Folks! We’ve got another move!
Chuck Fletcher has been busy, and the Flyers have just announced that they’ve traded for defenseman Justin Braun from San Jose in exchange for their second round pick in this year’s draft, and their third round pick in next year’s. Braun, 32, is coming off a season with the Sharks that saw him score two goals and 14 assists in 78 games played. He’s on the final year of a contract which has him making $3.8 million in AAV.
We’re going to be talking more in depth about this trade, I imagine, but here are a couple of things we know.
First, Braun’s underlying numbers have not been very good.
Justin Braun (to Philly from sj in exchange for draft picks) almost completely neutralizes his team's 5v5 offence, but provides a little defensive value. pic.twitter.com/DkQUH3WoX8— Micah Blake McCurdy (@IneffectiveMath) June 18, 2019
With Braun on the ice at 5-on-5 over the last three Seasons, San Jose has been out-Corsied 3,958-3,613 and outscored 168-134.— Jonathan Willis (@JonathanWillis) June 18, 2019
His main partner, Marc-Edouard Vlasic, has:
- a 46% Corsi with & 56% without
- a 48% shot share with & 55% without
- a 45% goal share with & 55% without https://t.co/3yI33ZP0rP
In short, the Sharks were pretty handily out-shot and out-scored while Braun was on the ice, and if that impact has you a little bit concerned, well, that wouldn’t be unreasonable. The Flyers seem to be hoping that, like Matt Niskanen, Braun has a bounce-back season, but that’s a dangerous game to play.
Second, with this acquisition, the Flyers have too many defensemen again. The right side seems shored up, but on the left side, we’re looking at Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Samuel Morin, Robert Hagg, and Braun all competing for three spots (or maybe four if the Flyers decide to carry seven defensemen during the season). So the door remains open, and someone may still have to go, be it by trade or just being waived and sent to Lehigh Valley.
And lastly, the cap situation may be about to get weird. As we noted above, Braun is making $3.8 million against the cap next season, and this leaves the Flyers with a little over $30 million in projected cap space to lock up their RFAs, sign or trade for a goalie, and find a third line right winger. That isn’t an insignificant amount of money, but it definitely doesn’t leave the Flyers with as much wiggle room as they were looking at at the beginning of the off-season.
This seems like it’s still a pretty fluid situation, so we’ll keep monitoring as things develop.