Breaking Down All the Latest Flyers Trade Rumors

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The NHL Trade Deadline of Friday, March 8th, is just days away, and the Philadelphia Flyers GM Danny Briere has yet to make a move. Now, the reason for Briere’s hesitation or state of quandary is that although the team is supposed to be in a state of rebuilding, they have somehow still found a way to clutch onto that third-place spot in the Metropolitan Division, which gives them a good shot at making the playoffs this season. But another crucial factor that will have to be considered when making their decision is the injuries to Nick Seeler, Travis Konecny, Jamie Drysdale, and Rasmus Ristolainen.

So, with all that being said, now Danny must weigh his options. Should he try to add pieces to help his youth get some much-needed playoff experience, knowing that they won’t be considered a REAL contender for at least a couple more years when some other star prospects come over? Should Briere hold his position and not make any moves to see how far his current roster will take them? Or should he move players with expiring contracts to acquire more draft capital in an effort to continue to build for the future?

Depending on how you look at it, all of these options make sense, so let me now try and break down all the latest Flyers rumors for you so you can see just what decisions Briere and his crew are being forced to make in the next couple of days.

Perhaps the most talked about rumor right now is what the team is going to do with pending unrestricted free agent defensemen Sean Walker and Nick Seeler. Well, currently, the Flyers have been in talks with both players and their agents on what it would take to re-sign them. But, with both players playing some of the best hockey of their careers right now, both Seeler and Walker are trying to get paid. In fact, it has been confirmed by multiple sources that both players are looking for 4-5 year deals that will pay them upwards of four to five million dollars a season. This is a bit concerning to the team, considering Seeler is already 30 years old, and Walker is right behind him at 29 years of age. Signing these versatile defenders would undoubtedly help to solidify the blue line moving forward. Still, it would block the way for promising defensive prospects like Egor Zamula, Ronnie Attard, Emil Andrae, Adam Ginning, Helge Grans, Ethan Samson, and Oliver Bonk, all of whom are currently developing in the team’s system. Is re-signing these career bottom six defenders a must, or should management look to move them for future assets?

Now, while both Walker and Seeler have garnered plenty of interest from other teams with Seeler’s latest injury and the likelihood of his future contract coming a bit cheaper, the focus has shifted to Walker being the one to move at the deadline. With that being said, two of the teams that are showing the most interest in him right now are the Edmonton Oilers and the Toronto Maple Leafs. It is rumored that Philly wants to recoup a 1st round pick for Walker’s services, but with other more prominent named defenders like Noah Hanifin and Ivan Provorov still on the market as well. I think the best option for them would be to try and trade Walker to the Oilers, who have let it be known that their 1st round pick is available, but there is a caveat. In order for Edmonton to agree to trade their 1st, they are asking a team to help them gain a little cap flexibility by agreeing to take on a player in return. That player’s name, who keeps coming up, is 30-year-old right-hand-shot defenseman Cody Ceci. Cody is 6’3 and 210 pounds. He was initially drafted by the Ottawa Senators with the 15th overall pick back in 2012 and is currently signed until the end of next season with a cap hit of $3.25 million. Is it worth it? Well, let me give you his stats, and you can decide. This season, Cody has played in 60 games and has scored just two goals and 16 assists for a total of 18 points. He is, however, a plus player at a +9 this year and has finished as a plus player for each of the last four seasons since being traded away from Ottawa. Cody is an average defender who has managed to play over 20 minutes a game for his career. Overall, Ceci will not help offensively, nor will he hurt you defensively. So, the question is, do you think Briere should take that deal in order to acquire yet another coveted 1st round pick? If he did so, that would give the Flyers three this off-season.

Where does the team stand on trading Scott Laughton? Well, the quick and easy answer to that question is that they don’t want to. Management and coaching staff see this 11-year Flyers veteran as a leader in the dressing room, and although they are still listening to offers for him, they would have to be absolutely blown away by one in order for them to agree to send him packing.

So, what is Scott Laughton’s current fate? A few weeks ago, teams were really hot and heavy on trying to acquire a center. But with the Jets trading for Sean Monahan and the Canucks going out and getting Elias Lindholm, things have seemed to calm down a bit on the Center front. But it doesn’t mean there are no other options for the Flyers to trade their 29-year-old former 2012 1st-round pick to. The only question is whether they would be willing to trade Scott to a team within their division. Rumors are that the one team that is still really wanting to make a trade for Laughton right now is the New York Rangers. The Rangers’ top two lines are solid, but both centers, Barclay Goodrow and Jonny Brodzinski have left a lot to be desired for the Rangers bottom six this season. Adding a shutdown dot-dweller like Laughton would make a lot of sense for New York, considering what he could potentially bring to their third line of Jimmy Vesey and the promising 22-year-old Will Cuylle, not to mention the fact that then they could move the scrappy Barclay Goodrow down to center the fourth line where the towering 6’7 rookies Adam Edstrom and Matt Rempe would then be by his side. And I don’t know about you, but I wouldn’t want to go against that line every other night in a seven-game playoff series.

Lastly, rumors are that the Flyers have recently expressed at least some interest in obtaining an affordable NHL-capable backup for Sam Errson. The Flyers were obviously put into a bad spot with the sudden departure of Carter Hart this season. And they have been less than impressed with the likes of their 29-year-old veteran netminder Cal Petersen, who, in his last outing with the Flyers, gave up an unheard-of seven goals against their inner state rival, the Pittsburgh Penguins back on Feb. 25th. So, it came as no surprise when the team recently decided to waive Cal and bring up their 27-year-old net minder Felix Sandstrom.

Sandstrom, who had only 25 NHL games of experience to that point, stood out recently in a game on the 2nd against the Senators, where he managed to gain the team another win after giving up only two goals when facing 24 shots. But the question is, should the Flyers trust this not-so-young netminder who has, to this point, been nothing more than a career minor leaguer to be Errson’s backup for the rest of the season? Even with his latest victory in the NHL, Felix has only managed to win 4 out of his 26 NHL games played, and folks, that means he’s only averaging a win 15% of the time he’s been asked to jump in the net.

Therefore, I would suggest the Flyers brass try and find a veteran netminder like the LA Kings did a couple of days ago when they signed 34-year-old Aaron Dell to a league-minimum deal for the rest of the season. Now, to borrow a line from the late great Toby Keith, Aaron and others like him might not be as good as they once were, but with the team giving them one last hurray, they could be as good once as they ever were. And I don’t know about you, but given the fact that the Flyers are already being forced to be heavily reliant on a rookie in Ersson, I would feel more comfortable providing him with a veteran with a few hundred more games of NHL experience to back him up and offer advice rather than potentially heading into the playoffs with two inexperienced rookies in the net.

So, with the time left to make a move literally dwindling as you read this. Danny Briere must do something. He simply cannot wait until the last minute to make a move like his predecessor Chuck Fletcher did and end up with a few broken sticks and a couple of chewed-up mouthpieces coming back his way in return for our players. If he wishes to make a run this season (which I would not advise him to do), then he needs to be willing to pull the trigger and add a piece that could make a difference, like the Ducks’ Trevor Zegras, who the Flyers have been recently linked to.

Or if that ask proves to be too much for a young game-changer like Zegras, who is coming back from injury, mind you, then Danny needs to sell everything he can to the highest bidder and gather as many future draft assets as he can.

I like you will be watching impatiently to see what this team does as the deadline looms ever closer. But for once, I can honestly say that I have more reassurance than in previous years that this club’s new executives will actually do what’s best for the team in the coming days.

Lance Green

I’m a lifelong Flyers fan who has been playing the sport of Ice Hockey we all know and love competitively for over 30 years now. I grew up playing in-between the pipes where I was able to take in the whole game and analysis just what the team needed to do to help us win. Over the years I always enjoyed reading and gaining as much knowledge as possible about this great sport, but always thought it lacked something. A players prospective!