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NHL Trade Talk

Potential Flyers Trade Partner Taken Out of the Mix



Philadelphia Flyers trade
For the time being, a Philadelphia Flyers trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs no longer makes sense. (Photo: AP)

A potential Philadelphia Flyers trade partner just got their reinforcements from someone else, taking them out of the mix for a Flyers trade.

On Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs traded with the Anaheim Ducks to acquire old friend Ilya Lyubushkin, parting ways with a 2024 sixth-round pick and a 2025 third-round pick in exchange for his services.

The Maple Leafs were one of a handful of teams that would have made sense in a Sean Walker trade, but taking on a low-key option like Lyubushkin suggests Toronto isn’t in the business for any kind of Flyers trade. Walker and his defense partner, Nick Seeler, are expected to come in at a high cost for inquiring teams.

It’s worth noting that the Carolina Hurricanes, a Metropolitan Division rival, helped facilitate the Lyubushkin trade by retaining 50% of his salary ($1.375 million). The Flyers have made it known that they are willing to retain as much salary as possible to get the return they want on both Seeler and Walker.

If the Flyers retained the maximum 50% on Walker, his cap hit would come down to just $1.325 million, making him even cheaper than Lyubushkin, who has mostly played at a pedestrian level for the last few seasons.

Indeed, the Maple Leafs still have their 2024 first-round pick and just enough cap space to afford Walker at 50%, but their blueline is already a full house. Assuming the injured Mark Giordano is placed on injured reserve, Toronto’s roster will have the maximum allotted 23 players, meaning the Flyers would potentially be obligated to receive a player in return in a trade.

Maybe a Flyers trade makes more sense for the Maple Leafs by next week, but right now, the Maple Leafs’ actions show they aren’t looking to swing big just yet.

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