ESPN Gives Flyers A- Grade for Offseason Moves
The Philadelphia Flyers received an A- from ESPN in its offseason grades for all 32 NHL teams.
General manager Chuck Fletcher has made some aggressive moves to try and reshape the Flyers roster and still may have a few tweaks to make between now and the time the puck drops on Oct 15.
He made multiple moves to improve the Flyers defense this offseason that caught the eyes of Greg Wyshynski, senior NHL writer at ESPN.
GM Chuck Fletcher was a busy man this offseason, and most of the work was good. Ellis more than fills the hole that Matt Niskanen left with his surprising retirement before last season. The price for Ristolainen was high (2021 first-rounder, 2023 second-rounder), but a change in scenery and defensive partner could make this a coup, which is the word we'd use for signing Yandle for $900,000 on a post-buyout contract. The swap of Voracek for Atkinson gives the Flyers a player with one more contract year (through 2024-25) but more goal-scoring upside.
The team beefed up the blue line, sending for Philippe Myers and Nolan Patrick to Nashville in exchange for adding Ryan Ellis and traded away their first-round pick in the 2021 NHL Draft, a second-round pick in 2023 and defenseman Robert Hagg to add Rasmus Ristolainen.
They also shipped away one of the faces of the franchise, moving Jake Voracek to Columbus for Cam Atkinson and signed veteran defenseman Keith Yandle.
The team signed goalie Carter Hart to a three-year deal three-year, $11.9 million contract on Monday and added Martin Jones to back Hart up this season. The decision to sign Jones was the one that was questioned by Wyshynski.
The only misstep was Jones as safety net for Hart; even at one year and $2 million post-buyout, he's a goalie who has given up 6.7 goals below average over the past three seasons. Otherwise, the Flyers are trying to be this season's Canadiens: a team remade and revitalized by veteran additions to key areas in the offseason.
The last order of business will be getting Travis Sanheim locked up, the team filed for salary arbitration with him after he scored three goals and 12 assists in 55 games last season. The arbitration hearing is set for Aug. 26.