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Report: Flyers Could Deal Defenseman Ivan Provorov

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Ivan Provorov

There’s no secret that the Philadelphia Flyers are at a crossroads. While the organization seems to believe it can turn things around quickly, most outside the team see a needed rebuild.

There is talent within the team, and the system, but it isn’t enough. The Flyers could be in the draft lottery for Connor Bedard, a generational center, by the season’s end, but their chances aren’t great.

They should be moving on from players that don’t fit the team’s overall plan.

That means Russian defenseman Ivan Provorov, who has been up and down over the last few years, could be on the move before the March 3 trade deadline.

The highly respected Elliotte Friedman, on his latest edition of 32 Thoughts, mentioned some potential frustration between the Philadelphia Flyers and Provorov.

“I still think the talent is there, but it hasn’t worked as well as it could’ve and should’ve in Philadelphia,” Friedman said. “I think some of it is probably on the player and some of it is on the team.”

There is a growing sense, as Friedman mentioned, that Provorov is frustrated with the situation around him — and how the team has an equal amount of that frustration. Jeff Marek brought up how the Flyers haven’t been able to find the right partner for Provorov, either. .

Friedman said an NHL trade for Provorov could become a reality.

Marek brought up Matt Niskanen’s retirement and how that could have had an effect on Provorov and his game. Same with the Ryan Ellis situation. Ellis was supposed to be a replacement for Niskanen, but his career is in jeopardy because of injuries.

Provorov, who turns 26 on Friday, posted a career-high 41 points in 2017-18, his second season with the Flyers. He was close to that mark (36) in the 2019-20 season, when he was paired with Niskanen.

There have been struggles since then. Whether that is because of the player or because of the team, it doesn’t seem as if this situation will end smoothly. He still has loads of promise. Will the Flyers be able to find an NHL trade partner?

Provorov, a first-round draft pick in 2015 (No.7 overall), has two more years left beyond this season on a deal that holds an annual $6.75 mullion cap hit. He has just two goals and 14 points in 40 games this season.

Would a change of scenery help him?

There have already been reports of James van Riemsdyk being on the NHL trade block. That isn’t necessarily a surprise as the Flyers tried to move him this off-season. They weren’t willing to add a first-round pick to any deal, however. Van Riemsdyk, when healthy, has played well this season (16 points in 20 games) and could help a team that needs a net-front presence and a power-play staple.

There has also been talk of a potential Kevin Hayes buyout. Hayes, 30, a Metro Division All-Star, was benched earlier in the season and later demoted to the third line. He was moved to left wing due to his defensive issues. He has an annual $7.1 million cap hit for three years after this one. Is a buyout  something the team would actually entertain?

Stay tuned.

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