When the Flyers started February, they were five points out of the final wild card spot and straddling the fence about whether or not they’d be buyers or sellers at the NHL trade deadline, which is next Monday.
Unfortunately, not much has changed over the last three weeks.
The Flyers have gone just 5-4-3 in their 12 games this month and sit three points behind the Penguins – who have played one less game – for the final wild card berth and also trail the Devils and Hurricanes.
So, in essence, they haven’t really nudged the needle in either direction. It has left General Manager Ron Hextall in the precarious position of still figuring out what to do.
Hextall could add a player or two for the stretch run, but the GM is on record saying he won’t trade away any young players or high draft picks for a veteran player. That leaves him with very few options.
He could watch from the sidelines, not make any moves and let the current – and flawed – roster make a run. Or he could place the “For Sale” sign out front and trade veterans for prospects and picks.
Considering the team’s current spot in the standings, its inconsistent play this month and injuries to key players like Michael Del Zotto, Sean Couturier and most recently captain Claude Giroux, Hextall is likely to choose Option C.
If he does go the sell route, here are a few players who may change addresses and what they might net in return:
Value: Although 38 years old, he still has enough left in the tank, can play top-four minutes and captain the second power-play unit.
Return: Streit’s cap hit ($5.2 million) is digestible for his production and as last year proved with the trades of Kimmo Timonen and Brayden Coburn, he should command at least a second-round pick and marginal prospect.
Value: A longshot to get dealt, the Flyers could deal their backup goalie, who has been one of their best players all season and is signed through next year, for the right price.
Return: A high draft pick or couple of mid-round picks.
Value: The forward is on pace to score 15 goals, brings speed and is solid defensively and on the penalty-kill.
Return: A mid-round draft pick.
Value: A sturdy, stay-at-home defenseman that can provide depth and experience.
Return: In the first year of a two-year, $4.5 million deal, the veteran could bring a mid-to-high draft pick.
Value: The forward, who has eight goals, is off the pace from last year’s 21, but he can provide depth at wing or center and play on just about any line.
Return: A late-round pick or low-level prospect.