Trade Experiment: Ondrej Kase to the Flyers

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Ever since the Philadelphia Flyers victory against the Anaheim Ducks on Tuesday, the idea of two brothers playing on the same line found its way into my train of thought. The chemistry of having two brothers who have played hockey for most of their life and made it to the professional level worked before. Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin were a lethal injection of offense for the Vancouver Canucks. The Flyers have a player who scored his first NHL goal against his own brother’s team. Could acquiring Ondrej Kase via trade work for Philadelphia?

In their final seasons with the Vancouver Canucks, Daniel Sedin and Henrik Sedin both made $7mil a season over their last four seasons. Currently, Ondrej Kase is making $2.6mil a season with the Anaheim Ducks through 2021. David Kase is making $768,333 a season with the Philadelphia Flyers through 2020. The offensive output between the Sedin’s was a sight to behold. From their 1999 draft class, the Sedin brothers accounted for 20% of the scoring.

The Trade

The trade idea is to replace an aging player on the Philadelphia Flyers with Ondrej Kase. First, I looked into a straightforward trade between the Anaheim Ducks and the Flyers that included Michael Raffl and Ondrej. That trade just wouldn’t make much sense for Philadelphia because it wouldn’t help them get out of a salary cap purgatory. So, the next contestant in this experiment was James van Riemsdyk. Yes, the Ducks would be getting the more productive player out of the gate, but the thesis here is that a younger tandem would out produce in the long run.

The Contract

We know how much Ondrej and David Kase are making annually. It’s already a big chunk less in total than what James van Riemsdyk makes alone. JvR is making $7mil this season, then $6mil through 2022, followed by his final season at $4mil. Even at his lowest owed in a season, that’s more than both Kase brothers. Already, the Philadelphia Flyers are alleviating cap space.

If this trade happened today, sending Ondrej Kase to the Philadelphia Flyers in exchange for James van Riemsdyk to the Anaheim Ducks, the Flyers would open $2.5mil in cap space. If the trade happens at the NHL trade deadline, Philadelphia opens just $1mil. It’s a rash decision to make, but it benefits the team salary cap to make the move sooner rather than later.

Why Make The Trade?

I look at the age of the players first. James van Riemsdyk, 30, is going to be 33 years old when his current contract is up with the Philadelphia Flyers. Ondrej Kase will be 24. When Ondrej turns 24, David turns 23. Youth is on the side of the Flyers with the opportunity to have a rare synergy between two players. JvR is a crafty talent and one that any NHL team would start, but if this season is a sign of what is to come, I would gamble with a younger, cheaper tandem.

The Logistics

This trade experiment rides heavily on how much the Philadelphia Flyers organization is willing to value youth over potentially regressing veterans. There is that psychology and also the school of thought that the Flyers have to be invested in David Kase to keep him on the roster instead of putting him back down with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. I would plan to ride with David over Andy Andreoff. The real battle for David on the roster as of the moment is Nicolas Aube-Kubel. If David gets a point against the Buffalo Sabres tonight, it helps his case.

Next season, I don’t see Chris Stewart or Tyler Pitlick on the Philadelphia Flyers roster. Immediately, there is room for Ondrej Kase. That is an idea if the trade weren’t to happen, but in this context, we are making the trade for Ondrej at James van Riemsdyk’s expense. Building a line with the Kase brothers at the wings would add quality depth to the Flyers roster. Philadelphia could have a rare, productive fourth line.

With Ondrej Kase’s contract at $2.6mil per season, he would be prorated this season at $1.49 million if the trade happened for James van Riemsdyk ($7mil per season, $4mil prorated) today. Just about $2.51 million would be available in cap space for the Philadelphia Flyers. If the Flyers waited until 2/24/20, which is the NHL trade deadline, $940,860.40 would be the approximate figure in available cap space. The question is if the cap space is worth the leap of faith. JvR is the talent we know versus the unknown chemistry that a line featuring Ondrej and David Kase could provide.

Let me know your thoughts in the comments with what you would do with this trade experiment. If there are any other trade experiments you would like to see, comment here or on Twitter (@EricReesePSN). Throw Philly Sports Network a follow on Facebook, Instagram (@phillysportsnetwork), and on Twitter (@PhiladelphiaSN) for more Philadelphia Flyers content.

Mandatory Credit – © Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports

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