While the expectation in Philadelphia is for them to push for the playoffs this season, TSN’s Bob McKenzie notes in the latest TSN Insider Trading (video link) that their plan isn’t to start trading away high draft picks or top prospects to get the short-term help to put them over the hump. Instead, he reports that the two items on new Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher’s list are to look for an upgrade between the pipes and evaluate head coach Dave Hakstol to see if he should have a long-term future with the team still.
Goaltending has been an issue for Philly all season long and for quite a few years before this one. Brian Elliott has been passable but has had injury troubles while veteran backup Michal Neuvirth has battled numerous injuries. Veteran Calvin Pickard struggled and is now gone after being waived so Anthony Stolarz is currently up in a number two role. None of these players project to be long-term starters for the team so it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Flyers target someone who can serve as a reliable starter for a couple of years and serve as a bridge to top prospect Carter Hart.
More from the Metropolitan:
- While the Islanders would like to bring top goalie prospect Ilya Sorokin to North America as soon as possible, it doesn’t appear that his KHL team is open to letting him go. Igor Eronko of Sport-Express (Twitter link) spoke with Sorokin’s agent who indicated that CSKA Moscow has no intention of letting him go until the expiration of his current contract in 2020. The 23-year-old is once again one of the top goalies in the KHL, posting a stellar 1.19 GAA with a .941 SV% through 22 games but it appears he’ll have to wait a while yet to join the Islanders, even if he’d like to come over after this season as Arthur Staple of The Athletic reported (subscription required) earlier today.
- The Rangers appear to be set to get some help up front in time for Saturday’s game against Florida. Newsday’s Colin Stephenson reports that wingers Pavel Buchnevich, Vladislav Namestnikov, and Mats Zuccarello could all play in that game. Buchnevich has missed the better part of a month due to a broken thumb, Namestnikov has missed three straight with a concussion, while Zuccarello has played just twice in the last month due to recurring groin issues.