Once again the Philadelphia Flyers had a chance to gain some ground in the playoff race and they dropped a complete dud. Losing to the Washington Capitals 6-1 in a game where the team showed no heart and no effort. It was just another embarrassing effort which has been a common theme this year. One things for sure, nobody on this team is playing like their jobs depend on it.
As a member of the Flyers fan base for 25 years and as someone who covers the team to an extent. I am officially throwing in the white flag on the 2021 season. I’ll continue to watch because I like to torture myself but for the casual fans out there forget they have any games left and focus on the Sixers and Phillies. That brings me to the point of this blog. It’s time to start focusing on the off-season and what changes the Flyers need to make. I’ll probably have a couple of blogs similar to this one since it’s going to be a long off-season. So let’s start this by ranking which Flyers players are most likely to be traded come summer time.
1. James Van Riemsdyk/Shayne Gostisbehere
The two most obvious candidates that could be playing elsewhere next season are JVR and Ghost. I put these guys both as number one because I think there’s a 99.9% chance they are both gone. Between trades and the expansion draft, I’d be shocked to see either one of these guys in Orange and Black next year. JVR started the year off strong but has gone ice cold and is getting paid too much to not preform. The Flyers would be better off protecting one of their younger guys for the expansion draft and I’d be perfectly okay with Seattle taking JVR off our hands.
With Ghost, he has had a pretty solid season and if he continues his strong play for the rest of the season his trade value could be up and it would be the perfect time to try and trade him. Yes, I know he was put on waivers and went unclaimed but since then his play has been outstanding and it’s easier to move players with bigger cap hits come the off-season. Ghost could be used as a part in a bigger trade or for the Flyers just to clear some cap space. I feel for the guy because he’s constantly having to deal with these rumors and it’s going to be another off-season where his name is going to be popular trade rumor.
2. Jake Voracek
First and foremost, I love Jake. I think he’s had a great career for the Flyers and while I understand fans frustrations when it comes to him, he’s been a big part of this team for a while. Jake still has plenty in the tank and maybe his trade value isn’t as high as it used to be, he could still get some decent assets in return. This Flyers core needs a major shake-up and trading a guy who’s been here for 10 years would do just that. It’s clear the group that the Flyers have here isn’t going to win a Stanley Cup. You don’t have to blow up the whole team but if there was ever a time to move on from one of the veteran players it’s this year.
3. Phil Myers
One of the biggest downfalls for the Flyers this season has been the regression their young defenseman have had. Phil Myers was expected to take a big jump this year and it’s been the complete opposite. There’s been a lot of times where he has looked lost out on the ice and he’s been one of the reason the Flyers goalies have been left out to dry this season. Myers is another good candidate for the Flyers to trade as he is only 24 years old and doesn’t have too high of a cap hit. This isn’t me saying I want him gone as I think he could easily have a great bounce back year next season but the Flyers already could have his replacement ready to go. Cam York recently signed his rookie contract and is going to start with the Phantoms. It’s clear the Flyers expect him to compete for a roster spot next season and he could end up taking Myers spot.
4. Nolan Patrick
It’s no secret the Flyers have shopped Nolan Patrick around as a report recently came out that they were shopping him and his value wasn’t all that high. There were even rumors that Vegas was thought to have had interest in him at the deadline before making the trade for Mattias Janmark. Patrick has been through a lot in his short NHL career and is still only 22 years old. I think a lot of people forget how young he is and that he missed over a year of playing time due to a migraine disorder. It’s clear Chuck Fletcher has no problem moving on from Patrick and could try and use him to help the Flyers get a veteran defenseman. I can’t say I agree with it because I think Patrick still has a lot of potential and has been playing better over the last month and a half of the season. The point totals aren’t where we’d like them to be but I still thing he can develop into an important part of this team. I just won’t be shocked if he is dealt come the off-season.
5. Claude Giroux
I am by no means a “trade Giroux” guy. I have defended this man more than I have any other athlete I’ve ever rooted for. I’ll stand by the statement that Claude Giroux is the most under appreciated athlete in Philadelphia. This guy gives it his all night in and night out and while he may not be the vocal leader that everyone wants him to be, he leads by example on the ice. He deserves to finish his career here and he should be the first guy lifting the Stanley Cup when we eventually get one. Like I stated before this locker room needs a shake up in a major way. There are plenty of other options I would prefer to trade before even considering Giroux. But if Chuck Fletcher really wanted to shake things up, trading the Captain of the Franchise who has been here for 14 years would do just that. There is no part of me that wants to see Claude Giroux playing anywhere other than in Philadelphia. At the same time though, I’m not ruling out anything when it comes to the upcoming off-season.
There are still 14 games left in the Flyers season and at this point everyone should be playing like their jobs depend on it. Fletcher will be evaluating everyone from here on out and if we keep getting efforts like we got last night, nobody is safe.