When it rains, it pours! Right on the 3 PM deadline, Chuck Fletcher pulled one last Rabbit out of his Hat by trading Michael Raffl to the Capitals in exchange for a fifth-round pick.
The move itself isn’t surprising. At 32-years-old, Michael Raffl was the second-oldest player on the roster behind Brian Elliott and his $1.6M contract was set to expire this Summer. Much like Gustafsson, the team cashed in while they could, accepting that he isn’t a part of their future plans.
That final part is what will sting Flyers fans. Raffl spent his entire eight-year career with the Flyers, mostly playing as a bottom-six forward. He spent the majority of his 2020 season on the fourth line while coming up big on the penalty kill, averaging 13 minutes of ice time per game.
Raffl tallied 3 goals and 5 assists through 34 games this season and has 81 goals and 79 assists through 504 career appearances. The Austrian has been a key role player for the Flyers through every rise and fall over the last eight years and losing him is certainly going to hurt a little bit.
It will be interesting to see how the Flyers shuffle things around on those bottom two lines now and without there being a new addition to the team, losing both Gustafsson and Raffl could open the doors for some prospects to step up and make an impact as the season enters its final phase.
Tanner Laczynski will likely be the player called upon to replace Raffl to begin with. The 23-year-old has made three appearances for the Flyers and impressed in both, just not enough to earn a consistent spot on the fourth line. That may no longer be the case with Raffl no longer on the roster.
With the NHL Trade Deadline now behind us, all eyes turn to a clash with Michael Raffl and his new team on Wednesday.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre