With great drafting, teams are put into difficult situations down the line making tough roster decisions. Those tough decisions make you think long and hard before you eventually make your final decision.
When the Bruins traded Dougie Hamilton, they thought long and hard to why it was a good choice and why is wasn’t. They ended up taking the good choice and traded him to Calgary for a 1st round pick and two 2nd round picks.
The reasoning behind the trade? Hamilton was due a huge raise at seasons end and the Bruins feared they may lose him. So, they traded him and got a pile of drafts picks in return rather than nothing.
The Flyers are in a similar situation with Travis Sanheim. Its not about the money, just yet. But, in this case, its about space.
With a defense group of Ivan Provorov, Shayne Gostisbehere, Robert Hagg, & Radko Gudas already, the Flyers are running out of spots for the remaining highly talented defensive prospects in their system.
With the likes of Sam Morin, Philippe Myers, and Travis Sanheim all knocking on the door, the Flyers have a decision to make. Which one of those three will be the odd man out? A reason why one of Sam Morin, Philippe Myers, or Travis Sanheim must be traded sooner rather than later.
It would be great for the Flyers to have all 7 of those guys on the roster. However, you can only play 6 guys at a time and one would have to sit. And, down the line, you would have to pay all of them. Something that would be extremely hard to do and except to be relevant up-front too.
Which is why GM Ron Hextall has a history of thinking forward first.
Hextall made a great decision by signing Shayne Gostisbehere early. His contract is extremely valuable to the Flyers with the numbers he is going to put up. Same with the contract he signed Wayne Simmonds too.
A reason why I believe Hextall will do the same thing with Ivan Provorov this off-season. A contract maybe like 6 years $33 million, $5.5 million cap hit. This contract would get Provorov to 28 years old, where he will get an even bigger contract to finish off his career.
Which leads me to Sanheim.
Travis Sanheim is in a bad situation at the moment. Sanheim has outplayed the AHL. However, he is not trusted enough by his head coach to play over veterans Andrew MacDonald & Brandon Manning. Which led to his demotion to the Phantoms back on January 22nd, after sitting out 15 straight games.
The reason Sanheim is in this situation is because of poor signings by the previous management. If the Flyers never signed Andrew MacDonald to that un-warranted 6 year $30 million contract, he would be with the team right now.
However, he is instead playing for the Phantoms. Wasting another year of his contract. Which is why I started this article with Dougie Hamilton.
Hamilton was traded because the Bruins felt they would get out-bid and lose him. With the Flyers going into a huge year of signings, the Flyers may be heading towards that same road with Travis Sanheim.
In the same free-agent class of Travis Sanheim, the Flyers have some very important pieces to resign as well as Sanheim. That free agent class includes Ivan Provorov, Wayne Simmonds, Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Jordan Weal, Michael Raffl, and possibly a goalie if Carter Hart is not ready.
The reason they differ from Sanheim is they need contracts. Those 6 Flyers have been steady in the NHL. Sanheim has not.
Therefore, with all those guys needing new contracts, a team could easily jump in and get Sanheim. A team could easily out-bid a Flyers team with limited cap space that offseason.
Which leads me to this. Is the time right to trade Travis Sanheim now?
With Andrew MacDonald having 2 more years on his contract. The thought the Flyers might resign Brandon Manning at years end. Would now be the right time to trade Sanheim?
Well, that is a question we will have to keep tabs on over the next two weeks leading into the deadline. And, over the following months of the offseason leading into the draft.
The reason Sanheim is in this position is because he is developing at a faster rate than the Flyers thought he would.
Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports