The NHL trade deadline is February 25th. At the All-Star break the Flyers find themselves at the bottom of the standings. Baring a miraculous turnaround, Philly will miss the playoffs and be sellers at the deadline. This year the team hired a new coach and GM in the beginning of the season. Trading a few useful pieces in the upcoming weeks could go a long way in rebuilding this squad under the new regime.
Simmonds was traded to Philadelphia in 2011. Since then, he has become the model Flyer. He’s tough, smart, and productive. These qualities made him beloved in Philly, but may also make him attractive to other teams still in playoff contention. In his time with the orange and black Simmonds has been a player that finishes in the neighborhood of 50 points. He’s failed to score 25+ goals only twice in his Philadelphia tenure. Simmonds is now 30 and has battled injuries the past two seasons. There’s still gas in the tank for Simmonds though, and he could help a new team looking to add grit and skill. Teams would love to add a player like Simmonds come playoff time, and he could also fetch a decent return. Losing a heart and soul guy like Simmonds would be tough, but may be the best course for this year’s team. Don’t be surprised if Wayne Train pulls out of the station before the deadline.
At this point in his career, we know what Michael Raffl is and is not. He is a solid forward who can provide a spark on a team’s third or fourth line. What he’s not is a top line guy who will take over a game. Raffl does not have one aspect of the game in which he dominates. He’s solid in his own end and can give a team around 12 goals a year. The Flyers have some young and intriguing options at Left Wing. Moving Raffl in the upcoming weeks may give another player the needed ice time to produce. Teams are always looking to add quality forwards to the bottom of their lineup, and Raffl may be a player worth trading for in the eyes of another team’s GM.
The Flyers have dressed seven Goalies this year. That’s tied for most in league history. Michal Neuvirth is one of those seven, but only started in a handful of games this year before getting hurt. That’s nothing new as Neuvirth has been consistently injured during his time with the Flyers. When actually healthy, Neuvirth can be a solid net minder. The problem is he can never stay on the ice long enough to consistently help the team. Neuvirth has reportedly begun skating again and may make a return this season. Even if Neuvy can get back in net this season, it seems like his time in Philly is coming to an end. His contract with the Flyers will end at the end 2019. Contract aside, Carter Hart has played well enough this season to make Neuvirth expendable. He could be a low risk acquisition for a playoff bound team in need of Goaltending help.
The Flyers are underachieving again this year. This could lead to a big move at the trade deadline in hopes of receiving a big return. Jakub Voracek is a player that if moved, would in theory net the Flyers many players or draft picks. Voracek is still playing at a high level and even eclipsed 80 points last season. That production would be appealing to any GM. Teams are always looking to add offensive punch when gearing up for the playoffs. If a team inquired about Jake and were willing to take on his cap hit, the Flyers would have to at least consider a trade. The Flyers are clearly not a threat in the East right now. Moving Voracek this year would give GM Chuck Fletcher a head start in retooling for next season.
Seeing Patrick on this list may surprise some, but trading young players with great potential is nothing new for the Flyers. Patrick has been a Flyer since the team took him with the second overall pick in 2017. He’s shown flashes of greatness, but really has lacked consistency. If the team sees Patrick as a guy who will never live up to the hype of a second overall pick, a move might go down. Patrick is only 20 years old so has plenty of time to develop into a top line Center. But there is still a small chance the team moves him before he really gets a chance to hit his stride as a player. Patrick Sharp and Sergei Bobrovsky are two players that the Flyers regrettably gave up on too soon. If traded this season, Nolan Patrick may have his name added to that list.
A Philadelphia native who loves sports, writing, and cheesesteaks – in that order. Being retweeted by Brian Dawkins remains life’s crowning achievement.