Could the Flyers trade Hart in the offseason?

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Flyers' Carter Hart
Flyers’ Carter Hart (Photo Credit: Alex McIntyre)

Many question marks surround the Philadelphia Flyers heading into the offseason.

Danny Briere is the team’s Interim General Manager, and likely will take on the role full-time. The staff around Briere will begin to take shape in the coming months with the General Manager and President of Hockey Operations titles split into two separate roles. Chuck Fletcher owned both titles before he was fired last Friday.

Along with the changes to the Flyers’ front office, other transformations on the ice are bound to happen. The Columbus Blue Jackets reached out to the Flyers regarding Kevin Hayes around the trade deadline, with presumed plans to continue discussions in the offseason. Ivan Provorov remains available. He gained traction during the couple of months leading up to the trade deadline, but the chatter quieted.

On Saturday, during a segment of ’32 Thoughts’ on Hockey Night in Canada, Jeff Marek brought up Carter Hart and his future with the Flyers. Hart will be 25 years old in August. Entering a rebuild, Marek commented about if Hart would want to remain in Philadelphia through more tough times ahead:

“The decision, if they’re [the Flyers] going to go through a rebuild; A: What would they get for Carter Hart on the open market? We suspect a lot. And two: Does Carter Hart want to spend, what would be probably the best years of his career, in a rebuild?”

Jeff Marek; 3/11/2023

On an expiring contract next season, Hart is eligible for an extension this summer. The emergence of Sam Ersson in the pipeline has opened many eyes surrounding Philadelphia’s goaltenders. Ersson has impressed in both the NHL and AHL this season and has future starting potential.

In dissecting the comments from Marek regarding Hart, they make sense. Following years of mediocrity and a failed ‘aggressive retool,’ the Flyers are beginning a rebuild that should’ve happened earlier. Beginning a rebuild when Hart was drafted in 2016 made more sense back then than it does now.

On today’s ’32 Thoughts: The Podcast,’ Elliotte Friedman mentioned Hart will be available in trade talks. Players on deals expiring in two or three years are also available in trade discussions. Hart would yield a massive return for Philadelphia, one that could put their rebuild into another gear.

The Flyers most likely receive a top ten pick in the 2023 NHL Entry Draft draft on their merit. Hart could yield a first-round, probably in the top ten, with more assets. If the Flyers were to end up with two top ten picks in this draft, it would do wonders for the direction of the franchise rebuild.

Keeping Hart throughout the rebuild also makes sense. Hart is the foundation of the goaltending position in Philadelphia. He provided stability in a position that was inconsistent for over a decade. If the Flyers rebuild takes three or four seasons, Hart will be going on 29 years old, late into his prime when the Flyers are ready to compete in the postseason.

Rumors swirling around Hart will heighten as the Flyers come closer to the offseason. Briere will have his hand full this summer. A potential Hart trade should be negotiated with excessive amounts of caution.

(Photo Credit/Alex McIntyre)