From a drafting standpoint, the Seattle Kraken selections were relatively weak. Some analysts are gassing the Kraken as they enter their first NHL season, feeding the idea that they could be a playoff team.
As it stands before trades, that’s not happening. You ought to have more faith in the Philadelphia Flyers making the playoffs. All the Flyers did was trade for Ryan Ellis, which puts them in a better position considering they didn’t sacrifice scoring.
Philadelphia is sitting in the cheap seats, underwhelmed by Seattle’s plan to draft Carsen Twarynski.
Chuck Fletcher exposed heavy contracts in an attempt to create cap space at the expense of the Kraken. Not a bad strategy before the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. By design, Fletcher has had a successful offseason in the early stages. Unfortunately, Ron Francis used the Flyers as a pit stop for a prospect. The Flyers have ~$9.3mil in cap space before extending Travis Sanheim, Carter Hart, and signing a backup goaltender.
Oh, and that Vladimir Tarasenko deal didn’t take place. Fletcher will likely find a way to move Jakub Voracek this offseason, but it won’t be on the day of the 2021 NHL Expansion Draft. If he does, then the salary cap is wide open. If he doesn’t, Philadelphia shouldn’t panic ahead of 2021-2022.
Seattle Selects Twarynski
Carsen Twarynski is a physical fourth-line player when a typical starter scratches from the lineup. He’s never been a routine bottom-six winger with the Philadelphia Flyers. It was anti-climatic when he was the selection because he’s a cusp AHL player. James van Riemsdyk, an elite powerplay scorer last season, was available but passed by Ron Francis.
Is there a fascination for Twarynski? The Seattle Kraken wanted to play tight to the salary cap minimum, but they sacrificed many notable exposed players. Even the Vegas Golden Knights took Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, who fit as a legitimate bottom-six in 2017.
Dave Hakstol loves to develop young players, but the Kraken should also show urgency to compete out of the gate. It sure looks like the abundance of defensemen Seattle poached could be assets to attract forwards from other franchises.
Maybe Chuck Fletcher could dangle Jakub Voracek or James van Riemsdyk in a package for a second-pair defenseman. Hakstol certainly likes Voracek. He played well under Hakstol during his time with the Flyers. It hasn’t changed that van Riemsdyk was the most valuable option for the Kraken. There are negotiations to be made.
Twarynski never played under Hakstol, so there’s an indication he may not be the final answer for Seattle concerning Philadelphia.
Are the Flyers in a Good Place?
With ~$9.3mil available, they’re not in an awful position. Of course, the Philadelphia Flyers would have appreciated the cap space alleviation of accepting a loss on James van Riemsdyk or Jakub Voracek. Now, those two who tied the team lead in scoring last season are still with the Flyers following the addition of Ryan Ellis.
The team didn’t lose firepower, and the defense received an upgrade.
Around ~$3.3mil should be available after extensions to Travis Sanheim and Carter Hart. Brian Elliott could return for another season on a cheap contract.
If Chuck Fletcher wants to spend the remaining budget on a backup goaltender, there are options available. Alleviating cap space via trade still sounds like a plan. Could the Buffalo Sabres turn into a trade partner for Linus Ullmark? That’s one goaltender Philadelphia can afford to tandem with Hart.
Maybe Fletcher stays within the system to fulfill that need. In a direct comparison between the Seattle Kraken and the Flyers, one team looks like they’re on the path to the postseason. Unfortunately, the Kraken doesn’t seem to have the luster the Vegas Golden Knights did upon arrival. That could change. Until it does, Philadelphia will be fine without Carsen Twarynski.
Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre