According to Charlie O’Connor, the Philadelphia Flyers haven’t closed the door on a possible trade that would see Travis Konecny moved to another team, but a trade seems unlikely unless someone is willing to overpay and knock the Flyers’ socks off with an offer. That might come as a bit of a surprise to some who have been under the impression that Konecny is likely one of the many names on the current Flyers roster who won’t be there when the 2023/24 season begins.
But, as per O’Connor’s piece in The Athletic, there are three solid reasons the Flyers might be leaning towards keeping Konecny. Furthermore, in recent discussions surrounding the possibility of trading the forward, it has become apparent that Philadelphia Flyers’ general manager, Daniel Briere, has never actively sought to move the 26-year-old Konecny.
Konecny Isn’t Too Old to Be Useful
Firstly, O’Connor points out that Konecny’s age works in his favor, as he still has a few years of his prime left before the effects of aging become more pronounced. Briere and head coach John Tortorella view Konecny as a player who can serve as a mentor and leader for the younger players on the team. Despite his offensive prowess, Konecny has embraced Tortorella’s coaching style, making improvements in his defensive game over the past season. Trading him now may disrupt the positive team culture they aim to foster.
Konecny Is a Favorite Among Coaches and Management
Moreover, the personal connection between Briere and Konecny adds another layer to the equation. Briere appreciates Konecny’s fiery playing style and sees similarities between them as undersized, talented wingers. This connection likely makes it more difficult for Briere to part ways with Konecny.
The player has also become an example of what the Flyers want all of their players to play like. O’Connor writes:
I suspect there might be a concern that trading Konecny now might have a negative impact on team culture. To trade a player who thrived under a demanding head coach and is just 26? That’s not something that is likely to do wonders for internal motivation — that the only reward for fully “buying in” is to be shipped out as quickly as possible.
The Flyers Might Want to Re-Sign Him
Additionally, O’Connor writes that the Flyers have the option to re-sign Konecny, especially considering the anticipated rise in the salary cap. Committing to a long-term deal for a 28-year-old player with a substantial cap hit carries its own risks, but the Flyers may prefer retaining Konecny, as they believe he fits into their future plans, and acquiring a similar player via trade or free agency would introduce uncertainty.
While there is still a possibility of trading Konecny in the future, Briere recognizes that the Flyers have time to make that decision. If they choose not to re-sign him, they can potentially fetch a first-round pick in a future trade. Therefore, any trade offer for Konecny now would need to be significantly more compelling than a single first-round pick.
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