Could Flyers’ Provorov be on the trading block?

Flyers' Ivan Provorov
Flyers’ Ivan Provorov (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

In 2019-2020, Ivan Provorov seemed to turn the corner with his defensive partner, Matt Niskanen.

During the bubble hockey era, all seemed right with the Philadelphia Flyers. They were skyrocketing to elite status in the NHL.

Since 2020-2021, the Flyers jammed through a duo of coaches before John Tortorella took the reigns. Alain Vigneault was relieved of his duties in 2021-2022, and Mike Yeo didn’t cruise into the head coaching role after his interim run. Additionally, cracks began to show in the relationship between Provorov and Philadelphia.

During the 2021-2022 exit interviews, Provorov didn’t hold back about how he felt toward the media. In a lost season, he let his opinion fly about the assessments from critics. It wasn’t his worst season, but his puck control was a glaring red flag. When asked how he would evaluate his season, Provorov responded:

“It doesn’t matter. You’re all experts at hockey, so you’re going to give me all your super-experienced grades. I don’t think my opinion really matters to you.”

Ivan Provorov; 4/30/2022

Ultimately, Provorov was frustrated at a ton of things. The intended roster never played a game together in 2021-2022. On ’32 Thoughts: The Podcast,’ Elliotte Friedman speculated the Flyers could trade Provorov. A change of scenery could go a long way in dimming the frustration in his game. He certainly doesn’t have the correct partner on the current cap-strapped roster, and a move elsewhere could help.

At the end of 2019-2020, Provorov was a top-twenty defenseman. Since then, nothing’s worked. Philadelphia houses the eighth most expensive defense, which ranks nineteenth in the league. Also, Travis Sanheim signed an 8yr/$50mil extension taking effect in 2023-2024 featuring a no-trade clause.

Tortorella isn’t big on language but declared this a rebuild. Provorov is ideal trade bait. The Flyers’ alternate captain is 25 years old with a career ahead of him. A trade for picks and assets could assist with the rebuild. Two other defensemen under 25 got their crack at the lineup under Tortorella this season, showing a commitment to developing and playing young prospects.

Ahead of the 2023 NHL Trade Deadline, it’s critical to keep an eye on Provorov. The return could be massive due to no trade protection on his current contract. Unlike Claude Giroux in 2021-2022, Provorov doesn’t control a list of destinations.

Similarly, Shayne Gostisbehere left Philadelphia, requiring a change of scenery. In his first season with the Arizona Coyotes, he tallied 51pts (14G, 37A) and has surpassed Provorov this year.

Provorov has two more years left on his current contract at $6.75mil/AAV.

(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)