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Bailey: Joel Farabee Trade Would be Huge Mistake for Flyers



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Joel Farabee scored a career-high 50 points for the Flyers this season. (Photo: AP)

Some comments from NHL insider Elliotte Friedman regarding Joel Farabee have caused quite a stir on social media amongst Philadelphia Flyers fans and members of the hockey community alike.

The Flyers’ willingness to make a “hockey trade” has been well documented, dating back to the Jamie Drysdale trade and even the 2023 offseason. In a prospective hockey trade, the Flyers might look to acquire an upper-echelon defender or a young, top-six center that they can build with.

Whether they can acquire those things in a Farabee trade is one thing, but trading Farabee at all is another.

Even though the Flyers are in dire need of young centers, in particular, they can’t just replace Farabee, either. The current composition of the Flyers’ roster says as much.

Tyson Foerster, Owen Tippett, Travis Konecny, Bobby Brink, and Samu Tuomaala are all right-shot wingers. In terms of left-shot wingers who project as future pieces, the Flyers have Matvei Michkov, who plays inverted anyway, and Farabee.

Other than those two, the organization would have to count on names like Massimo Rizzo and Alex Bump developing into impact players at the NHL level.

And don’t forget that Farabee was having a legitimately good season up until the final quarter of the season when the wheels fell off for virtually the entire team. Farabee is not a player who can carry the load by himself; those who can do that are some of the very best in the league.

What the Flyers have observed, though, is a player who excels in an offense-oriented role. Farabee can say what he wants about wanting to play in various roles to help the team; that’s just being a team player and a good teammate. The 24-year-old is very clearly a top-six winger at the NHL level, which doesn’t necessarily mean he is a top line winger either.

Let’s do some math. In the first 50 games of this season, Farabee scored 17 goals, 23 assists, and 40 points. That would have put Farabee on pace to score well over 60 points across an 82-game season, but instead, he finished with exactly 50.

Further to that point, Farabee finished the season averaging 16:11 of ice time, down from last season’s 17:00. From March 1 of this season on, Farabee averaged an even lower 15:36.

The Flyers have a winger who is proven and capable of doing more, but they handcuffed the opportunity for Farabee to deliver that. At his absolute best, Farabee can probably be a 70-point player and a 30-goal scorer.

In his five NHL seasons, Farabee has just seven power play goals and 21 power play points. That says more about the epic failure that is the Flyers’ power play than it does about Farabee. A competent power play this season likely puts Farabee at 60 points just like that.

This is all hypothetical of course, but solid complimentary wingers like Farabee don’t just grow on trees. Unless the Flyers have a plan to replace him, they’d better figure out a solution. A trade would not be a smart choice to make.

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