A month and a half ago, the Philadelphia Flyers struggled largely between the pipes and defensively. Now, the fanbase clamors for Jack Eichel.
Completion and success usually follow closely. By finishing a list of tasks to complete, there’s likely reinforcement related to success. Prioritizing necessity brings order to otherwise a chaotic list of demands. Focusing on what is required to become stronger tomorrow optimizes your overall personal development.
Similar ideas apply to the Philadelphia Flyers. They’re a team that needs to worry about the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft before executing the second phase of this offseason, free agency. Next season, CapFriendly projects the Flyers to have $13mil in cap space. Already, Carter Hart and Travis Sanheim need extensions. At the minimum, consider half of that cap space gone.
Throughout 2020-2021, all of Philadelphia clamored on about the defense. Hart regressed drastically, and Brian Elliott took on the starting role. The Flyers have to send Jakub Voracek or James van Riemsdyk to the Seattle Kraken to alleviate $7mil-$8.25mil.
All of that has to happen, per script, to afford a stable backup goaltender to Hart and the top right-handed defenseman to compliment Ivan Provorov. We’re talking about stars and planets aligning already.
It’s been a month and a half since that meltdown season, and the bipolar buzz circulates Jack Eichel.
What Does Philadelphia Trade for Eichel?
Too much. Jack Eichel wants to part ways from the Buffalo Sabres, but it isn’t exclusive to that franchise and its lack of success. He has to get surgery to place an artificial disk in his neck. Considering those factors, no team should have to overpay for Eichel. The Sabres aren’t in a power position in this transaction.
All of it sounds equally as miserable. Buffalo doesn’t have a stranglehold on the Philadelphia Flyers. If this is the market for Eichel, find the nearest exit and leave.
Allergic reactions are tired. Learning how to chalk up a loss and addressing the required decisions to fix a franchise is worth the time. The Sabres will pick in the top ten of the NHL Entry Draft for a decade now. They’ve been doing it since 2015 when Eichel arrived, and nothing changed.
Making the playoffs every other year isn’t a staple of consistency, but did Eichel will Buffalo to the postseason?
An Alternative Away From Jack Eichel
To this moment, every trade scenario for Jack Eichel doesn’t make sense. The Philadelphia Flyers defense is swiss-cheese, goaltending is incomplete, but adding a center (the deepest position on the team) is the right idea?
The Buffalo Sabres aren’t going to want to rebuild completely. They’re going to want assets for now and later. Inconsistencies linger with Eichel before an offer presents itself. He’ll get his neck surgery, but will the Flyers fanbase be patient enough for Eichel to regain complete health, even if it isn’t during 2021-2022? That’s a rhetorical question; see Nolan Patrick.
Meanwhile, both of those projected trade offers feature Morgan Frost and the 2021 first-round pick. Philadelphia could find themselves with Mason McTavish in the first round of the 2021 NHL Entry Draft. If the Seattle Kraken draft Jakub Voracek or James van Riemsdyk, the Flyers could afford a top-pair defenseman.
Without sacrificing draft capital, a prospect, and top team scoring talent, Philadelphia marches on. They’re on track to circulate the required needs on a path of redemption in 2021-2022. Instead of a rebuild, this offseason is a retool. Accepting these trades for Eichel would set the Flyers back another season or two.
Speak a top-pair defenseman and stable backup goaltender into Philadelphia, but not Eichel.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre