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Flyers should deal Seeler and Walker together to maximize value in trade market

Seeler Walker
Photos: Heather Barry Images

The NHL trade deadline is now just eight days away and the market for defensemen is heating up. The Dallas Stars went out and acquired Chris Tanev from the Calgary Flames on Thursday night, taking the top right-handed defenseman off the board. That directly impacts the Philadelphia Flyers as Sean Walker is now the best option on the right side, at least as far as a rental is concerned.

Then on Thursday night, the Toronto Maple Leafs — one of the teams reportedly interested in Walker — acquired Ilya Lyubushkin from the Anaheim Ducks for a third-round pick plus a sixth-rounder to Carolina for some retained salary.

Tanev was a step above Walker while Lyubushkin was a step below him on most trade boards. Walker should still be targeted by a handful of teams in the next week leading up to the deadline.

Walker has long been looked at as one of the obvious trade chips that the Flyers have. The 29-year-old defenseman has surprised during his first year in Philadelphia, which has led to some rumblings about an extension for Walker. However, with the Flyers steadfast on their rebuild plan, moving the veteran defenseman for more future assets seems like the best move.

Unfortunately, Wednesday night’s trade between the Stars and Flames (and Devils) may not have boded too well for the price tag of Walker. The Flyers reportedly were asking for a first-round pick for Walker as far back as December, and it wouldn’t be surprising if that is still the asking price.

But Tanev, who was viewed as the only legit top-four RHD — if not top-pair — on the market only fetched a second-round pick and former 48th overall pick Artem Grushnikov, a defenseman playing in the AHL. There is also a conditional third-round pick in 2026 if the Stars make the Stanley Cup Final. Mind you, the Stars also gave up a 2026 fourth-round pick to the Devils with New Jersey retaining 50% of Tanev’s salary.

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