With the NHL trade deadline just 19 days away rumbling and rumors are beginning to start. The Philadelphia Flyers are in the middle of a tight playoff race one point back of the final wildcard spot, but are currently on a three game losing streak.
Will the Flyers buy?
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Patience is key in Philadelphia with one the NHL’s top prospect pools. General Manger Ron Hextall has been preaching patience and development in Philadelphia. The Flyers have a solid base with the likes of Captain Claude Giroux, Jake Voracek, Wayne Simmonds and Shayne Gostisbehere and are continuing to add through the draft and development of their prospects.
The Philadelphia Flyers aren’t in a real position to deal prospects for rentals sitting just outside a wildcard spot. With only $1.7 million in cap space the Flyers aren’t in a position financially to add either.
Will the Flyers sell?
It’s more likely the Philadelphia Flyers look to deal then add. Veteran defenseman Mark Streit is one of the names on that list. The 39-year-old defenseman is a pending UFA, a true rental player. General Manger Ron Hextall will most likely have to retain salary on Streit’s 5,250,000 million dollar contract. Hextall can retain up to 50 percent of the cap hit and with just a half season remaining on the deal and no carry over for the retained salary, the Flyers mostly like will do so. At $2,625,000 making the veteran defenseman much easier to fit under the NHL salary cap making him available to more teams wanting to adding at the deadline. Philadelphia could also look to move pending unrestricted free agents, Michael Del Zotto and Nick Schultz
Dealing veteran defenseman will also create room for their highly rated defensive prospects Sam Morin 1st rounder (2013) Travis Sanhiem 1st rounder (2014) and Robert Hagg 2nd rounder (2013). All three have played for the Flyer’s AHL affiliate the Lehigh Valley phantoms this season, and are expected to be close to NHL ready next year. NHL Insider Bob McKenzie had this to say about the Philadelphia Flyers young defensive prospects.
Robert Hagg is probably NHL-ready now. He’s a guy that you could drop into your lineup right now, delete one of the other guys, and probably not suffer too much. I don’t think they’re too far off on Sam Morin, but probably more next year than this year. Travis Sanheim has really picked it up lately in the American Hockey League, but they don’t want to accelerate that, so he’s AHL-bound for the rest of the year I would think. And Philippe Myers suffered a concussion at the world junior championship. He’s going to be back playing soon in the Quebec League. He might be NHL-ready next season. He could do next year what Ivan Provorov did this year. (Chris Nichols) (fanragsports.com)
General Manager Ron Hextall has stated that the organization is in good shape heading into the expansion draft. The Philadelphia Flyers, however may be interested in acquiring/signing a veteran goalie that would allow them to protect Anthony Stolarz, who as of today would be available due to the fact Steve Mason and Michal Neuvirth are pending UFA’s in the Summer.
Each NHL team must leave a goaltender under contract or restricted exposed. Stolarz is the only Flyers goalie at this point that meets the requirement being a restricted free agent this summer.
The Philadelphia Flyers don’t want to gamble on Las Vegas selecting the 6’6 Stolarz. The 23-year-old New Jersey native has been very good in his 4 career NHL games posting a 1.79 GAA and .938 SV%.
A 2012 second rounder the Flyer would hate to lose after spending years developing him in the minors. Stolarz’s AHL numbers have been good in 93 career games for Lehigh Valley posting a 2.78 GAA and .910 SV% to go along with a 2015-16 All Star appearance.