As the NHL All-Star Break is almost upon us, the Flyers will have some time to rest before they play out their remaining 38 games over the next three months. It also gives us some time to reflect on this, well, extremely forgetful season. As of now, the Flyers sit in 7th place in the Metropolitan Division and 17 points out of the second wildcard spot. In short, they don’t stand a chance to make the playoffs barring a miraculous turnaround.

With their current situation, it will be up to Chuck Fletcher to get this team ready for next season and probably save his own job.

So how do they get it done? Pretty much, give up on competing for a playoff spot and focus on the future. Here are 5 ways they can do that before this season ends.

 

1. Trade Claude Giroux

As much as this will hurt, this is a must for the Flyers if they want to get a headstart on building a team that can compete in the future. Giroux is 34 with one year left on his deal but has shown that he’s still the team’s best player with 35 points in 41 games. A contender somewhere will want him and it is up to the Flyers to give him a chance to win a Stanley Cup elsewhere.

As for what they will get in return, Giroux will be a half-year rental so it won’t be a massive haul but getting something is a must for the Flyers.

The Avalanche has been the most-discussed destination for Giroux and for good reason. The Avalanche are very good and should be making every move possible to get them ready for a deep playoff push. According to Elliott Friedman on his ’32 Thoughts’ podcast, Chuck Fletcher’s asking price is “likely a first-round pick, a high-level prospect, and possibly another piece”. With the Avalanche up against the salary cap, that final piece would likely be a current roster player to shed some salary for Giroux while the Flyers would certainly retain some of Giroux’s salary.

It will be hard to say goodbye to Giroux after 15 years, but the Flyers must do the right thing and give Giroux a chance to succeed in another city.

 

2. Find out what you have on defense

For the second-straight season, the Flyers have been a mess on defense even with the additions of Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, and Keith Yandle in the offseason. Ellis has played just four games while Ristolainen and Yandle just haven’t been very good. It would be wise for the Flyers to move both, if possible.

Ristolainen just wasn’t a very smart addition to this team as he’s not particularly strong in either end so it’s time to bite the bullet and accept that it was the wrong move and try to get anything for the big-bodied defenseman. Meanwhile, the Flyers were pretty much forced to play Yandle so he could continue his ironman, but now that he has set the record, it’s time to move on and send him elsewhere and give some of their prospects a real chance to showcase their potential.

Most notably, Cam York should get some more playing time. The rookie has appeared in 12 games thus far, posting 3 points. While nothing incredibly impressive, York should absolutely be playing over Keith Yandle and get a chance to quarterback the powerplay. Because, why not? See what you have. Not like it’s really going to make any difference this season, anyways.

Yegor Zamula could be another interesting option. The 21-year old defenseman has 14 points in 30 games with the Phantoms and should be given a chance at the next level as he continues to grow into his 6-foot-3 frame. Maybe you have a third-pairing defenseman in him. Certainly can’t hurt to try and find out.

 

3. Find out who else can be used as trade bait

It really should be a fire sale for the Flyers at the trade deadline. Take the New York Rangers, for example. Just a few seasons ago, they moved everyone with value on their team when they saw that they were not real contenders. Fast forward to this season and they are amongst the top teams in the East. The Flyers should follow suit and collect whatever resources they can to get ready for a rebuild.

Besides the aforementioned Giroux, Ristolainen, and Yandle, that could also mean younger players like Travis Konecny, who has struggled over the past few seasons to live up to the hype around him early on in his career with just 18 goals in 92 games. Travis Sanheim could also find himself moved as he, like Konecny, hasn’t quite panned out as the Flyers have hoped. Decent players, but may be best to take the resources moving forward instead.

Veterans like James van Riemsdyk and Martin Jones could also make interesting options for teams In need of depth in goal and at forward and on the powerplay.

 

Featured Image: Kate Frese/PhillyVoice

 

 

 

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