It was a busy past couple of days for the Philadelphia Flyers as anticipated, making three trade deadline deals, losing a player to waivers, and some games mixed in there with a new look. We will look at what went down at the trade deadline and how the Flyers did, what the player they lost meant to the organization and his future, and what to expect from the rest of the season.
Decent Deadline for the Flyers
Check Fletcher and the Flyers pulled off three trades before the trade deadline, dealing three rentals and two mediocre prospects to acquire a young and talented player and draft picks. Here are the trades made:
- Flyers Acquire: Owen Tippett, 2023 third round pick, and a conditional 2024 first round pick (transfers to 2025 first round pick if it’s a top-10 selection).
- Florida Panthers Acquire: Claude Giroux (50 percent retained), German Rubtsov, Connor Bunnaman, and a 2024 fifth round pick.
Tippett was the trade chip the Panthers were more than willing to move to make a run at a good player this season, and the Flyers got a solid young player that will be able to grow in the NHL now. It is a good deal for the Flyers considering they were looking for a player that was younger and could help the team immediately since they are planning on making the playoffs next season.
The first-round pick is in 2024 because the Panthers had already traded away their next two first-rounders to acquire players, so the Flyers got the short end of the stick there, not moving Giroux sooner. It was a no-brainer allowing him to play his 1000th game as a member of the Flyers, but the timing could’ve been a bit better in order to receive a first-round pick that would be able to be used sooner.
Related: Flyers Failed to Get Adequate Return in Giroux Trade
Sending Rubtsov and Bunnaman over to the Panthers was to help replenish the minors a bit for the Panthers and to clear a bit of space for the Flyers. Neither have been able to find their footing and both look to stick around in the American Hockey League (AHL). The Flyers have more than enough young talent that will be coming up from junior and college, so it’s not a big loss at all. In terms of the return for the Flyers’ longtime captain, their hands were tied after Giroux only wanted to go to the Panthers and they knew it. They received better offers from the Colorado Avalanche and Boston Bruins reportedly, but Giroux held the cards with being able to control where he went.
- Flyers Acquire: 2023 third round pick.
- New York Rangers Acquire: Justin Braun.
- Flyers Acquire: 2023 fourth round pick.
- Edmonton Oilers Acquire: Derick Brassard (50 percent retained).
These two players were the other likely candidates to be moved considering their unrestricted free agent status after the season and the years they have had. Both have played up in the lineup from where they were initially intended to, producing at both ends of the ice. Mid-round picks are a solid return for each considering what they will bring to their new teams that aren’t riddled with injuries.
A topic of conversation is also what the Flyers didn’t move. They weren’t able to move Keith Yandle or Martin Jones, but each of them probably wouldn’t have brought in as good of a return as they got for the other three players they did move. Yandle would have had to waive his no-trade clause and the goalie market just didn’t heat up at this season’s deadline with only a couple of goaltenders changing teams.
Gerald Mayhew Claimed by Ducks
A well-liked Flyer Gerald Mayhew was placed on waivers and claimed by the Anaheim Ducks on Sunday, the same day as Tippett debuted for the team. Mayhew is a 29-year old career minor leaguer who has been fighting to stay in the NHL this season with the Flyers.
He has 43 career NHL games and 25 of them have come this season with the Flyers. In that time, he scored six goals and played a physical and tenacious brand of hockey in the hopes he can stick around. This season may be one of his last shots in the NHL and he’s trying to make the best of it.
Mayhew’s debut with the Ducks went very well for him, slotting in on the top line for them in his debut. The team has a number of injuries and traded some players away before the deadline, so he won’t remain that high in the lineup, but his first game was impactful, drawing four penalties and saving a goal.
Flyers Getting Younger
With one defenceman and two forwards traded before the deadline and another forward claimed off of waivers, it opens the door for bigger roles and more playing time by some of the younger players on the Flyers and in the AHL. This means Cam York is most likely going to continue playing top minutes for the remainder of the season so the Flyers can accurately judge his progression ahead of next season.
As for Morgan Frost, his opportunity to play centre and in the top-six just increased, as Giroux and Brassard were dealt. Hopefully, some time with some more impactful wingers will help him grow and be able to stick around in the NHL from now on. Next year he will either be playing second or third-line centre in a healthy lineup depending on how the coaching staff wants to utilize Kevin Hayes.
Tippett should continue to develop in the NHL and the Flyers hope a change in scenery and a better opportunity can allow him to flourish and help turn this team around. Keep an eye on Isaac Ratcliffe now that there is more space again. He had a good first impression in the NHL a while ago before being sent down. Now he may get another shot as he definitely looks like a part of the future core of the team.