Trading Post: Flyers Could Look for Additional Trades
Look up the word aggressive in the dictionary and the definition you will find that it means “pursuing one’s aims and interests forcefully, sometimes unduly so.” That was the word Chuck Fletcher used to describe the Flyers offseason.
Three days after that quote surfaced, he made his first aggressive move, trading a fifth-round pick for the rights to free agent forward Kevin Hayes.
Clearly, the Flyers view Hayes as a solution to one of their problems and could bear to part ways with an asset -- in this case in the form of a late-round draft pick -- to make it happen. That’s getting aggressive.
But that may not be the last time Fletcher works the phones and makes a trade happen. Could more trades be on the way?
That remains to be seen, but there are some players out there that are popular among trade rumors that the Flyers could certainly look to pursue.
Jason Zucker - It’s no secret that Jason Zucker is going to be moved. It already almost happened once. Zucker was part of a deal that would have sent him to Pittsburgh and sent Phil Kessel back to Minnesota. Kessel, who has a no-trade clause, vetoed the trade. So Zucker remains in Minnesota for now.
Fletcher drafted Zucker in the second round of the 2010 NHL Draft and Zucker has quietly been an effective winger for many years. He has scored 20 goals four times in his eight-year career, certainly an accomplishment when you consider he played a combined 47 games in his first three seasons. Last season, he had 21 goals and 21 assists for 42 points in 81 games, a step back from a career year in 2017-18 where he scored 33 goals and added 31 assists for 64 points.
Zucker may not be the Top-6 scoring wing everyone is hoping for, but if Travis Konecny can continue to build on his offensive output and Zucker provides more depth scoring, it could be a fit for the Flyers.
Nazem Kadri - With the addition of Hayes, this seems less realistic, but Kadri is another forward floating around in trade rumors. Toronto had to spend a lot of money to lock up Auston Matthews and William Nylander and will have to spend more to keep Mitch Marner and Kasperi Kapanen. It is very realistic that Kadri’s six-year, $27 million contract -- which has four years remaining at a cap hit of $4.5 million -- will be on the move.
Kadri’s certainly capable of offensive success. He scored 32 goals in both the 2016-17 and 2017-18 seasons before being relegated to more of a third-line role in 2018-19. As a result, his production dipped and he only scored 16 goals.
Kadri also has a rough side that has gotten him in trouble. He took a match penalty for boarding in Game 2 of the first round against Boston and was suspended for the remainder of the series, which Toronto lost in seven games.
Mike Hoffman - If you want scoring, you will certainly find it with Mike Hoffman. Hoffman has consistently been a 20-goal scorer throughout his career, posting four straight seasons with 22 or more in Ottawa -- 27, 29, 26, 22 from 2014 to 2018. After being traded to Florida, he posted the best season of his career with career-high marks in goals with 36 and points with 70.
Hoffman is entering the final year of a contract with a $5.188 million cap hit. Florida could be looking to unload that deal onto another team with aspirations of pursuing top free agents like Sergei Bobrovsky and Artemi Panarin, who will demand mega-deals.
The Flyers would certainly be a fit for someone with Hoffman’s scoring prowess. However, they will not be a fit if they have intentions of targeting Erik Karlsson through free agency.
Jared Spurgeon - Much like Zucker, Spurgeon is another player Fletcher is familiar with, having signed him in free agency in 2010. The Flyers are in the market for a Top-4 defenseman and Spurgeon may be one of the tops on the list if they can swing a deal.
Spurgeon has one season left on his contract at a cap hit of $5.188 million. At 29, he’s right in his prime and may even have some of his better years ahead. The 2018-19 season was the first time Spurgeon played all 82 games and as a result posted career-highs with 14 goals and 43 points.
In addition, Spurgeon has averaged 24 minutes in each of the last three seasons, certainly top-pairing ice time. The only dilemma here is that Minnesota seems to be interested in locking up Spurgeon, not trading him away, but in the right deal, he could still be moved.
Jacob Trouba - The Flyers already made a trade with the Winnipeg Jets to get Hayes, why not see what the price is on another top free agent in Jacob Trouba?
There is one big difference between Trouba and Hayes. Hayes is an unrestricted free agent and the Flyers have his rights through July 1. Trouba is a restricted free agent, so there is some control there.
The price will not be as low for Trouba. Trouba is 25 years old and just entering his prime. The offensive side of his game really blossomed over the last season, as he tied a career high with eight goals and easily surpassed his career high in points with 50. Could Winnipeg help the Flyers solve their second-line center problem and high-end defenseman problem?
Colin Miller - There is a chance that Vegas looks into the market for Colin Miller this offseason, and while not a perfect fit for the Flyers, he is a right-handed shot that could add some balance.
Miller is only entering the second season of a four-year, $15.5 million deal and carries a $3.875 million cap hit. He had 41 points in his first year in Vegas in 2017-18. Injuries cut his 2018-19 season short, and he finished with just three goals and 29 points one season after posting 10 goals and 41 points.
Even so, they have been the two best seasons of Miller’s career. If his time is up in Vegas and a move is possible, the Flyers could afford the cap hit and get a 26-year-old defenseman who may be able to break out even more.
Kevin Durso is Flyers insider for 97.3 ESPN and Flyers editor for SportsTalkPhilly.com. Follow him on Twitter @Kevin_Durso.