It’s that time of year again. Rumors are swirling and NHL teams are trying to decide whether they should sell off pieces or bring in hired guns for a playoff push.
For the Flyers, the long-term game plan hasn’t changed. General manager Ron Hextall is monitoring his options but it’s safe to say he’s not looking to make a splash with Monday’s 3 p.m. trade deadline rapidly approaching.
"I feel like we have a couple guys up in Lehigh Valley that can help us, so we feel that we have enough depth right now to make it through the year.
"If someone goes down, we've got good fillers for them. We're going to hold. If something comes up that we can make ourselves better for the future, we'll at least look at it."
Hextall was able to move the seemingly unmovable Vinny Lecavalier, along with Luke Schenn, on Jan. 6 and the Flyers now have around $5.2 million in cap space. That doesn’t mean they have to use it up right away, however.
In fact, the Flyers are in a good position to shed some more bodies and dollar signs. It’s a seller's market and you can bet Hextall is doing his due diligence to find trade partners willing to give up future assets (i.e. draft picks/prospects).
So with that in mind, let’s take a look at a few players on the Flyers’ active roster that could soon find themselves in new cities.
2015-16 cap hit: $3.2 million
Contract after this season: Unrestricted free agent
At no point did it ever feel like Gagner was ever going to be part of the Flyers’ future. The team was close to buying him out after acquiring the forward in the Nicklas Grossmann/Chris Pronger salary dump trade with the Arizona Coyotes over the summer. Then Gagner failed to win over new head coach Dave Hakstol during training camp and was jostled in and out of the lineup as a healthy scratch for the first half of the 2015-16 campaign. He was even sent through waivers, going unclaimed, and spent an extended period of time in the AHL with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms in January.
All of this makes him a prime candidate to be dealt. Sure, his production (five goals and 10 points in 32 games) has been a major disappointment, but he does have value.
Gagner is heating up at the right time, too. He has three goals in his last four games and has played much better in a top-six role with Sean Couturier, Claude Giroux and now Jakub Voracek sidelined over the last week or so.
2015-16 cap hit: $3.625 million
Contract after this season: $3.625M; $3.625M; UFA in 2018-19
For a team with depth issues at forward, it’s tough to imagine a scenario in which the Flyers part ways with Read. A lot of pieces would need to come together for a trade to be made. Yes, his numbers have sharply declined over the past two seasons, but Read is still very much an important player for this club.
And the narrative that Read is overpaid is a lazy one. First off, Read has been a stalwart on the penalty kill since arriving in Philadelphia and deserves a lot of credit for helping Couturier develop into the player he is today. Plus, Read’s possession numbers show he’s far from a detriment on the ice.
That being said, Hextall has to at least entertain offers for Read. Would he accept a deal including multiple draft picks or perhaps package Read as part of a bigger swap for a scoring winger? Absolutely. The problem is the Flyers would need to bring back sufficient talent while also finding a partner willing to take on Read's contract. Hextall isn’t going to trade a guy like Read just to trade him.
2015-16 cap hit: $1.1 million
Contract after this season: UFA
(UPDATE: Raffl on Sunday signed a three-year extension with the Flyers. Below was our take from prior to the extension.)
Raffl's is an interesting case. A report from the Toronto Globe & Mail earlier this week indicated the Flyers were looking to re-sign the Austrian forward. Then, on Saturday, a separate report from the Miami Herald surfaced, stating the Florida Panthers were looking at Raffl as a potential rental.
Both reports make sense. Raffl is a solid third-line guy who can play both wings and center when needed. He's also shown he's capable of creating opportunities for star players like Giroux and Voracek if asked to serve in a top-line role.
Ideally, the Flyers would probably like to bring Raffl back on a two- or three-year extension around $2 million per season. Maybe a little more. He's a character guy who is well-liked in the locker room, too. But ultimately, Raffl is still an impending free agent and a replaceable forward. If Hextall can snag a draft pick or two, which seems to be the asking price, he'll jump on it.
2015-16 cap hit: $800,000
Contract after this season: UFA
White has been a mainstay on the Flyers’ fourth — sometimes considered third — line over the past year and a half. A solid stretch of 34 games at the end of 2014-15 was good enough to earn him another one-year contract with the club.
This season, however, has been a different story. He’s still a quality forward who can kill penalties, win faceoffs and bring a physical edge, but he’s by no means untouchable.
White would make sense for a team looking to bring in a depth/character player. He has a reasonable cap hit and won’t require a huge return. But remember, Hextall was able to flip Zac Rinaldo for a third-round pick, so he’ll probably ask for the same if a team inquires about White.
2015-16 cap hit: $5.25 million
Contract after this season: $5.25M; UFA in 2017-18
Streit is clearly slowing down. The veteran defenseman suffered a serious injury back in November and has lost a step since returning. He can still be of use to a playoff-bound club, however, especially on special teams.
That’s why Streit is an asset Hextall should be working hard on trying to sell. With the emergence of Shayne Gostisbehere and other puck-moving youngsters like Ivan Provorov and Travis Sanheim on the way, the Flyers can afford to part with some blueliners.
The important thing to note is that the Flyers cannot retain salary in any more deals until July, when Lecavalier, Luke Schenn and Grossmann come off their books. That means they might have to take back an expiring, bad contract in order to deal Streit right now. That doesn’t sound like something Hextall would be thrilled to do, so he might be better off waiting until the offseason to try to strike a deal if he’s not blown away by offers at the deadline.
2015-16 cap hit: $3 million
Contract after this season: UFA
Teams are in an excellent position to low-ball Hextall for Medvedev's services. After all, the Russian defenseman has been scratched numerous times throughout the season and is set to become a free agent.
Forget that he's actually one of the best defensemen on this Flyers roster. He's been sorely mishandled despite impressing in his limited action. Why would he want to come back?
The Flyers won the race last summer after several teams expressed interest in bringing him across the pond from the KHL. Now they should be looking to get anything they can for him before he walks.
2015-16 cap hit: $2.25 million
Contract after this season: $2.25M; UFA in 2017-18
Schultz has only gone downhill since his old partner, Braydon Coburn, was shipped to Tampa Bay at last year's trade deadline. He's somehow managed to avoid the press box as a healthy scratch but his play has left much to be desired.
Now, it's not like Schultz was expected to be a top-pair guy for the Flyers. He was re-signed as a stopgap until the kids in the minors/junior were ready to come up. That could be as early as next season and Hextall would be best served to clear some room on the back end.
Schultz has a decent cap hit for a veteran with a limited skillset, so teams could conceivably come calling if they're in need of a solid depth defenseman who can be used on the PK. It's just that Schultz would be a more attractive option as a low-risk rental next season, when he plays out the final year of his contract.
2015-16 cap hit: $991,666
Contract after this season: Restricted free agent
Gudas isn't particularly strong with the puck on his blade, has had repeated discipline issues and often times finds himself far out of position while searching for a big, highlight-reel check at open ice.
But Hakstol loves him. Would Hextall consider moving him? If it's for multiple draft picks, I don't know how he could say no.
Then again, Gudas is still young and the Flyers can tender him a qualifying offer this summer since they own his rights.
Gudas also brings a physical element and has potential to be an affordable, stay-at-home guy. It appears the team is more inclined to hold onto him for now.
2015-16 cap hit: $4.6 million
Contract after this season: $4.6M; UFA in 2017-18
Wishful thinking, huh? Umberger’s declining play and massive contract are huge obstacles for the Flyers.
Let’s face it, no playoff team is in the market for a guy with one goal and nine assists in 38 games. Crazier things have happened but the most realistic scenario is a buyout in the summer.
2015-16 cap hit: $5 million
Contract after this season: $5M; $5M; $5M; $5M; UFA in 2020-21
Did you see the contract? Hextall can try but MacDonald isn’t going anywhere anytime soon.
2015-16 cap hit: $2.5 million
Contract after this season: RFA
Unless he is being packaged in a trade for another young piece (hello, Jonathan Drouin) or as part of a deal to shed a ton of salary, Schenn will be back with the orange and black next season and possibly for quite a few years.
As we've mentioned, the Flyers are weak at forward. Schenn is beginning to find a home on the wing and is producing at a respectable clip. He still can’t carry his own line but he has shown an ability to score goals.
Quite simply, Hextall can't afford to let him go. Schenn will likely get an extension this summer and will continue to be relied on to play a top-six role until the pipeline at forward is replenished.
2015-16 cap hit: $1.625 million
Contract after this season: $1.625M; UFA in 2017-18
I know, I know. Neuvirth has been the better goalie this season. You can’t argue that.
But it would be irresponsible to not put him on the market. His trade value is at an all-time high and his contract is beyond cap-friendly for what he’s provided between the pipes.
Goaltending hasn't been a concern for the Flyers for the first time in forever. Still, they would be smart to at least toss Neuvirth's name out there. Teams overpay every year. If any GM can take advantage of that, it’d be Hextall.
Source : http://www.csnphilly.com/philadelphia-flyers/flyers-trade-deadline-tracker-most-likely-be-moved