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June 08, 2023

What they're saying: Who's the next Flyer to go?

Fully focused on a rebuild, Ivan Provorov is gone and Carter Hart or Travis Konecny could be next if the offer is right.

The rebuild is on and the Flyers are "open for business."

After trading Ivan Provorov in a three-team deal that netted a haul of assets earlier this week – highlighted by acquiring the No. 22 pick in the draft at the end of this month – general manager Danny Brière completed his first transaction in the role and set the course for the Flyers' summer in the process. 

There's a lot more work to do, and now a few big names on the roster who are being keyed in on as the next possible trade targets – the latest of Kevin Hayes and Carter Hart here.

At minimum, Brière is listening to offers on all of them, and the likelihood is that the Provorov trade is only the first of many in what will shift the overall and long-term makeup of the team. 

It's going to be a hectic summer. Buckle up.

What they're saying about the Flyers...

Just getting started

Pierre LeBrun | The Athletic ($)

After Provorov was shipped out, the immediate attention turned to Hart and his future in Philadelphia. 

Only 24 years old, he could still fit the Flyers' timeline for the rebuild, but at the same time, he's a good goaltender who has all the tools to breakout into a great one, and that can net a hefty return. 

Likewise, Travis Konecny is still just 26, was the Flyers' best player last season, and their general on-ice heartbeat. He could stick around and continue to help see the team through this, but if a solid offer does come in, Brière's is going to seriously think about it. 

Wrote Pierre LeBrun following the Provorov trade:

Yes, he’s listening on Carter Hart, so we’ll see where that goes. But I think it’s just generally pretty evident Briere is approaching his job with an open mind and will consider almost anything that advances the program longer-term.

So, for example, my understanding is the Flyers would listen on Travis Konecny if a team really stepped up. I don’t believe there’s been anything thrown at the first-time GM yet on that front. But from what I’m hearing from league sources, I’m confident in saying that the Flyers will get a least one or two serious offers this summer on Konecny, who has two more years on his deal. It’ll be enough to make them think about it.

The rebuild is on in Philadelphia. [The Athletic, $]

And it's only just getting started.

What are you trading for?

Mike McKenna | Daily Faceoff

Goaltender is a tough position to truly gauge. 

Here's Hart's stat line from last season: 54 starts, a 22-23-10 record, a .907 save percentage, and a 2.94 goals-against average. 

Not super impressive at face value, right? But then think about how the Flyers played for the bulk of it.

How much was him, and how much was the team in front of him (which didn't have all that great a defense)?

If you watch Hart, it's plain to see that he is a very fundamentally sound goaltender, and in a different situation, it stands to reason that he can really take off, which is why a team would (and should) be willing to send a lot of value back the Flyers' way in a prospective trade. 

Take it from former NHL goalie Mike McKenna, who had a brief stint as Hart's backup during the 2018-19 campaign:

If Hart gets traded, the team receiving him won’t be doing it for a one-year rental. It would be for his services well into the future. And I think there are a handful of franchises that would benefit.

Los Angeles. Pittsburgh. Edmonton. Carolina. To name a few. All would make plenty of sense as landing spots for Hart. And I think he would do well in any of those cities.

Why am I certain? Because Hart is one of the most technically proficient goaltenders in hockey. With a solid team around him that minimizes cross-ice passes and rushes against, Hart’s skating would get him square to almost every shot faced. And when he arrives early, he’s successful.

My only hangup with Hart’s game is that I think he’s a little over-reliant on post-integrations. He has a tendency to go down early and linger in reverse VH when he should recover to his feet quicker. And especially in the past, I believe Hart’s preference of tracking down on the puck stifled hand speed. He can be beat clean up high when he defaults to butterflying rather than reacting.

But those are just a few gripes. I’d much rather have a technical savant like Hart than a goaltender that plays by the seat of his pants. For years, Carey Price was the gold standard of structure. Every goalie coach showed his clips to students. Today, that’s Hart. He, along with a few other goalkeepers under the age of 25, represent the next generation of precise goaltending. [Daily Faceoff]

A Canes play for TK?

Ryan Henkel | The Hockey News

Teams like the Toronto Maple Leafs, Montreal Canadiens, Buffalo Sabres, Ottawa Senators, and San Jose Sharks – all teams in dire need of goaltending – have been pegged as the clubs that could be in the mix for Hart. 

But what about teams that could try and take a run at Konecny? 

Carolina could be one of the teams that come knocking.

A regular playoff contender with Stanley Cup aspirations for the past several years, but always stopped short of them, a 30-goal scorer and fiery winger like Konecny would be right at home in Rod Brind'Amour's system and could be the last piece the Hurricanes need to finally breakthrough. 

As far as prospects Carolina could potentially offer go, they don't have too much. But with the Canes in win-now mode, they do have picks, like firsts and maybe even a third the Flyers would like to have back.

Wrote Ryan Henkel of a possible trade suitor in the Hurricanes:

The winger's cost will obviously be higher - especially with that extremely palatable contract - than Provorov who brought back a first and a second round pick, but a rebuilding team like the Flyers could probably be convinced around a package of futures without Carolina having to include any current roster players in a deal.

The Hurricanes lack high-end prospects that they'd be willing to move, but players like Ryan Suzuki, Vasiliy Ponomarev or Jamieson Rees are all intriguing pieces that could be part of a package deal. 

Add in a first round pick and an assortment of seconds and third as a sweetener and that type of package doesn't seem too far out of the realm of possibilities.

However, it's really hard to quantify what the actual price will be for a guy that's not just a 30-goal scorer, but was a player who embodied the mentality and leadership that a team like the Flyers desperately needed. [The Hockey News]

But what we do know is that Brière will at least listen.

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