TSN in Canada started an ambitious project, evaluating the strengths and weaknesses of all 32 teams at each position.
It began with left wing, and it has the Philadelphia Flyers grouped in the bottom tier with Chicago, Los Angeles, and San Jose at that position.
“In trouble,” is what TSN says about those four teams at left wing. It lists the Flyers’ left wingers as James van Riemsdyk, Scott Laughton, Max Willman, and Nic Deslauriers.
But left wing does look like the Flyers’ weakest position at the moment.
The good news: Joel Farabee, 22, will greatly bolster the position when he returns. He is a huge part of the Flyers; future and their best all-around left winger, but is expected to miss a little bit of time as he recovers from neck surgery.
When Farabee returns, he will play on the first or second line, and Laughton will likely drop to 3LW, or he could move to center if needed.
In case you were curious, the teams with the best group of left wingers, per TSN, were Florida (Matthew Tkachuk, Carter Verhaeghe, Ryan Lomberg, and former Flyer Nick Cousins), Seattle (Jaden Schwartz, Jared McCann, Oliver Bjorkstrand, and Ryan Donato), and St. Louis (Brandon Saad, Pavel Buchnevich, Ivan Barbashev, and Nathan Walker).
TSN grades every team’s left-wing depth here.
Around the NHL and National Hockey Now
Flyers: Carter Hart’s mainstream stats were meh last season. As it turns out, a relatively new advance stat was even worse. See my story on Philly Hockey Now.
Minnesota Wild: All-star Kirill “The Thrill” Kaprizov is reportedly safe and back in North America after returning from Russia, per Michael Russo from the Athletic. He will be at the Wild’s training camp in September.
Early last month, the Kaprizov was reportedly wanted in Russia for allegedly purchasing a fake military ID in 2017. It’s unclear where the allegations stand. But tensions are high after Philadelphia Flyers goalie prospect Ivan Fedotov was denied coming to North America and ordered to serve in the Russian Navy. Sammi Silber has the Kaprizov drama at Washington Hockey Now.
New York Islanders: Will the Islanders sign Nazem Kadri? Stefen Rosner lays out how it can be done. NYI Hockey Now.
Pittsburgh Penguins: The Pens have cap problems. Big problems. That’s why defenseman Ty Smith, acquired from New Jersey in the John Marino trade last month, will probably start the season in the AHL. The fact he doesn’t have to go through waivers works to the Penguins advantage…. and Smith’s disadvantage. Dave Molinari has the story at Pittsburgh Hockey Now.
Boston Bruins: Betting on the NHL and the Bruins is about to become legal in Massachusetts, which is lagging behind New Jersey and Pennsylvania in this area. Jimmy Murphy has the story at Boston Hockey Now.
Colorado Avalanche: Could Jonathan Toews replace Nazem Kadri if the latter center heads elsewhere? Adrian Dater has the story at Colorado Hockey Now.
Detroit Red Wings: Which players will be out if Red Wings rookies make the team out of training camp? Kevin Allen outlines the possibilities at Detroit Hockey Now.