A Busy Summer Ahead: 4 Trades To Make

April 29th, 2016 by Ryan Waterman | Filed under Flyers, General, Hockey, Sports.
 Source: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

Source: Mitchell Leff/Getty Images North America

Welcome to the part one of my Philadelphia Flyers offseason preview. Over these four parts, I will take a look at trades that should be made, free agent signings that need to happen, prospects that could interest the Flyers, and I’ll also project their offensive and defensive lines come opening night. Without further ado, let’s get right to part one. 

The run of luck has finally come to an end, as the Flyers season has closed in what some may consider to be disappointment. On the other hand, I tend to look at the glass half-full. Yes, they lost in the playoffs. Although, it was at the hands of the league’s best team in the Washington Capitals. This is a team that wasn’t even thought of for a playoff spot back in September, yet they fought their way to the postseason. It goes to show the heart that this team has, and that the future is bright for the Flyers Organization.

With that said, there are some negatives to take away from this postseason. The main takeaway was their power-play. Any time a team goes 1-23 on the man advantage, they’ll have a hard time finding a way to win. While their struggles on the man-advantage was well-documented, they did find a way to almost force a game 7. Following their 6-1 defeat in game 3, Dave Hakstol decided it was time to give Michael Neuvirth a shot between the pipes. From there, Neuvirth stopped every shot he faced, except for two. Who would’ve figured that the one goal he allowed would be the series-clincher. That said, none of the blame can fall on anyone for their game 6 loss. Braden Holtby just stood on his head, and stopped the Flyers on every shot he faced. They gave it a great effort, but came up just short in crunch-time.

Another major takeaway from this series, was the fact that Philly was physically dominated by the Capitals. Sure, the hits may tell a different stat, but Washington was able to bully their way past anyone on the Flyers team. The Flyers severely lacked in the physicality department, and that’s simply because they are an undersized team. There’s not one offensive player aside from Sean Couturier that is taller than 6’2″. Making matters worse, there are only five players that are north of 200 lbs. While both of those facts weren’t in the Flyers favor, there was really only one reason why they fell to the Caps. This team lacks offensive talent. There’s a fair amount of talent back on the blue line, but up front we’re severely depleted. We were clearly out-played from a talent aspect.

This summer will prove to be an important one for the Flyers, as there will be decisions to be made regarding prized prospects Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, Samuel Morin, and Travis Konecny. Ron Hextall will also continue his crusade to wade out the old of the Paul Holmgren Era, and move along in his ushering in of the Ron Hextall Era. He made his mark early last year, unloading the contracts of Chris Pronger and Nicklas Grossmann. This summer, I’m expecting a bit of the same from Ronnie Boy. Let’s take a look at four trades that I believe the Flyers should make this summer.

Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

Source: Doug Pensinger/Getty Images North America

1.) Mark Streit, 2016 3rd Round Pick to Anaheim for Jakob Silfverberg

Streit has still proven to be an effective defender, even though his offensive stats are starting to slip. He’s still a solid two-way player, that does a good job of defending the puck. Silfverberg was at one time regarded as a highly-touted prospect. In 2013, the former 39th overall pick was traded to the Anaheim Ducks in a package for Cherry Hill native Bobby Ryan. In three NHL seasons, Silfverberg has compiled just 81 points in 181 games. He hasn’t quite lived up to the top prospect expectations, so it may be time for another change of scenery. This time though, to a place where his skills are actually needed.

Source: LightningShout.com

Source: LightningShout.com

2.) Claude Giroux to Tampa Bay for Jonathan Drouin, Nikita Kucherov, 2016 1st Round Pick

I know, I know. You probably believe I’m crazy for trading Giroux, right? Well, the Flyers have been known to make drastic changes coming off of being swept in a playoff series. Flashback to the 2011 playoffs, where the Flyers got swept 4-0 by the same Bruins team that blew a 3-0 lead against the Flyers a year prior. Almost a month later, the Flyers shipped out then-captain Mike Richards and Jeff Carter in separate deals that landed them Jakub Voracek, Brayden Schenn, Wayne Simmonds, and Sean Couturier. It’s been done before.

This time around, the Flyers go big by trading their captain. Giroux’s value is much higher than Richards’ value ever was. G has established himself as a top 5 player in the NHL, and one of the more dangerous scorers in the league. Unfortunately, I believe that his skills are starting to deteriorate. On top of that, Giroux is undersized, something that has prevented him from become the best player in hockey.

With Tampa Bay on the verge of losing Steven Stamkos, they need to find another superstar to fill his void. While the price may seem high, Giroux’s level of skill comes pretty close to that of Stamkos.

Both players are stars in the making. They’ve established themselves as legitimate threats in both even-strength situations, and on the man-advantage. Despite his playoff performance, Drouin made it clear that he’s unhappy in Tampa Bay. He went through a long drawn out process earlier this year that saw him serve a stint in the AHL, in addition to serving a multi-game suspension for refusing to report to an AHL game. Meanwhile, Kucherov has quickly established himself as a rising star in Tampa. He took a major step forward this season, tallying 29 goals and 36 assists in 82 games.

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America

Source: Frederick Breedon/Getty Images North America

3.) Brayden Schenn, Matt Read, 2017 3rd Round Pick to Nashville for Ryan Johansen

The Predators have an abundance of top-notch, young centers. There’s also an overload of ultra-talented young talent that requires a significant payday. In order for the Preds to afford all of that talent, they’ll need to make sacrifices somewhere. Johansen didn’t fit with the Blue Jackets, so he was traded to Nashville. Following a failed playoff run by the Preds, they opt to make some changes by choosing a quality/quantity combo over pure quality. The additions of Schenn and Read to the Nashville lineup will help deepen, and strengthen their team. For the Flyers, the addition of Johansen softens the blow from trading Giroux, at a much cheaper price tag. Much cheaper.

Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

Source: Patrick Smith/Getty Images North America

4.) Steve Mason to Calgary Flames for 2016 2nd Round Pick

The Flames are a talented team. However, they lack between the pipes. They’ve been going with a rotation of Jonas Hiller and Karri Ramo in-goal, and it hasn’t worked out very well. Both goaltenders wound up with a GAA north of 2.50. As a team, Calgary allowed a league-worst 3.1 goals per game. More important, Hiller is 34, and Ramo is 29. In Mason, the Flames would get a former highly regarded prospect, that is only 27. He’s just entering the prime of his career, and has shown flashes of brilliance in both Philly and Columbus.

Calgary could potentially have three second-round picks in this year’s draft, so it would make sense for them to use one on some proven talent, as opposed to waiting for a goalie to develop. Mason would clearly improve the play of the Flames, and would cut down on the amount of pucks that find the back of the net. Meanwhile, the Flyers would free up some more cap space by moving Mason’s $4.5 million salary. Additionally, a trade of Mason would provide Michael Neuvirth the chance to establish himself as the Flyers long-term solution in net.

As I previously stated, this offseason will be an important one for the Flyers. There’s decisions to be made regarding prospects, and obvious improvements/changes to be made. What those changes entail isn’t currently clear, although I feel it’s a safe bet to expect a significant change to be made somewhere on this team. As the offseason advances, stay tuned to TSP for all of your Flyers news & rumors.

 

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