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Flyers’ Joel Farabee reportedly a dark horse trade candidate

Things apparently aren’t great for Joel Farabee’s camp.

Philadelphia Flyers v Vancouver Canucks Photo by Derek Cain/Getty Images

With the Philadelphia Flyers’ chances of making the playoffs rapidly deteriorating, it should come as no surprise that a number of players in the Orange & Black are rumored to be moved at the March 3 NHL trade deadline.

James van Riemsdyk is a logical candidate to be moved as he is in the final year of his contract. Defenseman Nick Seeler has also reportedly drawn interest thanks to his tenacity and respectable play as a third-pair blueliner. There’s also the off chance that Kevin Hayes could be moved, though that would require some work on the Flyers’ end to eat some of what remains of his contract, which comes at an annual cap hit of $7,142,857 for three more years.

But now another Flyer has entered the rumor mill — Joel Farabee.

Frank Seravalli of Daily Faceoff reported Thursday that Farabee’s camp hasn’t been particularly thrilled with the current direction of the Flyers under new head coach John Tortorella and could be a dark horse candidate to be traded at this year’s deadline.

Surprise, surprise. Farabee is one of the biggest surprises to hit the board this season. Sources say Farabee’s camp has voiced their displeasure to the Flyers as to how this season has unfolded under coach John Tortorella. Things came to a boil when Farabee skated just 3:52 in Calgary earlier this week. Farabee is a talented kid but has struggled this season after undergoing artificial disk replacement late in the summer, which limited his training. That prompted Tortorella to say he wasn’t going to “let Farabee hide behind that,” which didn’t help. He’s also played on the fourth line. The Flyers don’t want to trade Farabee at his lowest value. There is no formal trade request made from Farabee’s camp, but they’re seeking answers on a solution, especially since it’s clear that Tortorella isn’t going anywhere.

Farabee being traded would certainly raise some eyebrows. The 22-year-old winger has underperformed this season with just nine goals and 26 points through 59 games, and he’s managed just one point — an assist — in his last 16 outings. Without question, the Flyers were hoping to see more from him in his fourth season as an NHLer.

However, it should also be taken into account that Farabee is coming off a major offseason neck surgery that held him out of commission for virtually all of training camp. There’s never a convenient time to have disc replacement surgery, but in the first training camp under a new coach with a completely new system, Farabee was particularly doomed to underachieve.

Farabee is still a valuable member of the Flyers’ young core, but that’s also exactly why teams may be interested in him. He’s a skilled, hard-nosed younger player on a pretty favorable deal, signed through the 2027-28 season with an average annual value of $5 million. He’s shown encouraging flashes in the past, and there’s no reason to believe he can’t return to form with a full, healthy offseason. Claude Giroux even notably eluded to Farabee breaking all of his Flyers scoring records one day.

It’s been a difficult campaign for Farabee, but not so difficult that he can’t bounce back from it next season. And trading him now, while his value is at its lowest, certainly wouldn’t be the greatest resolution.