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Looking at TSN’s Trade Bait Tracker: Who fits the Flyers?

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Some interesting names in here.

NHL: Philadelphia Flyers at Boston Bruins Brian Fluharty-USA TODAY Sports

With now less than a week until the NHL trade deadline, despite the numerous links to big names on the market, it is not clear whether or not the Flyers will be major players in the trade market simply due to how disappointing their season has been. Last night’s overtime win against the Bruins leaves the Flyers three points behind the Bruins for the fourth and last playoff position in the East Division, yet still, that position feels so far away.

Whether or not Chuck Fletcher decides to make a move will depend on if he feels this season is still worth attempting to save, or even if he feels there is a piece out in the market worth adding to the long-term vision the Flyers have (cough cough Ekholm).

That isn’t news to anybody, of course. It’s simply stating the obvious. However, since the deadline is fast approaching, now more than ever are our thoughts centered around the frantic wheeling and dealing associated with the day. So, what could be more appropriate but to pull up the good old TSN Trade Bait tracker and have a look!

Listed below are the top 10 names on the Trade Bait tracker as of April 6. Let’s see if any of these players would make sense for the Flyers, or if there is any realistic chance the Flyers could acquire them:

1. David Savard, RD, Columbus

Savard would possibly fill the need defensively that the Flyers desperately have. However, there are simply better options out there that will appear later on this list. Savard isn’t a bad defenseman, but the Flyers aren’t on a Cup run, and Savard strikes as more a supplemental piece to add.

According to our good friends at capfriendly.com, the Flyers are estimated to have $4,136,212 worth of cap space by deadline day. Taking magical mysterious cap tricks out of the picture, if the Flyers end up giving salary in return, or if Columbus retain some salary, Savard’s $4.25 million cap hit will be no problem for them. However, he would need to be re-signed and for the calibre of player it is simply not worth it.

2. Kyle Palmieri, RW, New Jersey

If Fletcher is looking to shake up the middle six, then trading for and re-signing Palmieri isn’t a bad option. However, it just doesn’t appear like that’s necessary. On his 31 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman, along with discussing Scott Laughton, said that he thinks the Flyers will “make one or two major changes”, but clarified this would likely be at the draft or over the summer.

This move doesn’t seem all too likely considering that.

3. Taylor Hall, LW, Buffalo

Now this would be a spicy move. However, it isn’t going to happen. Not that the Flyers wouldn’t be interested in Taylor Hall (just theoretically, in terms of the talent of the player), but that they would try and sign him to a cheaper contract (he has an $8.0 million dollar cap hit) as a free agent considering the season he’s had.

TSN have reported there’s a sense that talks for Hall have escalated, and any team trading for Hall will almost certainly want Buffalo to retain salary (which somewhat alleviates the “cheaper contract” talk). However, the theoretical scenario where the Flyers trade for Hall still has too many “if’s and’s or buts” to make complete sense.

Would Taylor Hall shake up the top six? Yes. But brining him in and shipping out who he’ll replace doesn’t play out at the deadline unless Fletcher brings in a third team to take a current member of the top six (since why would Buffalo want them?).

4. Nick Foligno, LW, Columbus

Chuck, please don’t trade for an aging bottom-six winger who’s only had arguably one standout season.

5. Johnathan Bernier, G, Detroit

Just a short week ago, a different tune may have rang around Bernier given the Flyers’ goaltending struggles. Pierre Lebrun reported that the Flyers were looking for goaltenders at the deadline, and Bernier’s game was mentioned.

However, while we only have one game to judge on, Carter Hart appears to be regaining his confidence after a short reset period. Therefore, does taking on a $3.0 million dollar cap hit for a rental goalie seem worth it? Probably not, but if the Flyers were to bring in Bernier in an attempt to stabilize the net if Hart/Elliott slumps or one gets hurt, this wouldn’t be a bad move to make.

6. Luke Glendening, C, Detroit

Hockey-Reference

No.

7. Mikael Granlund, C, Nashville

Granlund is a nifty player, a good middle six center who can score log power-play time on a secondary unit. Going back to Elliotte Friedman’s comments, there was mention of both the Flyers and the player himself, Nolan Patrick, perhaps thinking its time to move on. While Patrick has looked better in recent games, if this is believed to be true, Granlund would be a good replacement for him in the short-medium term. Of course, Granlund would need to be re-signed, but his cap hit won’t be too massive a burden if it is to be similar to his current $3.75 million figure.

A trade for Granlund doesn’t make sense for this season, but if the Flyers are wanting to get a leg up in negotiations (like they did when they traded for Kevin Hayes’ rights) then this move would be decent.

8. Toronto’s Top Prospect, Toronto

The Leafs sit with a commanding lead atop the North Division, so why shouldn’t they go all in for the playoffs? It would therefore make sense if they’re dealing prospects, though their “top prospect” is up for debate. After reading a few sources, it appears that Nick Robertson is the most popular choice for the “top prospect” moniker.

Regardless, the Flyers aren’t going to be trading for prospects, so consider this off the table.

9. Mattias Ekholm, LD, Nashville

Number nine on the list was Scott Laughton, and since the Flyers can’t trade for their own player, I’ve skipped over him.

We’ve talked a lot about Ekholm since he has been so heavily linked to the Flyers. However, he has dropped down considerably on the trade bait tracker, perhaps suggesting the Predators are less open to trading him than previously suspected. Elliotte Friedman also offered up that the Flyers were not “interested in paying that price” for Ekholm.

A deal could very well still happen for Ekholm, and it makes sense from all sorts of perspectives (more so than Savard). However, it is not set in stone.

10. Josh Manson, RD, Anaheim

Manson has one additional year left on his contract beyond 2020-21 like Ekholm does, but he carries a higher cap hit at $4.1 million and is less talented overall than Ekholm (at least in my opinion). He’s risen on the trade bait tracker so clearly there has been increased interest, but what a move for him depends on is if the price is higher than Ekholm’s.

Given his injury history as well, Ekholm appears like the better option.