Folks, I’m a bit stumped because there isn’t a whole lot here. You aren’t getting Bo Horvat, Elias Pettersson or Brock Boeser. Lou Ericksson, Tanner Pearson and Jay Beagle all stink and I would very much not like them on this team. Flyers should maybe think outside of the box and swing a deal for 18 year old defenseman Jett Woo. He scored 66 points in his 3rd WHL season this year. I can’t think of any good reason for the Canucks for wanting to give him up, but they may be pressing for veteran defensemen and we could throw say Robert Hagg their way. Plus, since the Wells Fargo Center is inundated with “wooing” during games, we might as well acquire a player so the incessant noise actually means something.
What is better way to kick off the Alain Vigneault Era off then bringing in a player who perhaps excelled in his system more than any other player? In his two seasons with the New York Rangers, Michael Grabner scored 52 goals in in 135 games. He’s a burner with breakaway speed that the Flyers often miss at times and is an excellent penalty killer. Grabner does have a no-trade clause, but I can’t imagine he wouldn’t waive it if the Coyotes asked him to.
The Ducks aren’t in a great position now that their core are all well on the back-end of their careers and/or are bad (see: Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Ryan Kesler). Adam Henrique gets paid to much for what little he does. You aren’t likely to get them to part with Hampus Lindholm or Rickard Rakell. Two options I would ask about are Jakob Silfverberg and Ondrej Kase. Silfverberg would be a depth winger who is probably a fit on a 2nd or 3rd line. He’s already 28 and signed to a long-term deal which isn’t exactly ideal or comforting. Kase is still young (23) and has a 20 goal season under his belt. He’s the older brother of Flyers prospect David Kase and would make for a compelling story if both were to be on the same team.
Flames are an interesting team with both young and veteran talent. The young (Johnny Gaudreau, Sean Monahan, Matthew Tkachuk, Elias Lindholm) are basically untouchable. Three names I’d call about would be defensemen Travis Hamonic/TJ Brodie and center Mikael Backlund. The former are a pair of veteran 28 year old d-men who would fit comfortably on any pairing with our younger defensemen. Mikael Backlund is 30 years old, but is just a play-driving possession monster with 20-goal outputs in three of his last four seasons. I would love to see him paired up with JVR.
Funnily enough, the Golden Knights are running into cap space issues in just their second season. This doesn’t bode well as William Karlsson is about to become a restricted free agent (Chuck, make a cal). But since we aren’t discussing potential free agents, maybe the Flyers should look to take a consistent goal scorer off their hands like Max Pacioretty. He’s someone I’ve admired for quite awhile and think having a pure goal scoring threat would make for an ideal fit next to players like Couturier, Giroux and Voracek.
Please don’t kill me for what I’m about to suggest. So what if like...we bring back Jeff Carter. No he isn’t what he used to be and didn’t have a very good 2018-19, but again no one really did on that Kings team. He wouldn’t cost much to obtain and you’d be gambling whether you can get another season or two of production from him. He only has three years left on his contract and its one you could likely bury in the AHL if he were to really stink up the joint. I expect some “reactions” to this and that is fine! I just think the potential positives outweigh the negatives.
This would likely be a “blockbuster” trade, but it would be prudent for the Flyers to call in on center Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to see if he is indeed available. You can usually count on the Oilers on making questionable trades, but they relieved GM Peter Chiarelli of his duties this year. However, the ownership still remains in place and could still be the brains (or lack thereof) behind moves being made. RNH is still 26 and is coming off back-to-back 20 goal seasons. He also scored a career-high 69 points last season and would easily slide in to that second line center role for the Flyers.
The players you’d most likely want from this team are all pending free agents (Erik Karlsson, Joe Pavelski). The Sharks are also going to have to figure out what to do with Joe Thornton, Gustav Nyqvist and what kind of contract to give out the breakout star Timo Meier. Could a player like Tomas Hertl be made available? Probably not, but the Flyers should make a call anyway. Hertl had a breakout season, scoring 35 goals and 74 points in 77 games. Perhaps if the Sharks miss out on resigning EK, they would want Ghost?