Basically, my reaction after watching every Flyers game of late. The team has talent, but you’re hard pressed to find it right now. There’s a slew of issues with the team and as the trade deadline looms, Ron Hextall should be thinking one thing.
I don’t think Hexy should lose his marbles and sell everybody and for bottom-of-the-barrel prices. If he isn’t getting value back, there really isn’t much of a point, but for some players, any return is value.
Look at Mark Streit. He’s 39, coming to the end of his contract and just not a guy the Flyers need with an overcrowded blueline and more youth waiting in the wings. Streit has an offensive touch, brings veteran leadership and is still a half-decent player. Playoff teams will most certainly come knocking. You can’t expect anything stellar for an aging loan player, but you could get something.
Michael Del Zotto is another player I’d be looking to shop. He’s young (26) and has a ton of potential. Has it amounted to a lot during his career thus far? Not entirely, but he can move the puck and has a decent skillset. Again, his contract is expiring. With Sam Morin, Robert Hagg and Travis Sanheim all looking to get added to the mix next year on defense, does keeping MDZ make logistical sense? No.
These two are the biggest names the Flyers have that make sense to trade. Nick Schultz, another expiring contract, is another, give teams’ proclivity to add defenseman heading into the spring (i.e. Pittsburgh picking up Ron Hainsey).
As far as forwards go, Matt Read and Dale Weise are depth players that might generate interest. Dale Weise has been underwhelming while in orange and black, to say the least, with just five points (2g, 3a) in 48 games and a -15. Still, teams looking for lower line depth may take a peak. Matt Read is a guy, if I’m a GM looking to bolster a playoff run, that should be looked at.
He started out hot, but cooled off faster than Mr. Freeze, with just 13 points (7g, 6a) on the year. But he has a great shot and can be used on a second power play unit as well as in shorthanded situations. Again, he’s not going to make or break a team, but someone looking for a bottom-six (dare I say potential second line) talent, he’s an asset.
The Flyers could make an outside run at the playoffs, like last year, but there’s nothing in their play recently that suggests they will. Selling off pieces that aren’t in your future isn’t an admission of defeat, just smart business strategy.
Your move, Hexy.