The Philadelphia Flyers have new management at the helm, and now need to start the painful process of a rebuild. Their cap sheet has a few tricky contracts to work around on it, but after a few smart moves this team could be on the way to assembling the team of the future.
Frank Seravalli and Mike McKenna talked about the Flyers’ offseason and what should be the top priorities on Daily Faceoff Live.
Frank Seravalli: For me, it’s beginning to tear this down and identifying the three, maybe four pieces that you’d like to have on this team in five years when you finally get to where you want to get to, and if you’re not part of that three or four member group, start moving them out.
Mike McKenna: Yeah, what you said just relates back to one thing, cap space and the vision of this team in the future. I think you have to trade Kevin Hayes, there’s just way too much friction between him and Tortorella all season long, too much smoke to the fire. Is he going to be there long term? No, so get the picks you can for Kevin Hayes.
And then I think you need to look at what Tortorella said, even on March 20th, that there needs to be some subtraction, so like you say, you’re figuring out who’s going to be there, and for me, I think you look right at that D-core. There’s $16 million tied up in three defensemen that were healthy scratched at some point last year. Sanheim and Ristolainen, long-term deals. DeAngelo, one year left. Provorov, two years left. I don’t care how you make it happen if you’re Danny Briere, you got to shake that up and move out some of that money somehow, someway.
I do think the team will be a lot better next year with Couturier and Atkinson provided that they stick around. I think you move Hayes, you figure out that D-core, and if there’s any other ancillary piece that Briere doesn’t see as being tangible, valuable assets down the road, clear that cap space, get some picks, get some more youth into this, because you know what, some of those prospects, they just straight up haven’t panned out for the Philadelphia Flyers. They need another reboot in that area.
Frank Seravalli: What do you do with someone like Travis Konecny? He had a breakout year last year, 31 goals, 61 points. He’s already 26 though, and by the time you probably want to get this team to where it’s heading, he’s going to be 31. And not to say that he can’t be a contributor then, but with two more years at $5.5 million before becoming an unrestricted free agent, it kind of feels like, at that contract and that value, Travis Konecny’s never going to have a better value on the open market. Isn’t this the year that you’d have that similar type of conversation?
Mike McKenna: Yeah, I think so. I think there’s different pressure points. If that is a direction the Flyers choose to go in moving Konecny, is it at the trade deadline next year? I don’t know, to me it seems more like either a draft deal or a free agency summertime deal.
I do think Konecny can probably still be a value in two or three years. I think the turnaround can be a bit quicker, I don’t think it will be four or five years for Philly, I think it’s two to three, so I can still see a window there. But you’re exactly right, that conversation internally needs to be had because he’s right at the cusp of a player that’s going to be expendable if you want him to be down the road.
Frank Seravalli: I think two to three years is dreaming in technicolour for the Philadelphia Flyers. I think they’ve got a long, long way to go.
One word answer, keep or trade Carter Hart?
Mike McKenna: Keep him. You build around him. I don’t trade him.
You can watch the full episode here…