Meet the new boss. Same as the old boss?
Not at all. Not even close.
General manager Daniel Briere said in March the Flyers were going to rebuild.
They’re rebuilding. Officially and unequivocally. And not a moment too soon.
You’ve seen video of buildings being demolished with those controlled explosions? Based on Briere’s first big move — trading away the team’s best defenseman — that’s where the Flyers are headed.
And not a moment too soon.
Briere seems serious about a long-overdue rebuild. It will be the signature stamp on his general manager stewardship and he seems eager to tackle the project.
Ivan Provorov was traded Tuesday to Columbus for the 22nd overall pick in the NHL Draft, two veterans, a talented defensive prospect and two second-round picks in 2024 (one might be in 2025).
Losing Provorov means some short-term pain. The Flyers’ defensive corps simply won’t be as good without him. But, the Flyers’ focus is on the future, as it must be. The trade opens a spot on defense, the Flyers’ weakest position group. What an opportunity for one of the young players to step up.
If you think this was a nice haul for Provorov, well, you get the feeling that’s what Briere thinks, too. You never know with trades and draft picks, but you make the best deal you can, then rely on your organization to draft the right player.
Briere said the key to the trade was getting back that first-round pick, giving the Flyers picks at No. 7 and 22 in a draft reportedly stocked with quality talent.
Briere already is giving off some Howie Roseman vibes. He traded a guy trending in the wrong way on the ice, and off the ice refused to participate in the team’s Pride-themed night, citing his religious beliefs. He traded a guy who might be happier elsewhere.
OK, OK, referring to Briere as Roseman-like is a major reach for a guy who had the “interim” title removed only last month. But, Briere added three draft picks yesterday. And he promised a rebuild then followed it up with what appears to be a great return of assets in his first trade.
“Well, sometimes you have to pay the price to get good assets back as well,” Briere said Tuesday on a Zoom conference call.
“We’re not denying the fact that Ivan is a good defender and he’s put in heavy minutes for us. It’s going to be tough to replace him.
“At this time, we felt that the assets we were getting to build the team we want to build in the future. That was critical and you have to give up good players and good assets in return.
“You don’t get first-round picks for players that don’t have interest from other teams. You’ve got to play ball with both sides, and we have to give up a good player for that.”
More To Come?
Briere talks about this trade like it’s the beginning of a summer of wheeling and dealing to try to get the Flyers younger, faster and with concrete hope for the future. This is a team with no untouchables on the roster.
“We’re open for business,” said Briere, who used the same expression regarding a possible Carter Hart trade. “We’ll listen if it makes sense. If the value is there for us, definitely.
“That’s kind of the luxury of having a lot of picks, and unfortunately, in the situation we’re at when you finish a little lower in the standings, you have better picks.
“It’s good and it’s bad. You have to suffer for it. Nothing’s off the table on our side.”
Trust The Process
If you believe the Flyers needed a rebuild, yesterday was the day you’ve waited for. If you believe in the process, put on your hard hat and enjoy the construction crew at work.
“If it makes sense [we’ll deal],” Briere said. “It all depends if things make sense.
“We felt this trade made sense at this time for us. That’s why we moved ahead. Like I’ve said earlier, there’s always two sides to it — three sides in this case [the Kings were part of the three-team trade] – so you never know.
“If it makes sense and there’s a good return on other things, we’ll consider it, but it’s too early to tell.”
With that, Briere left the conference call, perhaps to ponder what he accomplished. Perhaps to work the phones some more. There’s a lot of work to be done.
These are not your father’s Flyers.
Ivan Provorov Trade At A Glance
The Blue Jackets received Provorov.
The Flyers received:
- The Blue Jackets’ No. 1 pick, 22nd overall.
- The Kings’ second-round pick in 2024.
- A conditional second-round pick from Columbus, in either 2024 or 2025.
- Kings prospect defenseman Helge Grans.
- Goalie Cal Petersen.
- Defenseman Sean Walker.
The Kings retained 30 percent of Provorov’s contract. Los Angeles acquired veteran defenseman Kevin Connauton and forward Hayden Hodgson from the Flyers.
Flyers, In Case You Missed It:
GM Danny Briere talks about why he traded Ivan Provorov.
John LeClair and Eric Desjardins played major role in last Stanley Cup won by a Canadian team.
Around The National Hockey Network:
Buffalo Hockey Now: Sabres captain Kyle Okposo praises teammate Jack Eichel, now with Vegas.
Chicago Hockey Now: Connor Bedard already endearing himself to Blackhawks fans.
Colorado Hockey Now: What would it cost to acquire Alex DeBrincat.
Los Angeles Hockey Now: Kings happy to clear up cap space in Ivan Provorov three-team deal.
Montreal Hockey Now: Should Canadiens show interest in Flyers goalie Carter Hart?
Nashville Hockey Now: Which swing-for-the-fences players should GM Barry Trotz target?
New Jersey Hockey Now: Five players the Devils should target in the second round of the draft.
New York Islanders Hockey Now: Veteran winger Josh Bailey’s time with Islanders might be up.
Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Penguins’ Mikael Granlund might be good buyout target.
Stanley Cup Finals
Game 3: Golden Knights at Panthers, 8 p.m. Thursday, TNT. Golden Knights lead series, 2-0.