Flyers Trade Deadline Special

Following Sunday's embarrassing 5-3 loss to the Sabres, in which the Flyers blew a 2-0 and a 3-2 lead, it is clear what path this Flyers team needs to take into the trade deadline.

The NHL trade deadline is Monday at 3 pm, and the Flyers at this point in the season have to be sellers and find a way to build for next season. The Flyers sit 4 points behind the Bruins, who have 2 more games in hand, and play a much more favorable schedule. The Bruins also just acquired former MVP Taylor Hall via trade with the Sabres. It would take a miracle at this point for the Flyers to make the playoffs, and clearly, the way this team is constructed is not working. GM of the Flyers Chuck Fletcher has a lot to think about heading into Monday's deadline of how this team will be constructed going forward. But for now, let's talk about who we might have seen play their last game for the Flyers.

Scott Laughton

A fan favorite for sure, who plays with great energy and is relentless on the forecheck. Only 26 and has had great production throughout his career, Laughton is heading towards free agency this summer, and the Flyers could potentially move him now if he is not in their future plans. Laughton would garner some great value and the Flyers would be open to moving him if the offer is right, however, reports are saying it would take a deal that would blow the Flyers front office away for the Flyers to move on from the forward. Laughton seems to be very happy in Philadelphia, and the Flyers and he have been in negotiations for a new contract, so unless the deal is great, the Flyers should do everything they can to keep him. The Toronto Maple Leafs have been on the phone with the Flyers this week trying to get a deal done for Laughton.

Michael Raffl

Another player on an expiring deal, Raffl could be on the move from the Flyers. Another lifetime Flyer, like Laughton, that still has some value to him. Raffl has always been a very solid player who can hold onto the puck in the offensive zone, and still find some goals and assists, as well as play good defense, for a potential Stanley Cup contender. Raffl's deal that is expiring this year is 1 yr 1.6 Million dollars, which would be attractive for a contending team to pick him up for the back end of their forwards. I haven't seen any rumors of teams calling Raffl, but I am sure Fletcher will be trying to deal him on Monday for any type of assets such as draft picks.

Erik Gustaffson

The Erik Gustaffson signing has failed miserably for Fletcher, as he was the only defender signed by the Flyers this offseason. Gustaffson was signed to a 1 yr 3 million dollar deal last offseason and has been a healthy scratch multiple times for the Flyers. Gustaffson gave some power play goals early in the season but has not been good on the defensive end at all this season. I expect the Flyers to be on the phone with teams trying to deal Gus for almost anything such as cash considerations or a late-round pick. Gustaffson really does not have any value but the Flyers should move him to free up some cap space for this coming summer.

Other players who the Flyers have had calls for, but don't seem greatly interested in moving are 22 year old former second overall pick Nolan Patrick, who has had a very poor year coming off of missing all of last year with migraine issues. Shayne Gostisbehere was placed on waivers two weeks but nobody claimed the young offensive threat defenseman. Ghost has a relatively difficult contract to move given how poor he can be on defense at times, so I don't see it likely the Flyers move on from either Patrick or Ghost.

Anything the Flyers do today will have to be focused on clearing cap for the coming summer. The Flyers, very similar to the Eagles, have virtually no cap space left and have some ugly contracts they could try to move off of. At this point in the season also, the Flyers should focus on giving some young guys some experience, such as exciting defensive prospect Cam York who was just signed to an NHL contract. If for whatever reason, the Flyers decide to be buyers at the deadline, they do have assets to do so. The Flyers still have virtually all of their draft picks still and an exciting group of prospects as well, however, it would make little to no sense to move off of any of those assets for a season that seems to be a lost cause now. If the Flyers were to buy with these assets, it would have to be for one thing and one thing only, defense.

There is clearly a lot to think about for today for the Flyers, but it will likely be a big sell-or-nothing kind of day from Chuck Fletcher.

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