Not everyone all at once, please

Everybody wants to leave, but not everybody can.

Not everyone all at once, please
Photo by Heather Barry

Flyers exit interviews were a really interesting time for a lot of different reasons, whether it be the retirement of Justin Braun, the difficult questions asked of Carter Hart, or Tony DeAngelo's assessment of John Tortorella's decision to staple him to the bench to end the year.

All of these subjects probably warrant their own dissection, but in particular I want to focus on something else I noticed while reading some of the quotes that came out from locker clean out day.

James van Riemsdyk talked about the disappointment he felt about not being traded to the contender at the deadline when the opportunity was clearly there. Kevin Hayes remarked about how he could see the trajectory of the organization, and that he feels like he could be traded in the offseason. Ivan Provorov was lukewarm at best regarding his willingness to re-enter another rebuilding phase with the Flyers, and the aforementioned DeAngelo admitted that while he would want to stay in Philadelphia, he knows there's a chance he goes as well.

That's four players on the current roster, including three who are under contract next year, who are seemingly waiting to be moved. JVR leaving in free agency is pretty much a foregone conclusion, but potentially moving Provorov, Hayes, and DeAngelo would require shifting just under 19 million dollars of salary in one offseason.

That is a lot to ask of a general manager entering his first offseason, and Danny Briere will likely have a feeling out process before being fully able to wheel and deal with other executives who he doesn't totally know.

But it seems as if there may be an appetite for a max exodus of players sometime in the near future. When three of your highest paid, veteran players are openly accepting that they may not want to be apart of your future plans, could it impede efforts to rebuild a culture?

One of Tortorella's main objectives when he took over this job was to repair what he saw as being a broken organization. He demands, as DeAngelo saw first hand, 100% buy in. It leaves him in a pretty awkward position if all of these guys are brought back after exhibiting some concerns about their futures.

So on one hand, it will be very difficult to jettison all three of these contracts in one fell swoop, but if you don't you risk undermining your coach in the future by giving him players who are either uncomfortable with their situation, or at odds with him personally.

And of course, the elephant in the room is that the odds you receive something of equal value in return for unsatisfied players is slim. Especially when you factor in the unwillingness or inability of most teams taking on the contracts of the players involved.

But exit interviews this year almost felt like there are some actual exits coming, and it'll be interesting to see who goes where, and who's forced to figure it out in Philly.