Good evening, folks! Were you in the middle of watching this super fun Leafs-Lightning game that’s happening tonight and not thinking about the Flyers even a little bit? Just me?
Anyway, if you were, the Flyers had other ideas, and tried to sneak in this news drop about a brand new trade late in the evening.
OFFICIAL: The #Flyers have acquired right wing Justin Bailey from the Buffalo Sabres in exchange for forward Taylor Leier. https://t.co/aBgTjGH9ms— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) January 18, 2019
So, to recap, what did we lose? Taylor Leier’s spent the bulk of the season so far with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, and had produced well enough with them, putting up 19 points in 34 total games. But, he’s also seen himself slip pretty far down the depth chart in an organization with a pretty loaded pipeline, so it would be hard to say that he had much of a future here. Could this be just a chance for him to see if he can get a better shot with another team? It very well might be.
In exchange, the Flyers got back ... well, they got about equal return. Justin Bailey’s a right wing who’s spent this season with Buffalo’s AHL team in Rochester, and put up 20 points in 37 games. So what’s there to be excited about? We’ll wait to reserve full judgement, but, hey, he’s big (6’4’’) and a little bit younger (at 23). And we’ll have a more complete idea of his game after, well, seeing him play a couple of games.
So where will we see him? Good question. The Flyers had gotten themselves down to 12 healthy forwards on the NHL roster, so there’s room for him there, but we also wouldn’t be surprised if he was sent right to the Phantoms to fill in for Leier more or less directly.
And, if they both end up assigned to their respective AHL squads immediately, well, that would be a little awkward, as the Phantoms play the Rochester Americans in Allentown this Saturday. And that would sure be something.