Last week, we took a look at some of the prospects that could help shape a deal for some immediate help. This week, we take a look at the main roster and who could be a part of a deal to make the Flyers a little better. Sure, it may seem a little counterproductive to take from the main roster you’re trying to help. Given the position the Flyers are in currently surrounding the salary cap, it’s a must. Ideally, the Flyers could ship out a prospect or two with a draft pick(s) and that could improve the roster. Again with the cap, it just won’t work out when you crunch the numbers.
Regardless, the Flyers do have some quality rostered players on their hands that could fetch some value on the open market. Forward, defense, even goaltending, the Flyers have a lot of solid players on the roster. While it will be difficult to move some of the bigger contracts due to the stagnant cap, they do have some smaller deals that could help the team in the short term. With that being said, it’s time to take a look at a handful of players who could hold some value if included in a deal.
Many of these will be unpopular, but Scott Laughton may be the most. Laughton has turned into one of the best utility players in the game. He’s a tremendous bottom-six option with the capability of playing all the way up to the second line. He’s had a great year so far this season, posting five goals and an equal amount of assists in 15 games. Solid production from a forward who is capable of playing in all situations.
Laughton’s 22 shots on the team ranks in a tie for eighth with Oskar Lindblom. His 22.7% shot rate ranks fourth on the team, discounting Nate Prosser and his one goal on one shot this season. His plus-seven is second best on the team, tied with three others. Not to mention his $2.3 million contract is a bargain for the type of play he brings to the table. Another team could really covet a guy like Laughton. Throw in the fact that he’s the perfect age (26) to be somewhat of a veteran presence to a rebuilding team, and you have a guy who’s trade value is that much more impressive.
It seems like Ghost’s name never leaves the rumor mill. Now more than ever, his value may be at its highest. Last season when many felt so inclined to throw Gostisbehere into any type of trade proposal, his value was in the tank. He was coming off of surgery, oft-injured, and hadn’t played a full season. While he’s still technically coming off of an injury and hasn’t played a full season, this is the best Ghost has looked in a few years. The Flyers may want to take advantage of that now while they still can.
Ghost is still getting his footing, but is seeing a decent level of success in his expanded role on the top pairing with Ivan Provorov. He’s averaging 20:23 per night, his highest ATOI average since the 2017/18 season. He’s also a plus-seven, the first time he’s been a positive in that category since 2017/18 as well. Obviously that is subject to change, but should be regarded as a plus right now, get it? His $4.5 million contract isn’t necessarily an albatross, but it might take a little sweetening to get another team to take it on in a deal. If he continues this kind of play up until the deadline though, that sweetener may not be needed.
Cover your eyes homers, this one might sting. Have you ever heard the phrase, “you must give to receive?’ Case in point, Travis Sanheim is what you give to receive. Yes, he would almost assuredly have to be part of a deal for another defenseman considering Mark Friedman is no longer a Flyer and the depth after that is either too young or just not really there. However, if Nashville is on the phone dangling Mattias Ekholm and wants Travis Sanheim in return, you tell David Poile he’s got a deal.
There’s positives to this. You free up a protection spot for the upcoming expansion draft while getting some value in return. You also avoid having to presumably pay Sanheim a Konecny-type deal while still having to worry about Couturier, Hart, Farabee and even Giroux. Don’t misunderstand, the Flyers shouldn’t be looking to actively shop Sanheim. However, if the right deal crosses Chuck Fletcher’s desk, there’s no reason he shouldn’t pull the trigger.
Let’s preface this one by saying that the Flyers should not trade Brian Elliott. What him and Carter Hart have together is something special. They’re one of the most formidable goaltending duos in recent Flyers history, and should be kept together for the rest of this season at a minimum. We’d be remiss to not at least bring attention to the trade value Elliott could command if he were available. His season so far has been tremendous. He’s done everything and more from a backup/1B option spot. Like all scenarios here though, if the right deal comes along you have to pull the trigger.
Elliott has been as advertised and then some this season. Coming into the year on a one year, $1.5 million deal, Elliott knew his role and is currently thriving in it. In eight appearances, he’s 5-1-0 with a .931 save percentage and 2.03 goals against average. He’s turned away 188 of 204 shots so far this season. You can’t ask for a better set of performances from your backup goalie. Again, it’s worth mentioning that the Flyers should absolutely not be looking to shop Brian Elliott. And again, they also shouldn’t pass up a deal if it’s too good to be true.
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