Today, at 3pm, the NHL froze rosters ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft protection deadline. Earlier this week, Chuck Fletcher mentioned how most teams would prefer to wait until after the expansion draft to make trades. He must have crossed his fingers on all of us because the GM made a power move for a new top-pair defenseman.
Per Elliotte Friedman and Frank Seravalli, the Philadelphia Flyers have executed a trade with the Nashville Predators. Philippe Myers and Nolan Patrick were enough to score Ryan Ellis. Ellis still has six years at $6.25M remaining on his contract.
Following the trade, the Predators continued with Patrick, sending him to the Vegas Golden Knights for Cody Glass. It’s a carousel where everyone gets what they want. The Flyers get a top-pair defenseman to put with Ivan Provorov. Nashville gets a top-four defenseman and ammunition to trade for a forward they want. Patrick has a new start with his new agent with the Golden Knights.
David Poile wasn’t looking for an expensive return for a player like Mattias Ekholm. Per Jeff Middleton, a top prospect and a draft pick were around the ballpark. It’s not that shocking that Myers and Patrick did the trick for Ellis, especially when the Predators made cap space. Vegas working with this trade alleviated Fletcher from having to give up any draft capital.
For Philadelphia, a few things change on the protection front. Fletcher has been aggressive about exposing heavy contracts ahead of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. Could he take Nicolas Aube-Kubel off the table, leaving Robert Hagg as the cheapest option for the Kraken? Could he force Seattle to take either Shayne Gostisbehere (2yrs/$4.5mil), James van Riemsdyk (2yrs/$7mil), or Jakub Voracek (3yrs/$8.25mil)? Stay tuned. The Flyers offseason just became exciting.
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