February 27, 2023
The Flyers have off until Wednesday – they probably needed the time after the way the weekend had gone – and the trade deadline arrives Friday.
Playoff teams are buying and putting the finishing touches on their roster for a run, while non-playoffs ones are selling off and stocking up for the future.
And the Flyers?
Hey, can't fault him for his honesty.
Tortorella: "We're not getting in the playoffs. We need to concentrate on being who we are, and how to win games."— Charlie O'Connor (@charlieo_conn) February 27, 2023
And let's face it, that's really the reality we've been looking at since the season began.
The Flyers have a few names that have been garnering interest over the past few weeks, and various moves in the time since are only going to push talks in their direction as the trade market shrinks, the clock ticks, and urgency from other teams builds.
Following Sunday night's Isaac Ratcliffe trade to Nashville and running off the players who at the very least have been rumored to be on the trading block, here's where things stand as March 3 approaches:
• James van Riemsdyk remains as the most obvious trade target on the Flyers. A veteran winger on an expiring contract who can use his size to create offense in front of the net, there's clear value in a rental there for a competitive team, and that value might have just gotten a bit higher after New Jersey's acquisition of Timo Meier.
Perusing the lists of players in play. With Meier trade, JVR slides into a “must watch” spot. More than a few teams now circling the Flyers veteran.— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) February 26, 2023
A quick look at the team's current 2023 draft picks:
That's if the Flyers are after picks, however. A couple of weeks ago, Sportsnet's league insider Elliotte Friedman noted in his 32 Thoughts column that the Flyers were looking for centers, a position group that is pretty thin at the moment.
Then, on the Monday morning edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast, he dropped that he believed they were looking into Denis Gurianov before Dallas dealt him to Montreal and other relatively younger forwards who would be considered reclamation projects under Tortorella.
"I think that's the kind of thing they're looking for," Friedman said. "Are there guys out there who have underperformed that Philadelphia could kind of acquire and get done under Tortorella? Like, look at Owen Tippett. Owen Tippett, when that trade was made, people were like 'Ah Owen Tippett, he's not that good,' and he looks like a player. He's really worked well under Tortorella there. So forget all the noise. Some players really thrive under him. Tippett so far is one, and I think they're looking for more of that."
• Nick Seeler has also reportedly been gaining notoriety of late, per Friedman recently. He's a bottom-pairing defenseman, sure, but one that skates hard on an inexpensive contract, which can offer depth and a bit of a spark for a playoff team.
But the Flyers also like him a lot, and when it comes to establishing a new culture, his playstyle works well for that too, which might be what keeps him around for next year barring an offer that can't be refused.
• Justin Braun's also a veteran blueliner at a low cap hit who can serve as insurance in a postseason run. It's what the Rangers went for last season, sending a 2023 third-rounder back to the Flyers in return, and there's a good chance a similar deal could be worked out again.
• Joel Farabee's name sprung up suddenly in trade rumors last week when the Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli reported that the 23-year old winger's camp voiced displeasure toward the organization. Farabee has had a rough season but reinforced his commitment to the team the next day and Tortorella vouched for him as well.
He didn't have a full offseason because of sudden disk replacement surgery in his neck over the summer, lending credence to the idea that he can bounce back next year, and with five years still remaining on his contract, indications seem to be that the Flyers can smooth this over.
• Rumors have popped up sporadically around Kevin Hayes in the past few months and Ivan Provorov going back to last season, but things seem pretty quiet around them right now.
Hayes has been hot and cold and up and down the lineup all year, but the several years remaining on his contract at more than $7.1 million per make him a tough move.
Provorov's play hasn't matched what he was during the 2019-2020 season nor the promise of a cornerstone defenseman he was projected to be when drafted, but there's the thought that a change of scenery might work at age 26 and with the skill still there. This might a be a decision that waits until the summer, however.
• Related to Provorov, Friedman also mentioned on the podcast Monday that Tony DeAngelo may have been asked about.
The Flyers acquired the puck-moving defenseman from Carolina at the draft last summer as insurance for Ryan Ellis, who may not ever play again at this point, parting with three picks over three years to do so. And while he has put up 34 points through 56 games, defensively, -26 is never a number you want to see on the back end.
Still, the Flyers gave up a lot for him and the return probably won't be the same, making it hard to try and part.
"The tough thing for DeAngelo is it's not working this year, but they gave up a lot to get him," Friedman said. "I think they've had interest in DeAngelo, like one of the teams I kinda wondered about that I should've mentioned for DeAngleo is Carolina possibly re-acquiring him, but I don't know if that's gonna happen.
"I do think some teams have asked about him since comments of a couple weeks ago, but it's a tough one. The Flyers have invested a lot in him and I think you want to try and see if you can make that work, so I'm curious to see where that one's gonna go."
Only a few more days to find out.
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