This is the most critical offseason in recent memory for the Flyers, and their proud orange-clad fans. Chuck Fletcher definitely has his work cut out for him, not only with some household cleaning within the organization, but adding a few quality pieces to hopefully become a contender. Without further delay, here are our answers to your questions.
I think it’s more likely that Chuck Fletcher trades for a Top 4 Defenseman, than a second line Center. In particular, I think Fletcher trades for a top 4 Defenseman at the draft. The market just isn’t as strong for a quality top 4 Defenseman, as it is for a second line Center, via free agency. Of course, Erik Karlsson is available, however, he has had his fair share of injuries this past season. Hopefully, the Flyers add a Veteran top 4 Defenseman that plays the rigors of an 82 games season.
I think the “A’s” will go to Sean Couturier, Jakub Voracek, and Radko Gudas on Defense. The players love Gudas, and I would love Ivan Provorov to get an “A.” But, let’s him grow a few more years before he is handed such. Provorov sooner or later will have an “A.”
The Flyers will be more vocal in the locker room for sure, especially with the addition of Alain Vigneault. I see Couturier growing more into a leader this coming season, and he will be a good voice in the locker room. However, I do believe Fletcher has a plan to add another voice, as well, via trade or free agency.
Scott Laughton and Ryan Hartman will fit in just fine, and will not block any young prospect that is ready to take the next leap into the NHL. Any prospect that comes up, more than likely they would be on the third line or higher, thus Hartman and Laughton will not block any young prospect as both players would figure onto the fourth line. I mean Hartman could figure onto the third line, but I personally believe one of Morgan Frost, Joel Farabee, or Isaac Ratcliffe will make the roster in the Fall. So, one of those prospects would take the place of Hartman on the third line.
Laughton has the most upside in my opinion. He was a very solid Forward for the Flyers this past season, and Laughton was an asset for the coaching staff. The kid does whatever the coaching staff asks of him, and never complains. Laughton will play the PK, PP, and try to do anything to win. To me, he was an underrated Forward this past season. Both Hartman and Laughton will be just fine and do whatever the coaching staff asks of them. In addition, Hartman can also play the PK if needed.
You know what this one is mind-boggling. My source who is usually always correct said that Ivan Provorov would re-sign before the World’s began. I’m guessing, but I think the Flyers are asking for a long-term contract at about 6-6.5 mil per year. Provorov might want a bridge deal, as the long-term most likely will not benefit him, rather it would benefit the Flyers, so that may be the holdup.
Either way, during the exit interviews Fletcher said that he has talked to several of the RFA’s agents. Provorov’s agent is one that I know for a fact he talked to. I’m puzzled that a new deal is not in place, but I’m confident that one will get done here shortly.
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