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3 NHL Offseason Rumors Flyers Could Be Involved In

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(Photo: AP)

The 2024 NHL Draft is just about one month away, and shortly after that, NHL free agency will open on July 1. For the rebuilding Philadelphia Flyers, this is undoubtedly the most important time of year. As is tradition, there has been no shortage of Flyers trade rumors, and NHL rumors in general, with most teams planning their offseasons during the Stanley Cup playoffs.

And there are quite a few offseason rumors that make perfect sense for the Flyers.

Martin Necas

Chief among them is the dubious status of Carolina Hurricanes forward Martin Necas, a pending RFA who is only 25 years old and one season removed from establishing a career-high 71 points. The word around town seems to be that the Hurricanes aren’t willing to meet Necas’ contractual demands, and with former general manager Don Waddell out of the picture, things just got even more complicated.

Would Carolina allow their new GM, Eric Tulsky, to entertain calls on Necas from teams like the Flyers? With the 2024 draft coming up so soon, they might not have a choice. Tulsky is going to have to get his hands dirty in his first bit of NHL business fairly quickly, and he’s either going to sink or swim.

Necas, drafted as a center, has mostly played as a winger during his time in Carolina; that should have no impact on the Flyers’ view of him. At 6-foot-1, Necas brings adequate size to the table in addition to his roadrunner speed and mercenary-like offensive talents.

Combine that with his age, and Necas would be a perfect fit for the Flyers. However, it’s also been speculated that the Vancouver Canucks, among other teams, are sniffing around, even with Necas’s sizable rumored ask of a $7.5 million salary.

Tanner Jeannot

The ink hasn’t dried on this one yet, but Tampa Bay Lightning forward Tanner Jeannot could be on his way out of Florida after only a year and a half.

NHL insider Elliotte Friedman shared on Monday’s episode of “32 Thoughts“, “I got a couple of calls from people saying that’s going to be one to watch. Because, his salary, which is about $2.6 (million), Tampa can use the space. It really hasn’t worked out as well as everyone has hoped there, between him and the Lightning.

“But, there are a lot of teams out there that see something. And they think he’s more the player in Nashville than he was the player in Tampa Bay.”

Before being traded to Tampa Bay towards the end of last season, Jeannot had a breakout campaign in 2021-22 when he scored 24 goals, 17 assists, and 41 points in 81 games for the Nashville Predators. As a 6-foot-2, 220-pound power forward, Jeannot also racked up 130 penalty minutes, 318 hits, and 64 blocked shots.

The former undrafted free agent will turn 27 years old on Wednesday, so he still fits with the Flyers, albeit on the back end of their Stanley Cup contention timeline. It’s important to note that Jeannot was an effective penalty killer during his breakout season in Nashville but was not used in that role in Tampa Bay.

Another thing to consider is that Garnet Hathaway, who turns 33 in November, is a penalty kill staple on the last year of his contract. Nicolas Deslauriers will turn 34 in February and has already been reduced down to being a rotational role player. The Flyers do not have a player in the mold of Jeannot who is close to his age with a similar offensive pedigree.

My understanding is that Flyers GM Danny Briere has a good relationship with Lightning GM Julien Brisebois, so it would not come as a surprise to see the Flyers poking around Jeannot as the two leaders seek to rework their hockey teams.

Ondrej Kase

Ondrej Kase would be a curious addition for the Flyers, but the team has shown a willingness to buy low on players with value to see what they can get. Look no further than Ryan Poehling.

Kase, 28, was an NHL regular at one point and burst onto the scene in 2017-18 with a 20-goal season for the Anaheim Ducks whilst playing on the third line. A series of neurological issues decimated Kase’s NHL career after that, and the Czech forward was out of the NHL entirely for the last two seasons.

Kase played one game for the Hurricanes last year before suffering another setback and getting shut down, but he did manage to score 54 points in 48 games for HC Litvinov in Czechia this season. Kase’s brother, David, who also plays for Litvinov, was drafted by and played seven NHL games for the Flyers. His rights were traded to Carolina in the Massimo Rizzo trade.

Ondrej, apparently, is willing to tend to his unfinished business in North America. He has played for the Ducks, the Hurricanes, the Boston Bruins, and the Toronto Maple Leafs in his NHL career, and save for the one-game cameo in Raleigh, fans of those teams really appreciated Kase’s production and style of play. That is something that would assuredly resonate with Flyers fans on Broad Street, too.

Kase is a right-shot winger, though, so the Flyers would have to accommodate to make room for him.

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