June 21, 2023
The Detroit Red Wings, on the upswing and looking to take another step, are after a goal scorer and Travis Konecny may be one of the options they have in mind.
Per The Fourth Period, Detroit GM Steve Yzerman is looking to make an upgrade to his team's top six at or around the NHL Draft next week down in Nashville and has reportedly spoken to the Flyers about Konecny and the Ottawa Senators about Alex DeBrincat.
Still only 26 years old, and with 31 goals and 61 points through 60 games last season, Konecny is a fiery and creative winger who was easily one of the Flyers' best skaters last season. His skill, age, and relatively reasonable cap hit at $5.5 million for the next two years make him a highly attractive option on the projected trade market, especially in an offseason with a weak free-agent class. And with the Flyers fully committed to a rebuild, he's the one player on the roster right now who likely carries the best guarantee of a good return.
And the Red Wings have the assets and flexibility to offer a good return.
Detroit's heading into the draft with five picks among the first 43 and a projected $30.6 million in cap space. They'll have the ninth overall pick (their own), No. 17 (acquired from the Islanders), and then three straight selections – 41, 42 (via St. Louis), and 43 (via Vancouver) – in the second round.
As written here on @TFP, the #LGRW are one of the teams who have expressed interest on Travis Konecny.— Anthony Di Marco (@ADiMarco25) June 21, 2023
The #Flyers are believed to be looking to add another 1st RD draft pick this yr; DET has their own and the #Isles 1st, along with three 2nd RD picks.https://t.co/h2vTa3JXUk
In his pre-draft media availability earlier this week, Yzerman said that, for the moment, he doesn't anticipate moving No. 9 and in all likelihood expects to use No. 17 as well, but admitted that those two combined with all the second-rounders do give him options in potential talks with other teams, which will likely pick up on the floor of the draft next week.
Flyers GM Danny Brière, meanwhile, has been steadfast in at least listening to any offers in the pursuit of assets and was upfront about there being no untouchables once he was promoted to full-time status since the focus is now solely on the future. His first trade of Ivan Provorov in a three-team deal that netted the 22nd overall pick also demonstrated that he can and will get creative about it.
"I don't think we're in a position to have untouchable players," Brière said back in May."I like and I love a lot of my players, but we're not in the position to say 'no' or to not listen. My duty is to do what's best for this organization."
And Detroit – in theory – has all the pieces, and reason, to put together a compelling package for Konecny.
Earlier this week, PhillyVoice outlined three mock trades to consider for the Flyers' rebuild, and one of them was the idea of sending Konecny and a 2023 sixth-rounder to the budding Red Wings in exchange for pick No. 17 and one of their three second-rounders. This scenario would give the Flyers three first-round picks (No. 7, No. 17, and No. 22) and a pick back in the second after former GM Chuck Fletcher depleted them all.
Here was our rationale for it:
Like the Sharks, the Red Wings are also working with a ton of picks, including two first-rounders and three seconds this year. And for a 30-goal scorer on a relatively reasonable $5.5 million cap hit over the next two years, the lesser of those firsts (No. 17 overall) and one of those three seconds should be a fair asking price if it really is go-time for Detroit – maybe with a late-round pick from the Flyers thrown in as a final touch.
Based on this rumor, it's looking like it might be go-time for Detroit. Can the Flyers use that to their advantage?
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