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Keith Jones: A Competitive Flyers Team ‘Not That Far Away’

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Keith Jones (AP photo)
Flyers president Keith Jones

Philadelphia Flyers president Keith Jones talked trades, the draft and had a surprising answer to the rebuild in an appearance on 94-WIP on Monday morning. 

Essentially, he said the fruits of the rebuild might get here quicker than many think.

WIP host Joe DeCamara asked Jones if the Philadelphia Flyers’ rebuild would take until 2028. Would everyone have to wait more than three years for quality hockey, DeCamara asked.

“No, no you’re not,” Jones said. “The plan would be to get there sooner, obviously, than 2028.

“We have an idea where we’re going to be a much more competitive team. It’s not that far away.

“It’s not going to be unchallenging; it’s going to be. But we’re not going to be sitting, waiting around for this thing to take forever.”

Picks Or Players?

Flyers general manager Daniel Briere announced in March the team was in a rebuild. He didn’t set a timeline because there isn’t a hard and fast timeline. Who knows when a team will climb from missing the playoffs for three consecutive years to becoming an NHL factor.

Jones was asked by DeCamara if the Flyers are trading for draft picks or players who could contribute sooner.

“It’s a little bit of both, we’re trying to thread that needle,” Jones said. “But the draft choices, the higher picks, would definitely be a priority for us.

“There’s no question that we’re trying to build our draft capital and have all kinds of options as things move forward.

“And just because you have first-round picks doesn’t mean that you necessarily use them, as far as drafting them and developing them. It just gives you more options further down the road, whether it’s a long way down the road or a little bit shorter distance remains to be seen.

“But having those options really can put you in a position to advance your team at an adequate speed that’s going to keep your fans interested and get the team back on track, hopefully sooner than later.”

Popular Flyers

Jones told the WIP audience that the Flyers have some popular players that other teams are trying to acquire.

“The fact that we came out and made it clear that we were going to rebuild what has kind of been taking place here with the Flyers over the last few years, has really opened the door to a lot of conversations with different teams,” Jones said.

“Our phone lines have been lighting up with different opportunities, some of them ridiculous, some of them intriguing. And we’ve got some really popular players, which in some ways is a great thing for us.”

Players mentioned as reported or likely trade candidates are Kevin Hayes, who is part of the trade the Flyers are trying to put together with the Blues. Also, Travis Sanheim, Tony DeAngelo, Travis Konecny and Scott Laughton have been mentioned as possible trade candidates.

“There’s no question that we’re in a position with our team that we need to look to the future and some of those guys are in positions where, in their career, where they’d be maybe a little bit more advanced than where we’re going to be when we get there,” Jones said.

“So from a players’ perspective, where I’ve been before, names are flying around. It’s not [illogical] to think that a couple of guys on our team are in play, there’s no question that we’re in a position with our team that we need to look to the future.”

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Flyers, In Case You Missed It:

Torey Krug did nothing wrong when he reportedly exercised his no-trade clause.

Opinion: Flyers want to draft Matvei Michkov and will trade up to get him.

Flyers well positioned in draft full of talent.

Check out the Flyers’ picks — and all 32 picks — in National Hockey Now’s mock draft.

Flyers working to trade Kevin Hayes to Blues. And, an update after the trade hits a snag.

Around The National Hockey Network:

Boston Hockey Now: In light of the Flyers-Blues trade talks, was David Pastrnak trying to bring Torey Krug back to Boston?

Chicago Hockey Now: Analysis on Blackhawks drafting Colby Barlow at 19.

Colorado Hockey Now: Avalanche hasn’t closed the door on J.T. Compher.

Detroit Hockey Now: Will David Reinbacher be there for Wings at 9?

Florida Hockey Now: Center Anton Lundell impressed in Panthers’ playoff run.

Los Angeles Hockey Now: Kings reportedly closer to signing Pierre-Luc Dubois.

Pittsburgh Hockey Now: Big decisions, major moves looming for Penguins.

Vegas Hockey Now: Golden Knights close to extension with Cup-winning goalie Adin Hill.

Washington Hockey Now: Ryan Leonard would add playoff mindset to Capitals with No. 8 draft pick.

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