More Sports:

June 08, 2023

Flyers rumors: What's the latest on Carter Hart, Kevin Hayes?

Now that Ivan Provorov is gone, are Carter Hart and Kevin Hayes the next Flyers to be dealt?

Flyers NHL
Kevin-Hayes-Flyers-Red-Wings-March-2023-NHL.jpg Eric Hartline/USA TODAY Sports

Is Kevin Hayes the next Flyer to be on the move?

Ivan Provorov was traded and the first domino fell. 

The Flyers' rebuild is on, and that was probably just the first of many moves Danny Brière will be making in the coming months, or even the coming weeks with the NHL Draft quickly approaching.

"We're open for business," the Flyers' general manager said after Tuesday's three-team deal. "We'll listen if it makes sense. If the value is there for us, definitely.

And the Flyers, looking to get younger and accumulate assets, have names on the roster to listen on. 

Right now these two in particular...

Kevin Hayes

It hasn't been any secret that the Flyers are looking to move on from Hayes. 

On the wrong side of 30 and with the organization now clearly committed to a rebuild, it's been made – sometimes painfully – obvious that he is no longer a part of the plan. 

Hayes is coming off a 54-point season and was a point-per-game player for a while, which looks good at face value, but his production dipped as the year went on and his role under head coach John Tortorella gradually diminished.

He still has three years remaining on his contract at a hefty $7.1 million cap hit, but the expectation is that the Flyers would be willing to retain a percentage of his salary in a potential trade. 

Columbus has been one of the main destinations rumored for Hayes since the trade deadline back in March, and under that scenario, it would reunite him with former Boston College teammate and current Blue Jackets star Johnny Gaudreau. 

The Flyers just shipped Ivan Provorov to Columbus as part of a three-team deal earlier this week, but per The Fourth Period's Anthony Di Marco, that may not be all for the transactions between the two. 

Discussions on a Hayes move may be back on the table. 

To Hayes' credit, he's been realistic and honest about the situation and his standing with the Flyers throughout.

"I'm turning 31. I picked up the message that was sent months ago," Hayes said in his exit interview back in April. "I'm okay with it. It's their decision. I don't want to say I'm suited for a contender, because I think I'm suited for anyone to be honest. We'll see how that unfolds. 

"Their decisions have probably already been made. We don't know them yet. I'm sure I'll find out around the draft."

Carter-Hart-Flyers-Wild-Jan-2023-NHL.jpgMatt Blewett/USA TODAY Sports

A Carter Hart trade isn't a guarantee, but the Flyers are at least listening.

Carter Hart

As details of the Provorov trade were breaking, buzz was also out there that Hart might have been on the move as well. 

That's died down a bit since, but the current read is that Brière, at the very least, is listening to prospective offers. 

The numbers don't entirely paint the full picture – a 22-23-10 record with a .907 save percentage on a bad team this past season – but Hart is a starting-caliber goaltender and one of the better ones in the NHL right now, and still at just 24 years old, the Flyers should have plenty of interest here – and leverage. 

As far as how close they might be to a possible deal, however, it seems like it depends on who you ask right now. 

Said Sportsnet insider Elliotte Friedman on Wednesday's 32 Thoughts podcast:

"I'm getting some very, very different feedback on what's going on here. I got some people saying it's nowhere near close, and I got some people saying they thought it was getting pretty hot. So what this says to me is that he's out there, everyone knows he's available, and people are kind of picking at the Flyers and saying 'Okay, what are we gonna do here?'

"I think there are gonna be some teams here that we haven't heard about. Someone suggested to me Montreal maybe. They have Jake Allen for another year, Sam Montembeault had a really good season and a really good Worlds, but Hart's got a high ceiling. 

"But I will say this, I had a few people really point at Toronto." [32 Thoughts]

Friedman also pondered if Buffalo or Ottawa might be in the mix too, with all four aforementioned teams – the Canadiens, Leafs, Sabres, and Senators – having a very clear need for a goalie upgrade. 

His show co-host Jeff Marek, though speculative, also wondered if the San Jose Sharks could be a possible fit. They've missed the playoffs for the past four seasons now, James Reimer's contract expired and he isn't likely to come back, and their other goalie Kaapo Kähkönen only has one more year left on his deal. 

The Sharks have been on a downswing for a while now, much like the Flyers, but don't seem to be taking the route of a full teardown or large-scale rebuild. They're trying to re-tool their team on the fly, and in theory, going after a goalie like Hart would keep things moving. 

But according to Sheng Peng of San Jose Hockey Now, the price from the Flyers that's out there right now – per a source – is two first-round picks, and that would only be the start of the conversation. 

Steep? Maybe. But Brière set the tone for the Flyers' rebuild and what they would be looking for with the Provorov trade.

He's going to be creative, he's going to be aggressive, and he's going to try and max out the return value. 

And granted, a goaltender like Hart isn't available like this often, certainly not at age 24. It's a rather unique situation. 

Follow Nick on Twitter: @itssnick

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports