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NHL Trade Talk

Elias Pettersson Trade Could Be Exactly What Flyers Need

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Elias Pettersson trade
According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, teams are already calling the Canucks about Elias Pettersson. (Photo: AP)

The greatest concern around the Philadelphia Flyers and their rebuild is whether or not the team has or will have the dynamic talent required to compete for Stanley Cups consistently. An Elias Pettersson trade would certainly fix that.

Right now, the Vancouver Canucks simply haven’t gotten any indication that Pettersson is willing to re-sign with them as they continue to push for negotiations. Therefore, the Canucks, and by extension, the Flyers, have a fine line to walk here. If Pettersson won’t extend with the Canucks, why would he do so with the Flyers? No such trade would take place without guarantees or otherwise an agreement in principle.

On the other hand, the Flyers might never find a reasonable time to pony up for a perennial 100-point centerman again. It’s extremely rare that a player of Pettersson’s caliber finds themselves available via trade, especially one that is a center. This is a trade possibility that could change the trajectory of the Flyers as a franchise, but it’s the price point for such a deal that will prove problematic.

The Flyers have a superstar in Matvei Michkov waiting in the wings. But, having Pettersson without Michkov defeats the purpose, right? The Flyers and the Canucks would have to come to a different solution in this case.

Because of the amount of deals and cap juggling they’ve done in the past, the Canucks find themselves especially short on draft picks. The Flyers already have two first-round picks and could very easily end up with four by the end of the trade deadline, depending on how things go.

Vancouver will always be competitive as long as they have stars like J.T. Miller, Brock Boeser, Thatcher Demko, Quinn Hughes, and Filip Hronek. However, if they’re forced to trade Pettersson, they’re also forced to turn one eyeball toward the future.

Perhaps, with the help of some of the Flyers’ assets, the Canucks could then make an effort to move up in the draft to select Vancouver native Macklin Celebrini, younger brother of current Canucks prospect Aiden Celebrini.

As for the Flyers, they would hypothetically acquire their No. 1 center of the future in Pettersson, who then forms a very strong one-two punch down the middle with captain Sean Couturier. Factor in up-and-coming players like Michkov, Owen Tippett, Cam York, and Tyson Foerster, and there’s a lot to like about the future in Philadelphia.

At the end of the day, this is all conjecture. However, if push comes to shove and Pettersson is on his way out of Vancouver, the Flyers should be on the case.

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