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Could Flyers Really Trade Joel Farabee?

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Flyers forward Joel Farabee finished the season with just one goal, his only point, in his last 11 games. (Photo: AP)

Joel Farabee is one of many Philadelphia Flyers players who suffered through a very rough half of the 2023-24 season.

Despite all of that, Farabee still enjoyed a career year overall for the Flyers, establishing personal bests in goals (22), assists (28), and points (50). At only 24 years old, Farabee looks like a player who is just starting to find his stride at the NHL level, and he played in all 82 games for the second consecutive season.

But do the Flyers still view Farabee that way after the way his season ended?

Farabee scored one point over his last 11 games of the year – a goal in a 9-3 loss to the Montreal Canadiens during that eight-game losing streak. Across that same period, Farabee managed only 17 shots on goal – less than two per game – while averaging only 14:36 of ice time.

Farabee is a player whose skillset is best utilized in a top-six role, but thanks to his inconsistency, he found himself rotating in the lineup on the third and fourth lines.

In his latest “32 Thoughts” column for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman named Cam York, Tyson Foerster, and Morgan Frost as players who took steps forward this year for the Flyers. Friedman then noted that Cam Atkinson sounded like he would be playing elsewhere next season and wondered the same of Farabee.

When there’s smoke, there’s fire, and Farabee, like Atkinson, sounded like a player who was not completely satisfied with his role on the Flyers down the stretch.

“Any year after the All-Star break, I think the games get a lot harder. Teams are fighting for playoff spots, so the game changes a bit,” Farabee said of his second half on Tuesday. “I think my role on the team, too, where I was playing… I think I’m one of those guys that can play up and down the lineup, for sure. I think when you’re playing third and fourth line, sometimes you have to give up some of the offense to focus on the defensive game and focus on the D side of things.”

“I personally would love to play as much as I can, but like I said, whatever role I’m given that night, I try to just do to the best of my ability.”

Something else to consider in trade speculation, too, is the number of wingers the Flyers have. In addition to Farabee, the Flyers also have Foerster, Owen Tippett, Travis Konecny, and Bobby Brink, who is a restricted free agent this summer. Atkinson still has one more year left on his contract, while Matvei Michkov will indeed occupy a spot on the top line in a few years.

Farabee just finished the second year of a six-year, $30 million contract he signed on Sept. 2, 2021; he’ll be an unrestricted free agent in 2028. Only Tippett and Sean Couturier are signed through 2028 or further.

Farabee’s contract does not include trade protection, either, so if the Flyers choose to move him, they’ll be fine finding suitors. A potential trade really comes down to where the Flyers see the 24-year-old in their future plans.

He’s not a bottom-six winger, and the Flyers have plenty of needs down the middle and on defense. We’ll have to see if the Flyers are in for another busy offseason or not.

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