Flyers amid trade ‘interest’ before the 2023 NHL Entry Draft

Flyers' Travis Konecny
Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Konecny reacts after an NHL hockey game against the Columbus Blue Jackets, Tuesday, Dec. 20, 2022, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

Daniel Briere is listening to all offers. It’s the buzzing narrative since he executed a three-team trade moving Ivan Provorov, Hayden Hodgson, and Kevin Connauton to the Columbus Blue Jackets and Los Angeles Kings, respectively.

The trading block hasn’t differed too much. Finding Kevin Hayes and Tony DeAngelo on the trading block isn’t surprising. Travis Konecny and Carter Hart represent the most value in terms of a return to jumpstart a rebuild, so they make sense to dangle as bait. Scott Laughton played the best hockey of his career, including the IIHF World Championship.

Frank Seravalli released his Top 40 NHL Trade Targets. All of the above were featured. Travis Sanheim made a little noise, too, but nothing serious.

These potential trade assets require nuanced care, whether agreeing to a fair trade or remaining radio silent.

Kevin Hayes

Hayes scored 54 points (18G, 36A) while matching a career-high in powerplay goals (6) in 2022-2023. He never found harmony with John Tortorella. Last year in Philadelphia, Hayes was an NHL all-star, despite getting benched against the New Jersey Devils, assigned a healthy scratch versus the New York Rangers, and swapped to LW from C in favor of Noah Cates.

Flyers' Kevin Hayes All-Star
SUNRISE, FL – FEBRUARY 04: Metro Kevin Hayes (PHI) (13) smiles after a goal during game two of the Honda NHL All-Star Game between the Metro and Atlantic Divisions on Saturday, February 4, 2023 at FLA Live Arena, Sunrise, Fla. (Photo by Peter Joneleit/Icon Sportswire)

It seemed like the Blue Jackets would double dip in trades with Briere, but after trading for Damon Severson, Jarmo Kekalainen would put Columbus too close to the cap ceiling by adding Hayes. Teams interested include the Carolina Hurricanes, the Dallas Stars, the Minnesota Wild, and Detroit Red Wings.

To help facilitate a trade, the Flyers are open to eating ~30% of the ~$7.142mil. Essentially, Hayes would cost a team $5mil in 2023-2024. A fair return for Hayes at a discount should include a 2023 second or third-round selection.

  • Hayes to CAR for a 2023 3rd (PHI) and 2024 2nd (PHI)
  • Hayes to DAL for a 2023 2nd
  • Hayes to MIN for a 2023 2nd (VGK) and Ryan Healey
  • Hayes to DET for a 2023 2nd (VAN) and Liam Dower Nilsson

Hayes has a modified no-trade clause on his contract, open to twelve potential destinations.

Tony DeAngelo

Benched to finish the 2022-2023 season, DeAngelo has one more season left on his contract with the Flyers.

“I plan on being back. I want to come back. I have no clue what’s going to happen. It’s not my decision, but I’ll be training and getting ready to play another season here.”

Tony DeAngelo; 4/14/2023

A patchwork acquisition by Chuck Fletcher, DeAngelo contributed 42 points (11G, 31A) and was the leading playmaker on a team ranking last on the powerplay in the NHL. That is the value he presents to another franchise.

Flyers' Tony DeAngelo
PHILADELPHIA, PA – SEPTEMBER 28: Philadelphia Flyers Defenseman Tony DeAngelo (77) passes the puck during the second period of the National Hockey League preseason game between the Washington Capitals and Philadelphia Flyers on September 28, 2022, at the Wells Fargo Center in Philadelphia, PA. (Photo by Gregory Fisher/Icon Sportswire)

If DeAngelo were to move, he would toward the 2024 NHL Trade Deadline. He’ll be a commodity for a team who needs a powerplay boost on the cusp of a postseason bid. A couple of markets that might take interest are the Nashville Predators and Winnipeg Jets.

  • DeAngelo to NSH for a 2023 3rd (TBL)
  • DeAngelo to WPG for a 2024 3rd

Scott Laughton

Briere already turned down an offer that allegedly featured a late first-round selection. He received high praise, exclusively wearing the ‘A’ on his sweater in a season without a captain.

Flyers' Scott Laughton
LOS ANGELES, CA – DECEMBER 31: Philadelphia Flyers Center Scott Laughton (21) skates in warm ups before an NHL game between the Philadelphia Flyers and the Los Angeles Kings on December 31, 2022, at the Arena in Los Angeles, CA. (Photo by Rob Curtis/Icon Sportswire)

Keith Jones is making it a point to restore the Flyers’ culture. Laughton is the catalyst; a player who only competed in Philadelphia, the kind of player Tortorella wants in his lineup, and displays flexibility no matter his placement with veterans or younger prospects. He fits the brand of hockey Jones envisions, and he is proof of prospect development in Philadelphia, helpful to Patrick Sharp and John LeClair.

It will be hard to replace how valuable Laughton is to the current direction of the Flyers, which is why Briere will drive a bidding war.

  • Laughton to OTT for 2024 1st
  • Laughton to DET for 2023 1st (NYI)

Travis Konecny

Konecny is the skater who brings the most back to Philadelphia in return. Is the juice worth the squeeze? Do the Flyers already have what they’re looking for in Konecny, hence his value?

Partially, yes. Tortorella praised Konecny throughout the season, and he sat with Hayes against the Devils.

He found his clutch scoring touch, led the Flyers in points, led the team in goals, and tied Laughton in shorthanded goals (5) in his first season on the penalty kill.

Again, it is the Red Wings who make the most sense. If Laughton is going to be expensive because the Flyers value him, then the price for Konecny will be even more. Steve Yzerman has a ton of draft capital and cap space to dance for Konecny, Hayes, or Laughton. A showdown will likely occur by the 2023 NHL Entry Draft between Briere and Yzerman for one of those skaters.

  • Konecny to DET for 2023 1st, 2023 2nd, and Lucas Raymond

Carter Hart

For some franchises, obtaining a franchise goaltender is a daunting task. It was for the Flyers for such a long time. In his career, Hart has a 90.6%SV and a 2.96GAA in 201GP, fifth all-time behind Doug Favell, Steve Mason, Bernie Parent, and Ron Hextall.

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)

He would be the hottest Flyers commodity on the Top 40 NHL Trade Targets list, but off the ice, questions linger about Hockey Canada. That investigation will wrap up later this summer.

Hart drew interest from the Edmonton Oilers, the Ottawa Senators, the Hurricanes, the Buffalo Sabres, the San Jose Sharks, and the Jets. A trade is not imminent, but Briere will listen to all offers, especially one that could potentially return the biggest haul.

Overall, it’s most likely Hart will stay in Philadelphia.

Travis Sanheim

Sanheim has value because this is an underwhelming free agency pool. As the cap continues to rise, there is potential for this contract to seem reasonable. If he is to move, it will be soon because his no-trade clause will go into effect in July.

Flyers' Travis Sanheim
Philadelphia Flyers’ Travis Sanheim reacts after scoring a goal during the second period of an NHL hockey game against the Florida Panthers, Tuesday, March 21, 2023, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

The Seattle Kraken and Boston Bruins could have a void to fill. If the Kraken cannot extend Carson Soucy or the Bruins miss on Oliver Ekman-Larsson, Sanheim becomes a reasonable option with Briere on the phone.

Of course, Sanheim could bounce back. In 2021-2022, he was considered the best defenseman on the roster. Tortorella demanded more from Sanheim last season. His contract could serve as a repellent to other teams.

He has a chance to stay in the top four of the Flyers’ lineup, but if Sanheim does move, the transaction could be as complicated as the Provorov exchange, a three-team trade.

(AP Photo/Matt Slocum)