Flyers will try to improve with trade versus free agency, says GM


The Philadelphia Flyers will likely look to use trades rather than free agencies in any attempt to upgrade the squad, general manager Chuck Fletcher said Thursday.

“We’re going to have to make sure we’re managing the [NHL salary] heading properly and making sure we have the resources we need to keep the good young players who are here, “said Fletcher.” That said, you are always looking to add pieces if you can to help your team. We will do that, but I don’t expect us to be a major player in free agency in the next couple of years. I expect we will aggressively try to keep our own players. We’re going to be working on the phones to see what we can find on the trade front. “A target could be a top scorer. The Flyers averaged 2.08 goals in 13 games in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the third short of the 16 teams that qualified for the first round. Their regular top center line Sean Couturier (two goals) and forwards Claude Giroux (a T Jakub Voracek (four) combined for seven goals, three in their seven-game loss to the New York Islanders in the second round of the Eastern Conference.

Philadelphia was 4 for 41 (9.8%) on the power play in the first and second rounds.

“We would all love another goalscorer,” Fletcher said. “I’m looking at the top line and they haven’t produced. … I can tell you by watching the matches that I thought they had a lot of time zone, generated a lot of chances. Their shooting share and expected goal counts were really We did a lot of good things, we had a lot of spindle time when they were on the ice, but for some reason the goals didn’t come in.

“In the playoffs they weren’t finishing and the power play didn’t end, but they were getting looks. I think our best players played hard, the goals were not scored for a lot of our squad. We didn’t. There are a lot of guys who were really finishing. Could we use another goalscorer? Of course. ”

Accomplishing this could mean Philadelphia using its vast pool of young players and prospects as coins in potential trades. His top scorer this season was the 23-year-old forward Travis Konecny (61 points; 24 goals, 37 assists) and 24-year-old forward Oskar Lindblom was tied with Konecny ​​for the lead of Philadelphia with 11 goals when he was diagnosed with some form of bone cancer in December. Lindblom returned to the lineup in Game 6 against the Islanders and should be ready to return to a bigger role next season.

Joël Farabee, a 20-year-old forward, has led the Flyers rookies with eight goals in 52 games this season. And the defenders Ivan Provorov, 23, Travis Sanheim, 24 and Philippe Myers, 23, emerged as a building block, with the 22-year-old goalkeeper Carter Hart.

Video: PHI @ NYR: Konecny ​​hijacks Voracek’s shot for PPG

There are also better prospects, including the defender Egor Zamula and forward Morgan Frost, Wade Allison, Isaac Ratcliffe and Tanner Laczynski, who could push for roster spots next season. Frost and Zamula were on the playoff list but didn’t play.

“We have a lot of young players who are on the team or trying to make their way into the team,” Fletcher said. “… We’re going to be working on the phones to see what we can find on the trade front. We have a lot of good young players who still have their best days ahead of them. ”

One of the most intriguing young players is the center Nolan Patrick, who will be 22 on September 19. Second pick in the 2017 NHL Draft, Patrick has not played this season due to a migraine disorder.

Fletcher said he’s optimistic Patrick will play for Philadelphia next season.

“He continues to improve and progress,” said Fletcher. “This is the right thing; at this point it looks like he will regain his quality of life and hopefully he can come back to play hockey for us. He plays a really important role. As we saw in the playoffs, the ability to have three quality centermen capable of playing at 200 feet and producing offensively is extremely important, and he’s a big part of that future for us. ”

Patrick has 61 points (26 goals, 35 assists) in 145 NHL games and may become a restricted free agent after this season. Fletcher said contract negotiations have yet to begin.

Video: PHI @ NYI: Patrick slams Giroux’s thread

“His situation is a bit unique and we’ll have to work with the agent,” Fletcher said. “We haven’t started this process. … Each contract has its own challenges when you trade. This (injury situation) certainly makes it more difficult. ”

Besides Patrick, Myers and striker Nicolas Aube-Kubel anyone can become a restricted free agent. Among the unrestricted free agents waiting, there is the goalkeeper Brian Elliott, defender Justin Braun and forward Nate Thompson, Derek Grant and Tyler Pitlick. Fletcher said he told each of those players that a decision on his future with the Flyers would be made within a week or two after organizational meetings.

Elliott might be a priority in part because of the quality relationship he has developed with Hart. In 31 games (27 starts), Elliott was 16-7-4 with a 2.87 goals-against average, 0.899 save percentage and two shutouts, and a 2-1-1 record with an average of 2.15 GAA and a percent stop of 0.911 in three. post-season matches (two starts).

“He’s a guy who has respect for his teammates and the organization,” said Fletcher. “We’ll have a chance to sit down and talk to his agent. We have had a few general conversations about this and will continue to communicate and see what the future holds. “


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