It’s past the halfway point of the National Hockey League season and the Philadelphia Flyers are going nowhere fast. Having only won two out of their last 10 games and in last place in the Metropolitan Division, hopes of postseason play are rapidly disappearing. So, with the season all but lost, are big changes on the way for Philadelphia’s roster?
Signs of Bigger Changes?
The first move of new GM Chuck Fletcher’s tenure was shipping forward Jordan Weal to the Arizona Coyotes. In exchange for the 26-year-old, the Flyers received a sixth-round draft pick and defenseman Jacob Graves who was assigned to the team’s ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals. As Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia stated, Weal was a logical trade target given his status as an upcoming free agent and a player who was in and out of the lineup.
Through 124 games as a Flyer, the center posted just 42 points, including only nine points in 28 games this season prior to being traded. Weal’s shipment to the desert made sense due to the forward’s struggle with Philadelphia, but GM Chuck Fletcher wasn’t done yet.
Monday brought another roster move for the struggling Flyers as forward Dale Weise was placed on waivers. Expectations were high when he was signed by Philadelphia prior to the 2016-17 season. However, like Weal, the 30-year-old’s point production as a depth forward was extremely underwhelming. In 152 games with the orange and black, Weise recorded just 34 points with 11 of them occurring during the current campaign.
There’s no word yet on the veteran forward being claimed by another organization but, as usual, if he remains unclaimed, he’ll report to the team’s AHL affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Weise was also placed on waivers on Oct. 1 and cleared according to NBC Sports Philadelphia.
Flyers’ Possible Trade Options
After a pair of minor moves, there’s wonder if more significant moves are on the way for the Flyers.
Wayne Simmonds On the Move?
A key trade option for Philadelphia is forward Wayne Simmonds. In the final season of his contract, the long-time Flyer may be seeing his last games as part of the franchise. There’s been little-to-no talk of him re-signing with the team which has started to churn out some rumors of him being traded before the league deadline.
Not much has been said about what particular players are in the mix for the 30-year-old, but teams like the Nashville Predators, Winnipeg Jets and Toronto Maple Leafs have been rumored to be in the fold. Whichever franchise lands the prized power forward will definitely benefit from what Simmonds has to offer.
Veteran Voracek Enters the Rumor Mill
An additional piece of Philadelphia’s core that could be moved soon is winger Jakub Voracek. Currently is his eighth season with the Flyers, the 29-year-old may also be playing his final games in the orange and black. As of now, minimal information has come to light about Voracek being traded, but his name has come up in past trade talks.
Through 46 games this season, the Czech Republic native has 37 points, proving he can still be an asset to the Flyers or a possible trade partner. Again, like teammate Simmonds, Voracek will bring veteran presence and a solid scoring touch to a possible new lineup if moved.
In the midst of a strange and disappointing season, there could be some big changes coming to the Flyers’ roster. A number of pitfalls have plagued the team throughout and making a splash in the trade market could aid in fortifying the team’s weak spots. With lots of young talent still getting their footing, it could ultimately be a veteran who gets sent packing. Fletcher has gotten the ball rolling with a couple small-scale moves, yet larger-scale trades may be coming soon. It’s likely too late to salvage the season, but the right moves now could make way for success in the near future.
Bloomsburg University graduate striving for work in hockey media through different outlets and experiences