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Flyers Could Try Blockbuster Off-Season Trade for Top-Pair Defenseman

The Philadelphia Flyers have recognized their need for a top-pairing defenseman, but is there a trade they can make to land one?

According to Jordan Hall of NBC Sports Philadelphia, general manager Chuck Fletcher has identified the team’s greatest need heading into this year’s offseason. Hall writes that Fletcher faces some tough decisions and has multiple things he might be looking to do, but at the top of his list is finding a top-pairing defenseman.

While Fletcher looks to make changes to a roster that struggled in 2020-21, Hall writes that the trade market is the best route for the team because of salary-cap limitations. Fletcher can’t exactly turn to free agency, even in a potential buyers market, and a big trade might be the only way to really make a dent.

Noting the Flyers recognize they need a top-pairing defenseman is one thing. Adding that player is another, especially when you look at what the team has available to trade. Hall suggests the Flyers will look to their depth at the forward position to address their needs, but there’s a potential snag there. First, the Flyers need to have players other teams will want. Second, there are certain players Fletcher will be hesitant to move.

Related: Canadiens Run into Cap Space Trouble, Won’t Play Cole Caufield

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Who Might the Flyers Move?

The Flyers might look at a few names but it will be interesting to see if team the team can find a way to make a move. For example, Claude Giroux and Kevin Hayes have big cap hits and no-movement clauses. If they don’t want to go anywhere, they won’t be. Jakub Voracek and James van Riemsdyk are the team’s two leading scorers this season and lack no-trade protection but their expensive contracts won’t be easy to move in today’s salary cap environment. Perhaps a three-team trade similar to those that took place at this year’s deadline could work.

If none of that is possible, Sean Couturier will be an easy move since he’s extremely valuable and makes only $4.3 million on the cap. He’s a year away from unrestricted free agent status so teams will need to be aware that he’s due for a massive raise, but do the Flyers really want to part with the defending Selke Trophy winner?

Perhaps the Flyers look at Travis Konecny, Oskar Lindblom or Joel Farabee or Scott Laughton (the team just re-signed him), but those are young pieces you may not want to move, and none of them will fetch you a No-1 defenseman on their own.

It’s a nice idea, but Fletcher may have to settle for adding a second or third-pairing blueliner instead of a top-pairing one.

Next: Taylor Hall Scores Beauty First Goal as a Bruins’ Forward



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