With the trade deadline a month from tomorrow, time is winding down for Ron Hextall to figure out what he needs to do. Should the team buy or sell? Who should the team target? Who should the team look to ship away? Should we just stay put? All of this will be answered by February 28th.
Buy or Sell?
The Flyers should absolutely cautiously sell. The team as it stands, sit in purgatory. We will sneak in the last playoffs spot every season, we are too good to get a top 5 pick and too bad to be taken serious in the postseason. After 3 straight years of great drafting, the flyers are poised to turn in to an elite team, it is just a matter of when. The team has quite a few players that are obviously not in the long term plans. If I felt strongly that the team was one or two players away from a strong post season run, i would push to buy, we have the firepower to do so.
Who Could be Moved
First and foremost, Steve Mason needs to go. I have seen enough, he is who we thought he was. Chances are he will not be back next season, why not at least get something for him while we still can, let Stolarz gain experience. Mark Streit can also see himself get traded. Streit just turned 39 and would bring an above average veteran presence to a team looking to make a strong cup-push. Just like how Timonen was traded to the Blackhawks at the trade deadline in 2015, and subsequently won the Stanley Cup the same year, the same could be in the works for Streit. A third Flyer that could be dealt this season is Matt Read, who turns 31 in June. He has had a solid few years here but it looks to be nearing an end. Coming in as a 24 year old rookie, expectations for his Flyers career were not exactly sky high. Do not be surprised if any of these players are moved soon.
Who Could Hextall Trade For
With there still being a month and a day until the deadline arrives, the rumors will not start really swirling for another couple of weeks. One player that could be moved is Kevin Shattenkirk, the Blues are still undecided on whether or not they want to deal him , but if they do, they should give the Flyers a call. Shattenkirk’s contract expires this season and will certainly fill a position of need, he is someone to keep an eye out for. Another player worth noting is Jamie Benn,with Hextall’s “build through the draft” mentality, this may be nothing short of a pipe-dream. Another impending free agent, Benn is averaging almost a point a game, he would help counteract the lack of defense. How do you win games? Score more points than the opponent. We will release something when it gets closer to the trade deadline, when we know more information about who is available in a trade.
February 28th Can Not Come Soon Enough
Whether the Flyers buy or sell, Hextall has done enough to warrant my confidence in him. This team is not perfect, and we are a few key pieces away from perfection, but Hextall is building something beautiful. Our team is so young, something special is brewing.