June 19, 2023
The Flyers are officially into their rebuild with GM Danny Brière "open for business" and at the very least listening on all incoming offers.
Ivan Provorov was the first domino to fall, bringing back, above all else, the 22nd overall pick in a three-team deal, but with the Flyers looking to get younger and accumulate more assets, they're likely far from done this summer.
There are several names on the roster right now who are either on their way out because of the organization's current trajectory or could stand to net major returns under the right conditions, and this is an attempt at gauging how likely each of them are to be moved based on previously reported or rumored interest.
Let's start with the name that likely has the best guarantee of bringing back a lot of value...
After a down couple of years, Konecny sought advice from Brière – back when he was only an assistant to the GM – and the work and conversations that came out of it saw him bounce back to career-best numbers.
For much of last season, Konecny was often the Flyers' best skater and responded well to John Tortorella's coaching and usage of him.
Still only 26 years old and a clear top-six forward with just two years left on his current deal, Konecny would be an attractive option to a contender looking for that one last push (like a Carolina or Edmonton) or a young team on the bubble looking to take that next step into the playoff picture (like a Detroit or Ottawa).
Of all the Flyers who could be available right now, Konecny probably carries the highest guarantee of a good return – a first-rounder would have to be involved, at least – but can any team come to the table with a good enough offer?
If not, Konecny can easily slide back into the top of the Flyers' lineup and just keep producing while things sort themselves out.
The expected goalie market has the potential to really shake up the league this summer.
Connor Hellebuyck isn't interested in staying put in Winnipeg, John Gibson may be on his way out of Anaheim, and names like Frederik Andersen and Tristan Jarry are looking at free agency with need at the position all over.
And then there's Hart, a good but not great (yet) starting goalie, but at just 24, could potentially be a major wild card in the Flyers' hand.
Brière has said repeatedly that he's listening and will consider an offer if it's right for the organization's plans, but beyond some increasingly sparse rumors ahead of the draft, it isn't clear who might be willing to offer what in a potential Hart trade. It might take some movement among the other available goalies first, and the ensuing panic, to really figure that part out.
However, the Flyers do have an argument for keeping Hart around. Assuming the rebuild takes around three years before the team is ready to compete again, Hart would be 27 and presumably entering the prime of his career. If he can get signed beyond this season, and continue to improve, he could still fit the timeline.
But again, that's if a good offer doesn't come around. Goalies are unpredictable, and so are their value.
"I'm still in the same spot I was," Brière said of Hart's status after the Provorov trade went through. "We're open for business, we listen on everybody, everybody's being treated the same way for us on our side."
Tradeability: A wild card in an unpredictable goalie market.
Likelihood: If Carter Hart is a Flyer on opening night, I would not be shocked. If Carter Hart is on another team by opening night, I would also not be shocked.
Hayes is no longer in the plans. He knows it, and the Flyers haven't exactly been subtle about it in the past few months.
That $7.1 million cap hit over the next three years is in all likelihood going to need the Flyers to retain a chunk of it in order for another team to take on that contract, and I wouldn't bank on the return being all that great either, but this a move to get Hayes elsewhere more than anything else.
He can still be a productive player in another city – after all, he was for a decent stretch in the first half of last season – but Philadelphia isn't that city anymore.
Both sides need to move on.
"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."
Tradeability: He's not going to be a Flyer for much longer.
Likelihood: It's probably going to happen soon, but the Flyers are likely going to have to take a hit – maybe even a buyout in the worst-case scenario – to make it work. Granted, they – as well as everyone else – already knew that part.
In the immediate fallout of the Provorov trade, word was that the phone started ringing more often and Scott Laughton was a name commonly getting asked about.
A fixture at center for the bottom six, one of the longest-tenured Flyers on the roster, and the only one who Tortorella trusted with an alternate captaincy letter last season, the 29-year old is highly respected within the locker room and coming off a career season.
He would be great depth for a contender – and on very reasonable term – but at the same time, he would also be a steady veteran presence for the younger players coming up over the next couple of years and a consistent two-way forward should he stay put in Philadelphia.
The Flyers have reportedly turned down offers involving late first-rounders for Laughton already, which tells you right away that they're not big about sending him away on a whim.
So unless there's a Tanner Jeannot-like overpay out there somewhere, Laughton's likely staying in orange and black for the time being.
Tradeability: Value and popularity across the league as center depth.
Likelihood: The Flyers want Laughton around. Brière won't hang up the phone at the mention of the name, but he won't be overanxious to make something happen either.
Chuck Fletcher paid Carolina heavily in picks to get the rights to DeAngelo at the draft last summer then gave him $10 million over two years on top of it.
It was a quick-fix panic move in response to a clear sign that things weren't going well with Ryan Ellis' rehab, but the hope was that he could be put on the top pairing with Provorov and recreate the same success he had as a puck-moving defenseman next to Jaccob Slavin on the Hurricanes.
That was a major misread.
Provorov wasn't Slavin and couldn't mask his deficiencies the way Carolina's top defenseman could. In fact, because the Flyers as a whole were a much weaker team, DeAngelo's shortcomings, especially in his own end and through the neutral zone, only looked that much worse.
He didn't last long next to Provorov, and even though he still put up 42 points, he went -27 for the season – and yes, +/- is a highly finicky stat but when it's that low for a defenseman, it's always a bad sign.
DeAngelo was a healthy scratch for the last handful of games without much explanation, not from him or Tortorella, which lent credence to the idea that he might be done in Philadelphia too.
Maybe in a similar vein to Hayes, this could be a situation where the Flyers just want to get him elsewhere and might be willing to take a hit on salary retention in order to do so.
And if they can't find a partner, a buyout on $5 million wouldn't be too hard a pill to swallow either.
Tradeability: Probably available for any takers.
Likelihood: The buyout's there if they need it.
This one's interesting because when the trade deadline was approaching this past season, James van Riemsdyk was the obvious target to be moved (and yeah, we all saw how that went), but then Nick Seeler started gaining notoriety as a hard-skating and inexpensive depth defenseman.
If there was interest, the Flyers – still under Fletcher at the time, mind you – seemingly ignored it because they liked his playstyle and having him around too.
But he's a 30-year old blueliner whose skillset caps out on the bottom pairing at less than $1 million.
If there's a mid-late round draft pick to be gained for him, why not take that?
He's a decent defenseman to have around, sure, but not one who will make or break your team.
Tradeability: Hey, if that rumored interest is still there from the deadline...
Likelihood: And there's a pick on the table...
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