. It has been almost a HALF CENTURY since they Won their first Cup. Obviously; they need to blow this up right down to the studs; and Re Build this Organization the right way ; so they’d have an actual chance to Win the cup. The zPROBLEM is that the Front Office doesnt want to do what is entirely necessary to get back on track. Which means the Flyer Organization will continue to be the proverbial dog chasing its own tail; being slightly better than mediocre in doing so.

Last edited 15 days ago by RoadRules
flyersfanguy

you yourself in this article said flyers cant develop players yet you want to trade 2 of our best players for draft picks in a weak draft? makes total sense

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