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Why a Flyers Reunion with Wade Allison Makes Sense

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(Photo: AP)

On March 8, in an NHL trade deadline deal, the Philadelphia Flyers sent Wade Allison to the Nashville Predators in exchange for Denis Gurianov. While the trade created a fresh opportunity for both players, neither winger truly seized it, and both are expected to be looking for new homes once again in 2024.

Flyers general manager Danny Briere has already said that the club will not be retaining Gurianov, but if they haven’t fully turned the page on Allison, a reunion could make some sense for both sides.

Allison, who is still just 26 years old, has played parts of three seasons with the Flyers before failing to make the NHL roster entirely this past year. One issue Allison had, in 2022-23 in particular, was his health. Despite playing in a career-high 60 games a season ago, Allison struggled with injuries on three different occasions and finished the season with only nine goals and 15 points.

The 6-foot-2 former second-round pick does bring some size and speed to a team’s bottom-six, and Allison loves to shoot the puck. In fact, the underlying numbers show that while Allison struggled defensively last season and didn’t create much with his passing, he was a key offensive play-driver both off the rush and in the zone and was usually the linemate receiving most of the scoring chances when on the ice.

Perhaps more efficient shooting would have buoyed Allison’s results even further.

As it relates to the Flyers as they are right now, Garnet Hathaway will be turning 33 early in November and will be heading into the last year of the two-year contract he signed with the Flyers last summer. While Hathaway is, effectively, the player who stole Allison’s roster spot, he is not getting any younger and will be highly coveted by playoff contenders come March.

If the Flyers consider Hathaway’s job in helping build a winning culture in Philadelphia done, one way to say ‘Thank you’ could be giving the longtime Capitals and Flames forward another shot at the Stanley Cup.

At that point, Allison would have another shot at an NHL job with the Flyers–a team whose core players he has already played with for multiple NHL seasons. There have been rumors that suggest Allison was offered by his agent to KHL clubs Dinamo Minsk and Avangard Omsk, though the rumors are just that–rumors.

The 26-year-old will become a restricted free agent on July 1, but it is unclear whether the Predators will issue him a qualifying offer.

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