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Flyers’ Rasmus Ristolainen Scratched vs Jets

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Rasmus Ristolainen
Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was scratched against the Winnipeg Jets due to an illness; a trade is not imminent. (Photo: AP)

Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen was a surprise omission from the lineup for Thursday night’s game against the Winnipeg Jets.

There was no prior indication given from the Flyers that Ristolainen would be scratched for the game, but it was announced by the team, shortly following the conclusion of warmups, that the 29-year-old was out due to an “illness”.

Naturally, trade pandemonium ran rampant on social media almost immediately once Ristolainen was revealed to have been absent from warmups. Lots of teams have been sniffing around Flyers players lately, according to various reports.

The Toronto Maple Leafs were said to be interested in Ristolainen as early as late November, and the Maple Leafs were also interested in forward Scott Laughton in recent years. Toronto is after a center now, so it’s possible their interest in Scott Laughton is revived.

Tampa Bay Lightning defenseman Mikhail Sergachev just suffered a devastating and gruesome leg injury that has effectively ended his season, barring something unforeseen in his recovery over the next few months. That is something that will shake up the NHL trade market and opens up more Flyers trade possibilities, especially as it relates to Ristolainen.

Nick Seeler and Sean Walker, of course, have perpetually been linked in trade talks for virtually the entire season. The two defense partners are coveted due to their rental status, low cap hits, and success in high-difficulty minutes.

Ristolainen, on the other hand, carries term and a large cap hit, making it difficult for contending teams to find a fit for him beyond this season. Ristolainen has played mostly bottom-pair minutes with the Flyers this season, but has done well with them.

At this time, a Flyers trade does not appear to be imminent.

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