Flyers goalie Carter Hart’s possible availability has the hockey world talking.
General manager Daniel Briere briefly addressed Hart’s situation at his news conference Tuesday after the Ivan Provorov trade.
“I’m still in the same spot I was,” Briere said. “We’re open for business. We listen on everybody. Everybody’s being treated the same way for us on our side.”
The news conference was an opportunity for Briere to dispel the talk of a possible trade. He did not.
On May 27, Briere said on 94-WIP: “Most likely, Carter will be our goalie for the future, but I’m not in a position to turn down anything. I have to listen.”
When one of the trade assets the Flyers received in the Provorov deal was goalie Cal Petersen, speculation and conspiracy theories lit up the hockey Internet. But the Kings dealt Petersen to help with their salary cap. Petersen has been a backup, having started 94 games in five seasons. Can’t see him replacing Hart as No. 1 goaltender.
Still, the speculation persisted … and grew louder.
In Montreal, there is talk about what a great goalie tandem Hart would make with Sam Montembeault. They’re talking about how former Montreal goalie Carey Price was Hart’s hero growing up, so there is a connection.
Montreal media outlets are talking about the cost to land Hart. Montreal isn’t the only place.
In Edmonton, Hart’s hometown, there is plenty of speculation. The Oilers have offensive firepower with Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl and the belief they are a great goalie away from winning the Stanley Cup.
In Ottawa, Hart trade scenarios are more popular than warm weather. Potential deals are being kicked around online. Senators starting goalie Cam Talbot will not return so Ottawa has an opening.
The Senators also might trade forward Alex DeBrincat — there is a contract dispute between the team and player — so keyboard general managers are working up Hart-for-DeBrincat deals.
Elliotte Friedman, who works for Sportsnet and is an NHL Network insider, said on his 32 Thoughts podcast about the Provorov trade signifying a true rebuild. Rebuilds, by definition and practice, mean more trades are being considered.
“If you’re going to do a rebuild, you have to commit to it and this is commitment to a rebuild,” said Friedman, who also said Ottawa isn’t in on the Hart speculation.
“We all know what is going on now. They [Flyers] got three picks out of it. If you’re going to do a rebuild you really have to commit to it. And for the first time, maybe ever, we’re seeing Philly commit to it.”
Friedman brought the Sabres into Hart situation. “Lot of people are talking Buffalo and I think Buffalo is just going to be rumored in every goaltender deal until they come out and say either we’re making a trade or we’re going with what we have.”
Jeff Marek, also on the 32 Thoughts podcast, said: “You know which team I really wonder about here with Carter Hart? The San Jose Sharks. That’s a team that doesn’t want to take a step back.”
The biggest question is how much of a rebuild do the Flyers want to undertake? Listening to offers for Hart is one thing. Trading him is something else.
Flyers, In Case You Missed It:
Analysis: Why GM Daniel Briere’s shocking Ivan Provorov trade was necessary.
Flyers prospect Helge Grans has size, talent to succeed. Grans was acquired from Kings in Provorov deal.
Phantoms forward Tyson Foerster named to AHL’s Top Prospect Team.
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Stanley Cup Finals
Game 3: Golden Knights at Panthers, 8 p.m. Thursday, TNT. Golden Knights lead series, 2-0.