The Philadelphia Flyers have had another extremely disappointing season, and despite the best efforts of veteran head coach John Tortorella to get the most out of his talent-deficient roster, the team currently sits 25th in league standings with just 24 wins in 64 games. The team’s form this season has prompted Flyers management to acknowledge that returning to contention won’t be a quick fix, and that longer-term development is likely needed. This has led many to wonder if the Flyers would consider trading one of the few bright spots of their season, Travis Konecny, over the summer.
The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun wrote in a recent piece that “at least one contender” was “planning on making an aggressive trade offer [for Konecny] before the trade deadline” before Konecny got injured. (subscription link) He adds that his expectation is that the Flyers “will listen on him ahead of the draft” to see what sort of value he holds on the trade market. Despite playing just 52 games due to injury, Konecny remains the Flyers’ leading scorer with 54 points in 52 games. He plays the kind of fast, hard-nosed game that many teams covet, and is on an affordable $5.5MM cap hit through 2024-25. While it’s obviously far from a given that Konecny is traded, he’s possibly the best trade asset the team could cash in on to fast-forward a rebuild.
- LeBrun also touched on the current status of Winnipeg Jets center Pierre-Luc Dubois and his future in Manitoba. Since the Jets are hoping they can put together a lengthy playoff run, the focus has been on the rest of the season rather than on Dubois’ future. But regardless of the team’s current priorities, LeBrun writes that he believes Dubois is “headed toward an offseason trade, just like Matthew Tkachuk a year ago from Calgary.” LeBrun adds that the Montreal Canadiens, who were rumored to be after Dubois last summer, would likely have interest once again. It’d be a shame for Winnipeg to lose Dubois, 24, and his near point-per-game production, but if he does have his heart set on leaving as a free agent in the summer of 2024, perhaps recouping some valuable assets via trade this summer could be the wisest way forward.
- Vegas Golden Knights netminder Adin Hill is dealing with a lower-body injury that could impact his availability for the team’s game against the Tampa Bay Lightning on Thursday, according to AT&T SportsNet’s Ashali Vise. The Golden Knights have dealt with major injury issues in their crease in recent weeks, injuries that led to the team acquiring legendary goaltender Jonathan Quick from the Columbus Blue Jackets. Hill has played well in 27 games for the Golden Knights this season, posting a 16-7-1 record, 2.45 goals-against-average, and .916 save percentage, but injuries have been a lingering issue in the past few seasons. Hill has been extremely impressive as of late, saving a combined 91 shots in his last two starts. Hopefully, for Hill and the Golden Knights, this injury is just a minor setback and not something that has a major impact on his availability moving forward.
Classic Flyers moment
The floundering of the Jets and Flames is what makes what the Preds did all the more perplexing. The west in general is wide open for any team to get thru to the Cup finals, so if there were ever a season to just get into the playoffs, this was the season.
The Preds sadly didn’t even have a 20-goal-scorer before the trades came. And their secondary scoring is non-existent. With Forsberg & Johansen hurt there really wasn’t much basis for optimism. The goaltending has been really strong though.
That’s the thing though, despite how mediocre they were, they were still in the hunt for the playoffs. They had a team that with an addition to their top 6 could’ve been competitive in the playoffs, certainly more than they had been the previous 4 seasons.