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February 23, 2023

Flyers rumors: Is Joel Farabee on the trading block?

There's been frustration mounting toward the Flyers from Farabee's camp, according to the Daily Faceoff.

It's been a rough stretch for Joel Farabee of late, heck, it's been a rough season in general, and the recent road trip out in Western Canada really didn't help, especially against Calgary. 

In the Flyers' 4-3 win over the Flames Monday night, Farabee was relegated to the bottom of the lineup and played all of 3:52, and that was even with Travis Konecny going down with an injury. 

The 22-year-old left winger has just nine goals and 26 points on the season and only a single point in his last 16 games. 

From production to overall usage, frustration has reportedly been mounting per the Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli, to the point where a trade could be in play at some point down the line, though likely not before the NHL's March 3 trade deadline – provided, of course, the rumored situation even gets there. 

Wrote Seravalli, who added Farabee to his trade target board on Thursday

Surprise, surprise. Farabee is one of the biggest surprises to hit the board this season. Sources say Farabee’s camp has voiced their displeasure to the Flyers as to how this season has unfolded under coach John Tortorella. Things came to a boil when Farabee skated just 3:52 in Calgary earlier this week. Farabee is a talented kid but has struggled this season after undergoing artificial disk replacement late in the summer, which limited his training. That prompted Tortorella to say he wasn’t going to “let Farabee hide behind that,” which didn’t help. He’s also played on the fourth line. The Flyers don’t want to trade Farabee at his lowest value. There is no formal trade request made from Farabee’s camp, but they’re seeking answers on a solution, especially since it’s clear that Tortorella isn’t going anywhere. [Daily Faceoff]

The 14th overall selection in the 2018 draft, Farabee led the Flyers in scoring during the COVID-shortened 2021 season two years ago, and even though he battled through injuries last season, he looked to have the makings of the team's next star with former captain Claude Giroux on his way out. 

But nothing has really gone according to plan for Farabee this season. 

It started with needing to undergo disk replacement surgery in his neck at the beginning of the summer then followed into the 82-game schedule where he would show flashes of promise but disappear for long stretches just as often, all while Tortorella has been open about wanting to see more from him and refusing to use the neck surgery as an excuse for his struggles. 

"I still think there's more. I'll leave it at that," Tortorella said after the Flyers played Toronto back on December 22. "I think he's improved in some areas. I think he feels more confident with the puck, but we're gonna have to get better. All of our offensive guys have to continue to get better."

Farabee is far from the only player to get sat down or struggle during Tortorella's first season behind the Flyers' bench. Travis Sanheim was a healthy scratch on Monday night also, and Travis Konecny, Kevin Hayes, and Tony DeAngelo were all either benched or scratched at some point along the way. Additionally, Ivan Provorov has had rumors come and go of being at a crossroads with the organization.

The response to it has been key in every scenario though, so how Farabee finishes out the remaining 23 games will be something to keep an eye on for the near future. He was right back in the lineup for Tuesday night's loss to Edmonton and skated 12:27.

Farabee has five years at $5 million per remaining on his contract after this season, and the chances of him bouncing back next year – much like Konecny did this year – with a full, healthy offseason are still high. 

At the same time, however, Tortorella has noted that a part of this season is to determine who's in and who's out for the long term, and with a report of frustration from Farabee's camp just ahead of the deadline, the former top prospect's place within the organization suddenly isn't so clear. 

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