So the Flyers have had quite the busy off-season, huh?
Chuck Fletcher has certainly succeeded in re-tooling a roster that disappointed in 2020-21, and with the busiest periods of the offseason now finished, barring another trade most of the Flyers’ major business appears to be complete. They still need to sign two key restricted free agents in Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim, and with just over $8.0 million in cap space to spend, most of that room will be spent on those two players.
Yet, if the Flyers do find themselves with leftover room, could they take a look at the remaining free agents on the market? Well it may be unlikely (especially if the Flyers are dead set on Nate Thompson slotting in at 4C) but if Chuck Fletcher wishes to add another depth player, there are plenty available...
In a previous article, I had mentioned that the Flyers should approach Ryan Suter as an option in free agency.
However, this was before the Ryan Ellis trade warmed our hearts and filled the gap the Flyers had on the blue-line. Suter is off the market regardless, but the need for such a player has diminished with all the additions on defense that the Flyers have made.
Instead, still on the market is Zach Parise. Now 37, the former Devils and Wild LW could slot in nicely in the Flyers’ bottom six and play middle six minutes if there is a need for him to do so. If you assume he could also play on the right wing, it would make sense as he could provide better depth on that side of the ice, and give a young player like Wade Allison breathing room if he finds his minutes challenging.
He likely (well almost certainly) won’t be signing for the $7.5 million cap hit of his original Wild contract. However, what I originally had to say on Parise still sums up my thoughts:
Could Parise sign with the Flyers? Yes, especially given the Minnesota connection with Fletcher. However, the fit simply doesn’t make as much sense. Signing an aging winger (key on aging, which differentiates him from other potential moves) for likely what would be more than his value would not be a particularly smart move on the Flyers’ part.
The long time Devils winger became an Islander for a brief period via trade last season, and reports suggest he may not be sticking in New York.
Palmieri could fit in nicely on the third line, which could equally help shield Wade Allison if he is needing easier minutes. A move for Palmieri could also make sense if the Flyers aren’t finished with their roster shake-up (if they want to move on from a player such as James van Riemsdyk).
However, unless that happens the cap hit will likely put the Flyers out of reach.
If the Flyers need another center, there are plenty of veterans still on the market. Considering the cap space they are likely to have, Ryan Donato could be signed on the cheap given he was not even qualified by the San Jose Sharks. The 25-year-old scored 20 points in 50 games last season, and could be an option to provide competition for Nate Thompson at 4C.
Donato’s previous contract came in at a $1.9 million cap hit, and his next contract it is unlikely to exceed that value. That could certainly be doable for the Flyers.
If the Flyers view Nate Thompson as the 13th forward, and want to play Scott Laughton at 4C, Anisimov could be a good choice to fill in at 3C (if the Flyers are not planning on properly playing Morgan Frost). He had health issues last season and only played 19 games, but he could be a candidate for a bounce-back year (a theme the Flyers seem to be taking a liking to with Martin Jones and Rasmus Ristolainen).
His previous cap hit was $4.55 million, and considering his output, his next deal will likely be for a lower value then that, which could be doable for the Flyers.
Now hear me out...
Alex Galchenyuk has played for six different NHL teams over the past four seasons, and has failed to stick on any roster. He has frustrated coaches, though he found some success in Toronto, but hasn’t re-signed there yet. He can play across all of the forward positions, and could be a huge boom or bust project.
If his short stint with the Leafs was a prelude to his “success story”, then perhaps some time with the Flyers could serve as the main act. With a cap hit of only $1.05 million on his last contact, he’d be more than affordable.