As of late, the buzz around the Flyers and Seth Jones has almost reached a palpable high. The offseason news, with the Stanley Cup Final rightfully taking the front page headlines in the hockey world, has been thin, with most rumors being simply that: rumors. With any news pertaining to the Flyers, after a woeful 56 games, we find ourselves grasping at straws for anything to give us hope for the 2021-22 season. And yet, though it is still simply a rumor, the Seth Jones conversation hasn’t gone away, but has in fact magnified.
This is of no doubt thanks to continued reports that the Flyers are very interested in acquiring the 26-year-old defenseman. In Elliotte Friedman’s newest 31 Thoughts blog, he highlighted early on that the Flyers are “definitely working on it,” and Friedman doesn’t miss on these insights. Sure, they’re only “working on it,” and in the end talks could break down, but the report is certainly a positive development given the context of the Flyers’ failures on the blue-line last year.
Whether or not Jones is the right move for the Flyers, given the team’s lack of “defensive” defensemen (or rather defensemen competent at defense) is a different story, and one we’ve covered before.
There are still, however, a large ranges of opinions on Jones.
I’m 100% onboard with Flyers adding Seth Jones. Despite the analytic drop off, I think the total package of skill & size is still outstanding. He fits what they need. There’s plenty of reasonable expectations that a new situation could revitalize him.— jsaquella (@jsaquella) June 28, 2021
I like Seth Jones and hope he can regain his form...— Alexander Appleyard (@avappleyard) June 29, 2021
but over the last three seasons @NHLFlyers Provorov has been a better defenseman... in tougher minutes.
And I don't think any #Flyers fans think right now Provorov is a legit #1 who will get them over the hump.
However, regardless of one’s view on that question, adding Jones into the mix would give the makeup of the defense core a much needed shake up, and perhaps even the change of scenery would benefit Jones. That, however, is a question that can only be answered by time, if and when the Flyers do make this deal happen.
What gives pause in this whole ordeal is the proposed (or rather, rumored) trade packages for Jones. If the Flyers are not on Jones’ ten team no-trade list (Jones has a modified NMC, but given the propensity of the talks, he probably does not have the Flyers on his no-trade list), the list of assets the Flyers are rumored to be giving up are as follows:
- A young promising forward
- Phil Myers
- A prospect
On paper, that deal doesn’t sound like too much of an overpay for a player with such a risk-reward factor as Seth Jones. However, when the young promising forward in question has been rumored to be Joel Farabee, that’s where the line is drawn.
The Flyers cannot and should not include Joel Farabee in any trades this offseason, unless they end up trading for Jack Eichel or a player with that level of stardom. We’ve seen countless time and time again that trading a promising young forward has bitten the Flyers, and it is very likely that Farabee would become another “what if” if the Flyers trade him, joining the likes of Patrick Sharp and Justin Williams. The comparison is especially evident for Williams, who was traded in his age 22 season (2003-04) to the Hurricanes for a defenseman, Danny Markov. Sure, Markov was a deadline trade to prepare for a playoff run, but the following season (after the lockout of course) Williams had the best season scoring-wise in his career as he put up 76 points in 82 games!
In particular, however, the enthusiasm held in this article for keeping Farabee at all costs is that this is not because of the Flyers’ history with those two forwards in general, but rather that Farabee simply has earned the right to develop himself with the Flyers given how good he’s been so early in his career.
Below is a comparison between the three young forwards that have been discussed so far, and their statistics for their sophomore seasons:
2nd NHL Seasons
Taking Sharp out of the picture (he really found his feet in Chicago and the Flyers never really gave him a chance), Farabee actually has the edge at this stage in his career. Farabee scored at a 0.7 points-per-game pace last season, compared to Williams’ 0.53 points-per-game pace. Farabee has also been net Corsi-for positive for his entire NHL career thus far (52.80% last season). Unfortunately, we can’t compare with Williams’ early years, as this was before that stat was tracked.
There are so many things that Joel Farabee does right, and the Flyers owe it to Farabee to let him succeed here, and not in Columbus or any other city for that matter. If, no, when Farabee hits his ceiling and begins to score at a first line clip, we’ll thank ourselves that the Flyers didn’t trade him for a boom or bust defenseman who isn’t really that great defensively anyway. Plus, other than Claude Giroux, who else can we say at the forward position that the Flyers have recently drafted and developed into a star player? Having Farabee added to that exclusive list would be cathartic, at the least, and joyous to most.
Stats courtesy of Natural Stat Trick