Are the Flyers and Golden Knights Good Trade Partners?

The Flyers potentially enter the 2020/21 season having not addressed their need for a goal scorer. While there’s still time to pull something off, time is dwindling and so is the money the Flyers have left. After signing Phil Myers, Philadelphia has around $2.25 million remaining with their roster seemingly set. Does that necessarily mean that Chuck Fletcher is done dealing? Logic says yes, but the dreamers will always say no.

The Vegas Golden Knights made headlines when Jesse Granger of The Athletic announced forward Max Pacioretty was available, along with Jonathan Marchessault.

Photo Courtesy of Twitter (@JesseGranger)

Vegas needs to clear up some cap space. They’re currently just shy of one million dollars over the salary cap, and clearing Pacioretty’s seven million dollar cap hit could help in a big way. The same can be said for Marchessault, but to a lesser extent with his four million dollar cap hit.

To the team potentially acquiring Pacioretty, they’re getting a six-time 30 goal scorer and 60 point player. He’s most recently coming off of a 32 goal, 34 assist campaign over 71 games. He won’t come cheap, but the precarious position Vegas is in gives their potential trading partner some leverage. Marchessault is effective, just not to the extent that Pacioretty is. While he’s more versatile and can play both wing and center, he’s only hit 30 goals once. He’s also surpassed 70 points on the season just once. Both are adequate goal scorers, a trait that should certainly attract the Philadelphia Flyers. However, is Vegas the right team to try and strike a deal with?

Salary Cap Situation

Again, the Golden Knights are looking to shed cap in a move like this. Their payroll is sitting just under $82.5 million, almost one million dollars over the cap ceiling. The Flyers sit at just over $79.2 million, about 2.3 million dollars under the cap.

The math just doesn’t add up here. Even if the Flyers are looking to acquire just Marchessault, they won’t be willing to part with what Vegas wants in return. Even if Vegas wants draft picks, the Flyers can’t fit an extra $4 million under their cap without unloading a contract. Pacioretty’s deal makes it even harder. The only two players the Flyers could offer, realistically, in exchange would be James van Riemsdyk and Shayne Gostisbehere, and that just won’t be enough.

The Flyers could realistically offer up Scott Laughton with some picks, and that might get the job done depending on the picks. The draft picks would have to be high however. Laughton’s $2.3 million cap hit would free up $1.7 million for Vegas. The Flyers would still have around $500k in space after the deal for Marchessault as well. It’s a realistic proposition, but one that likely won’t happen.

Best Case Scenario?

The only scenario here is that the Flyers miss out on a Pacioretty/Marchessault trade. They don’t have the right pieces to give in order to acquire either. Vegas won’t want what the Flyers have to offer, and the Flyers won’t be able to make it work financially. While Shayne Gostisbehere apparently is still on the trading block, he would have been moved by now had there been any interest. With him still being Flyer, it’s pretty telling about the market surrounding him.

While the addition of either would really help solidify the Flyers group of forwards, it’s just unrealistic. Not to mention, the Golden Knights would be better suited dealing Marc-Andre Fleury if they wanted cap relief. Seeing as the Flyers aren’t in need of help when it comes to goalies, that takes them out of the Vegas sweepstakes altogether.

It’s unfortunate that the Flyers just don’t have the ammunition to pull the trigger on either of these deals. Partly it’s on them for not having the cap space. It’s partly on Vegas as well for needing to clear cap space that the Flyers just don’t have the quality of player to offset. The Flyers could offer picks, but don’t have the space to squeeze either player under their cap. They could offer JvR or Ghost, but Vegas doesn’t have the cap space for them. It seems these potential trades are at a stalemate without ever even leaving the ground.

The cap situation for both teams will end up being their undoing in terms of a deal for Pacioretty and/or Marchessault. Vegas and Philadelphia just don’t make great trade partners this time around. With the return to play coming along and there being a potential boom in signings and trades on the horizon, never say never. Until then, it’s status-quo in Flyer land.

Photo Credit – David Berding/Icon Sportswire

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