Flyers Weekly Mailbag: Looking Ahead

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Well Folks that’s all she wrote. Another Flyers season is in the books, and what a season it was. Yes, there were a lot of ups and downs. However, there were more ups than downs. For instance, the revival of Claude Giroux’s career, Sean Couturier finally emerged as an offensive powerhouse, Ivan Provorov finally replaces Chris Pronger on the blue line, and Jakub Voracek revived his career with an 85 point season.

These list of players don’t include the young guns who took a step forward. The young Travis Konecny, a rookie sensation in Nolan Patrick, Scott Laughton has finally appeared, and last but not least Travis Sanheim and Robert Hagg will get better. The future is bright, and we will start to see a better Flyers team next season. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.

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Michael thanks for your support all season long. Simply put you’re the man. We at phillysportsnetwork.com can’t thank you enough. You’re a very knowledgeable Flyers fan. One candidate that could moved at the Draft is Wayne Simmonds. However, I would not trade Simmonds, as he was a warrior all season long. The guy played with a torn pelvis, broken ankle, groin pull, and had a pin placed in his hand, and only missed seven games. Simmonds should return to the orange and black next season, and be given a shot at a redemption season like Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, Sean Couturier, and Shayne Gostisbehere. This doesn’t mean Simmonds couldn’t get traded at the deadline either. So to answer your question yes.

The Flyers should add at least one Defenseman with one of their two picks in the draft. They drafted Nolan Patrick last year as the second pick, so this year they should focus on the Defensive side of the puck. Some Right Handed Defenseman that will be on the Flyers radar are Evan Bouchard, Noah Dobson, Bode Wilde, Ryan Merkley, and Jett Woo. Some Left handed Defenseman that the Flyers should be interested in are Ty Smith, Quinton Hughes, and Kiandre Miller. Really no one knows who General Manager Ron Hextall will select.

Rob I can’t say thank you enough for your support all season. You’re very passionate  flyer fan, and you show it every week. Absolutely we were very hard on some guys that have given their all, and were hurt for a portion of the season. For instance, a warrior in Wayne Simmonds playing through a torn pelvis, groin pull, a broken ankle, and a pin in his hand, while only missing 7 games on the season. Another prime example is Brian Elliott, as he wasn’t 100% healthy when he returned from his Core Muscle surgery. He has to have a clean out procedure in the affected area. These are just two prime examples of the warriors that hockey players are.

Greg Coughneour- I guess my question is where do we go from here? It’s obvious we have glaring needs on defense and in goal. Is making a move for a goalie like Braden Holtby an option. Washington has other goalie options and cap issues, so I think he could be available.

Greg thank you so much for your comment, and your support all season long. Your dedication to the orange and black is felt everytime you post something. You’re the man. For starters, Ron Hextall will finally have some cap room to make a splash. If the current cap raises (As expected to 75-80 million), then the Flyers will have about 21 million dollars in cap space. Of course, this is without the buyout of Jori Lehtera. If they choose to buy out Lehtera, then it could raise to $25 million. The orange and black are not bringing Brandon Manning, Matt Read, or Johnny Oduya back for another season. However, Hextall is open to bringing back Valtteri Filppula, but under the right circumstances. I personally believe John Tavares will resign with the New York Islanders, so I will leave him out of the mix.

The Flyers are in need of a top 4 pairing RHD Defenseman, and to be more blunt a Defenseman to pair hopefully pair with Ivan Provorov. A Defenseman with tons of miles left on their tires. They are also in need of a third line Center if Filppula actually doesn’t return.

Here are some players to watch on Defense:

John Carlson, Calvin De Haan, or a possible acquisition of Doug Hamilton.

Here are some players to watch as a Third Line Center:

Riley Nash, Paul Stastny, Valtteri Filppula, Mikhail Grabovski, Tyler Bozak, and the farm with Mike Vecchione or Mikhail Vorobyev.

Jody Boyer- Think any chance Simmer gets moved at the draft?

Jody I can’t say thank you enough for all your dedication to us throughout the season. We will continue to have Facebook Live Q&A’s just like last off-season. Your wealth of Flyers knowledge is through the roof. Your awesome man. There’s a possibility Wayne Simmonds is traded at the draft. If this does occur it’s with the hopes of moving up in the first round to select either Oliver Wahlstrom, Evan Bouchard, or Noah Dobson. About three months ago, Ron Hextall was seen scouting Evan Bouchard in Ottawa. Kind of ironic, as Bouchard appears to be off the draft board when the Flyers make their first selection in the first round. Only Hextall knows, but I wouldn’t mind signing this warrior in Simmonds to a three or four-year extension.

Adam you know what I can’t express enough how much you mean to this site. I appreciate all your support, and you’re a Flyers maniac. Your knowledge of the team is through the roof.

Gudas- Needs to go. He’s a liability at this point with suspensions and his play. In his exit interview Gudas stated, “Communication Issues,” as the primary reason the Penalty Kill was so bad this year. To me that’s an excuse. The penalty kill has been horrid for the past few years, own it.

Lehtera- Should be bought out for more cap relief. But, I have to say he wasn’t that bad in the playoffs. Guess he should have played his natural position of Center all season.

Filppula- Please let him walk. Mikhail Vorobyev, Mike Vecchione, or Scott Laughton could be possible candidates to fill in the third line Center position if Hextall wants to use more cap for resigning the young players like Travis Konecny, and Ivan Provorov.

Read- Will not return Per Hextall.

Macdonald- Hope for a trade partner, but unlikely do to his contract. More than likely, Macdonald will be here next year whether we like it or not.

Wayne Simmonds is a true definition of a warrior. Do to all his injuries that he played through this past season. Simmonds should be given a chance at a redemption season. If Simmonds is not traded at the Draft, or before training camp for that matter. He could very well be resigned to a three-year extension, for 6-6.5 million dollars per year. Not more than four years though.

Honestly, if there’s a big player traded this off-season it would be Voracek or Simmonds. I’m going to go out on a limb, and say no big player is traded this off-season. This is the first time Hextall has some cap room to add value to the team, so I think he would like to see how the player(s) that are added will pan out with the core of the Flyers.

I’m going out on a limb saying no big name will be traded this off-season. This will be the first time in 5 years Hextall has some cap room. I think he would like to see how the player(s) added will work with the core of the Flyers.

Adam your right on with your list of possibilities for the young Lehigh Valley Phantoms players that are ready to make the jump to the NHL next season. I would love to see the fourth line of Weal, Laughton, Nak next season. This would be a smoking hot line. Moreover, if Hextall doesn’t fill the third line Center position for Filppula, then Vecchione or Vorobyev are more than capable of handling the load. Right now I would have to go with Vecchione, as he appears to be more ahead of Vorobyev. Vecchione is playing well thus far in the post season for the Phantoms.

Danick Martel will get his shot eventually. I firmly believe that. This kid is explosive, and  I think Danny Briere proved that size doesn’t matter if you know how to play the game. Martel fits the bill.

Robert Hagg and Travis Sanheim will no doubt play the whole year next season. We will get to learn a lot about them,next season. Let’s hope Hextall is able to move Andrew Macdonald or Radko Gudas this off-season. An interesting note is that Samuel Morin cannot play for the Phantoms next season, as he’s exempt. It’s the NHL, or Morin will find himself on waivers.

If you would like to see your questions submitted in our weekly mailbag. Just submit your question on our Facebook page or on Twitter using #Flyersmail. This mailbag will continue throughout the off-season. Just because the season is over, we don’t stop here at this site. Thanks to all the fans for another great mailbag, and Let’s go Flyers. Without your support we wouldn’t be here today.

 

Mandatory Credit: Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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