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How the Flyers' no-trade clauses stack up with the NHL

For some time now an apparent criticism of the Flyers was their frivolity in handing out no-movement and/or no-trade clauses when signing players. But are they really that frivolous?

Len Redkoles/NHLI via Getty Images

When it comes to NHL trade rumors, the Flyers might be more active than any other team in the league. They're active on the trade market, and let's be honest, the fan base here can be pretty quick to turn on a player and demand he be traded.

But when these trade rumors pop up, often times the rebuttal is simple: "Yeah, well that's not going to happen. He won't waive his no-trade clause."

Whether it was Simon Gagne in 2010, or Danny Briere and Scott Hartnell at various times throughout their six-plus years in Philadelphia; all three were discussed in rumors, realistic or otherwise, in which their no-trade/no-movement clause were obstacles.

You could even make the argument that in the case of Simon Gagne it severely inhibited the Flyers, forcing them to take back a terrible return from Tampa Bay in the form of Matt Walker and a fourth-round draft pick. As such, many fans groan with displeasure when the latest Flyers contract is signed and it contains some for of a no-trade or no-movement clause.

Do other NHL teams give them out as frequently as the Flyers do?

I took a look at the roster of every NHL team to see just how many no-trade and no-movement clauses existed. I did not distinguish between a modified no-trade/movement clause and a full no-trade/movement clause. For kicks, I also included the number of 35-plus contracts and entry-level contracts to give an indication of overall roster construction.

Team 35+ ELC NTC/NMC
Boston 0 3 11
Detroit 2 6 11
Dallas 2 5 11
Pittsburgh 2 3 10
Chicago 0 3 9
Vancouver 0 2 9
Philadelphia 2 3 8
San Jose 0 3 8
Minnesota 1 7 8
St. Louis 0 2 8
New Jersey 4 2 8
Phoenix 1 1 8
Toronto 0 4 7
Washington 0 4 7
Tampa Bay 1 5 7
Montreal 1 4 7
Winnipeg 0 3 7
Anaheim 1 4 7
Carolina 0 3 6
Nashville 1 3 6
Ottawa 0 3 5
Calgary 0 7 5
Columbus 0 4 4
NYR 1 2 4
Florida 1 8 4
Colorado 0 5 3
Buffalo 0 5 2
Edmonton 1 7 2
NYI 1 8 2
Los Angeles 1 2 1

The Flyers aren't nearly as bad as I'm sure many would have expected. Twelve teams have as many or more no-trade/movement clauses as the Flyers. They come in in a tie for sixth most.

Where the no-trade/movement clauses are really restrictive are when they are full no-trade/movement clauses. The Flyers have four in Scott Hartnell, Vincent Lecavalier, Kimmo Timonen, and Chris Pronger. (Claude Giroux's kicks in next season). To put that in perspective, Boston has three, Detroit has six, Dallas has three, and Pittsburgh has two. (Note: some of them expire outside of this given season but are currently active.)

When it comes down to it, while the Flyers are near the top in distributing no-trade and no-movement clauses, they aren't as irresponsible as some fans may like to portray them. It certainly could only help to have fewer, but the Flyers fall in line with the rest of the league with respect to these clauses.