Follow me on Twitter @ToddCordell
In this edition of the hotstove, we share our thoughts on the Philadelphia Flyers' extremely active start to the summer.
I understand Philadelphia aggressively pursuing players to try and improve the roster while Claude Giroux, Jakub Voracek, James van Riemsdyk, and their core of veterans are still productive. In fact, they were probably smart to do so.
As a whole, I just don't love the way the Flyers went about it.
I'm not going to dump on the Kevin Hayes acquisition because he's a very solid player. Is $7.14 million too much for him on a seven-year deal? Yes, but he will definitely help and fills a big hole at 2C. Fine. Justifiable.
The defense moves? Not great. Matt Niskanen isn't the player he once was and the Flyers took on a *ton* of cash to get him. I'm not sure he's a guy I'd want to splurge cap space on at this point.
I also don't love the Justin Braun trade. He is a fine in-zone defender but sinks his team in terms of possession, struggles in transition, and provides little to nothing offensively.
Trading an upper-mid 2nd and a 3rd for one season from the 32-year-old is a lot. If the Flyers pay a premium to keep him around longer term that'll only make things worse.
All in all, the Flyers are a better team right now. I still don't think they're good enough to contend, though, and worry they won't be getting much bang for their buck.
I'm not sure what the Flyers are doing. It's not that there isn't a plan here from Fletcher, there probably is but it's not based on anything other than ideology that is hard to quantify.
Take the Hayes deal- did they really need to commit 50 million and seven years to find that kind of player? Hayes is a perfectly decent centre but at 7.14 million he's vastly overpaid. Yes the free market does that but the issue is not getting lured into these types of deals that will handcuff you for years to come. So the cliche explanation is likely- 'he got harder to play against down the middle with the 200' game'.
Braun is another curious one as was he a necessary addition? Sure he adds some veteran years and experience but that's a time-based intangible no real quantifiable value. Didn't the Flyers have that in Amac already? Are they not simply pay Amac to not play for them and taking savings and then paying a younger Amac-type player?
I'm all for adding talent and intangibles but that cannot be done at any price or reason and it appears Fletcher and the Flyers did just that.
When the Flyers hired Cliff Fletcher jr. to be their GM, I laughed, and as usual, he who laughs first, keeps laughing. Fletcher, as anyone paying attention could have told you, is a terrible GM. His moves so far this summer are terrible. He bought out Andy McDonald, then retained money on a Gudas for Niskanen trade. Of those three players, arguably the worst of them is Niskanen. Trading a second and third rounder for Justin Braun is even dumber. So for the buy out money, a second rounder, third rounder, and two arguably better defenseman, the Flyers now have downgraded one third of their blue line. Also trading a pick, even a low one, for exclusive rights to talk to a player when there is a week before free agency to do so is just idiotic. The Flyers would have been better off doing nothing so far.
On Erik Karlsson's monster extension with the Sharks
On the Blackhawks / Penguins trade?
On Jeff Skinner's lucrative extension with the Buffalo Sabres?
Which under the radar forwards should teams target in free agency?
Which defenders should teams avoid in free agency?
Which forwards should teams avoid in free agency?
Jack Hughes or Kaapo Kakko?
How much is Mitch Marner worth?