Flyers’ Briere open to trade Hart ‘if it makes sense’

Flyers' Carter Hart
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Carter Hart (79) stops a Detroit Red Wings center Joe Veleno shot in the third period of an NHL hockey game Saturday, Jan. 21, 2023, in Detroit. (AP Photo/Paul Sancya)
(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)

Daniel Briere made a couple of good maneuvers as the GM of the Philadelphia Flyers before the end of the Stanley Cup Finals.

The first flew a little under the radar during the regular season. Briere, who had the interim tag attached to his role, signed Emil Andrae to an entry-level contract. The other happened yesterday. Briere finalized a three-team trade sending Ivan Provorov to the Columbus Blue Jackets, then Kevin Connauton and Hayden Hodgson to the Los Angeles Kings, for a 2023 first-round pick, a 2024 second-round pick, an additional 2024 or 2025 second-round pick, Cal Petersen, Sean Walker, and Helge Grans.

Immediately, the rumor mill began to spin about another possible trade negotiation. Teams began showing interest in Carter Hart.

After Briere flexed his creativity as a GM in his debut, there is a buzz about the probable return the Flyers would receive for Hart. Not budging on his strategy, Briere remains open to all negotiations. He is doing his due diligence as an effective GM. Part of his approach means not actively forcing trades. Each roster decision will come with meticulous planning, and if it doesn’t make sense, don’t expect a transaction out of haste.

“How fast or how long it’s going to take; the players will dictate that. Everybody’s on board. Everybody agrees that we need to do this the right way. We’ve said it. Torts has said it many times. We might need a little bit of patience from the fans in that regard.”

Daniel Briere; 4/17/2023

A natural reaction is looking at the Provorov trade, then jumping at the most valuable Flyers player to trade. Hart is available for a price, and if a team is willing to make the offer, Briere is bold enough to execute. He could also be wise enough to trade other significant assets, like Kevin Hayes and Tony DeAngelo.

A Case to Trade Hart

First, the Flyers must be confident in their depth at G. Sam Ersson received praise from Ian Laperriere and continued with John Tortorella. In a world where Hart leaves Philadelphia; the goaltending picture becomes Petersen and Ersson.

Flyers' Samuel Ersson
Philadelphia Flyers goaltender Samuel Ersson blocks a shot by the Anaheim Ducks during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Anaheim, Calif., Monday, Jan. 2, 2023. (AP Photo/Alex Gallardo)

Dealing Hart means the Flyers will suffer between the pipes. Briere does want to accumulate draft picks and quality prospects via sensible trades, meaning he won’t take a loss on deploying the franchise goaltender. If a team is willing to mortgage the lot for Hart, then it makes a little more sense for Briere to accept.

“If it makes sense and there’s a good return, we’ll consider it.”

Daniel Briere; 6/6/2023

The Montreal Canadiens, who allowed the fourth most goals in 2022-2023, make a viable trade partner, as do the Buffalo Sabres, especially since they’ll have the necessary draft capital to capture attention.

A Case to Keep Hart

As long as Hart isn’t asking to leave Philadelphia, then there isn’t a high priority to force the franchise goaltender away. The NHL is a two-goaltender league. In 2023-2024, the Flyers could tandem Hart and Petersen.

“I see Carter being the goalie of the future. He’s still young. He’s still part of what we’d like to build here. He fits into that window.”

Daniel Briere; 5/30/2023

Additionally, Briere could package other deals, including Hayes or DeAngelo, to acquire younger prospects and draft compensation. Not every name with value requires active seeking for a trade. A rebuild could take place and be efficient if Briere continues to move skaters for an extravagant return. Of course, the Flyers would want another 2023 first-round pick with a quality prospect and additional draft capital, but Hart could be more valuable to the team than the return.

“It would have to be a crazy load of a haul to even consider trading him [Hart].”

Daniel Briere; 5/30/2023

Petersen ought to serve as a cautionary tale. The Flyers could have a ton of faith in Ersson, but if that doesn’t pan out, Philadelphia is stuck without a true starting goaltender again, a situation that plagued the franchise before Hart arrived.

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

Hart is 24 years old, entering his prime, and if he can brave the rebuild with Briere, it’s not out of touch to understand that he could celebrate the fruits of his labor as Philadelphia becomes more competitive.

(AP Photo/Paul Sancya)