The market for defensemen has gotten spicy over the last few days, with Mattias Ekholm, Vladislav Gavrikov, Jake McCabe, Dmitry Orlov, and others all on the move. The Philadelphia Flyers might be the next to jump into the deadline dealing.
Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the Flyers are taking calls on Ivan Provorov, noting how it will still take a significant package to pry him out of Philadelphia.
It shouldn’t surprise anyone that Provorov is available. There have been rumors for quite some time that a split might be necessary between the Flyers and their top defenseman, as Provorov’s progression hasn’t gone according to plan.
Once considered among the best up-and-coming defensemen in the league, Provorov had 17 goals and 41 points in his sophomore season and even got some down-ballot Norris Trophy votes two years later. In 2019, he turned that production into a six-year, $40.5MM contract with the Flyers, jumping to a $6.75MM cap hit directly out of his entry-level contract.
Since then, though, things haven’t really improved. Philadelphia has slowly become a worse team, they have struggled to find a good match to play with Provorov, and his effectiveness has waned. Through 61 games this season, he has just four goals and 22 points, totals that would be career lows should they finish that way. He’s still playing more than any other Flyer, averaging more than 23 minutes a night, but the fit hasn’t seemed right for some time.
With the new leadership of John Tortorella clearly looking to put a stamp on the roster, changes are coming in Philadelphia. James van Riemsdyk will likely be traded before the deadline, and questions have been asked about every other veteran on the club.
With two years left on his current deal, Provorov would represent a huge swing by a contending team—one with high risk and high reward. If a fresh start rejuvenates the 26-year-old defenseman, they could add a true difference-maker to anchor a top pairing and play in all situations. If he takes another step backward, they would be giving up significant assets and cap space for underwhelming performance.