The trade deadline is two days away and the Philadelphia Flyers are expected to be one of the busiest teams in terms of selling players. They have a number of upcoming unrestricted free agents and need to shake up the roster in order to come back stronger next season. Here are the players who are highly likely to be traded, may be traded, and players who should but probably won’t be traded by the deadline.
Highly Likely to Be Traded
The most obvious choice on this list is the Flyers’ longtime captain Claude Giroux. He played his 1,000th game with the franchise and sat out yesterday for the team’s game against the Ottawa Senators. He didn’t travel with the team, so he’s also expected to be held out of the game vs. the New York Islanders on Sunday, which is their last game before the trade deadline.
When a player is being held out of the lineup, that means a deal is close and the buyer doesn’t want anything to possibly happen to the player they are trading for. The most significant rumours are that he is headed to the Florida Panthers, but the Colorado Avalanche are still hanging around. If a Panthers deal was to the Flyers’ liking for Giroux, he would already be headed there.
Potential Landing Spots: Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche
There is definitely a lot of trade interest in a cheap defensively solid player on the back end. Justin Braun has done well in an elevated role with Ryan Ellis out, but teams that are interested in him would be utilizing him in a spot in the lineup where he should’ve played all year in Philadelphia, the third pairing.
Unless the Flyers plan on re-signing Braun and have a plan in place, they have to move on from him before the deadline. Interested parties and teams that would be willing to pay a good price for defencemen are already being taken off the market by contenders.
Potential Landing Spots: Toronto Maple Leafs, Boston Bruins, Edmonton Oilers
Derick Brassard is another player the Flyers have that has played above his weight class this year; injuries have pushed him up the lineup and he has done a good job. On a Flyers team that has struggled all year, a bright spot has been Brassard when he’s been healthy. He can provide a team with depth at forward from a player that is versatile and can play centre or the wing. Many teams look to shore up their depth for a mid-round pick or prospect, and once again, if the Flyers don’t intend on re-signing him, they need to move him before the deadline and get what they can back.
Potential Landing Spots: Washington Capitals, Nashville Predators, Boston Bruins
May Be Traded
There seems to be a lot of goaltending options out there for teams looking to shore up their backup position or even add a third goalie in case one goes down. Martin Jones falls into one of the lower tiers of netminders that are available at the deadline, but has the past experience in the playoffs that could intrigue other teams if they don’t find much better.
The Flyers shouldn’t price Jones too high considering he has just a .902 save percentage, despite the team he is on and given how Carter Hart has performed. They should be looking for a different backup goaltender next year and if a team makes an offer, the Flyers should accept.
Potential Landing Spots: Vegas Golden Knights, Toronto Maple Leafs, Edmonton Oilers
Keith Yandle may be a tricky one as he has a no-trade clause. He may be willing to waive it if there’s a destination to his liking as he won’t likely be back with the team next season, anyways. If able, the Flyers should move him out as well and sell off every unrestricted free agent they can.
Yandle is the NHL’s all-time iron man, so a team would be trading for a certainty that they will get games and offensive help from the back end. He’s on a good deal and can be a sixth or seventh defenceman on a contender this season.
Potential Landing Spots: Los Angeles Kings, Vegas Golden Knights, New York Rangers
Won’t Be, But Probably Should Be Traded
James van Riemsdyk
One player that makes too much money and doesn’t do enough in the way of production on the Flyers is James van Riemsdyk. Ideally, they could trade him and not have to give up assets to do so, but with a cap hit of $7 million, that doesn’t seem very likely. The only deal I could see them pulling off is another move with either the Arizona Coyotes or Buffalo Sabres, in which they take him on for a minor player to reach the cap floor next season. If not, his deal will have to expire on the Flyers or they could consider buying him out.
Potential Landing Spots: Arizona Coyotes, Buffalo Sabres
Related: Flyers Should Be Excited for Deadline Based on Early Trade Returns
Ideally, the Flyers will be able to pull off deadline deals for most, if not all, of these players and get a return like other sellers have been getting already this season. If so, it bodes well for them next season when they are expected to have a healthy roster.