It’s been an eventful trade deadline week around the NHL. In Philadelphia, it was anything but. An already underwhelming trade deadline week turned into a disastrous deadline line.
The Flyers did make two trades on trade deadline day, but not involving the players most widely speculated to be moved. In fact, the player most likely to be moved was involved in a seemingly agreed-upon deal in the final half hour only to have it fall through.
When the dust settled, a trade to Detroit involving James van Riemsdyk fell through, keeping van Riemsdyk in Philadelphia beyond the 3 p.m. deadline. Justin Braun, another trade candidate, was also not moved.
The Flyers did trade Zack MacEwen to Los Angeles for Brendan Lemieux and a 2024 fifth-round pick and made a last-minute deadline deal to send Patrick Brown to Ottawa for a 2023 sixth-round pick. But that was the extent of their deadline activity.
Lemieux, 26, has spent the last three seasons with the Kings. This season, in 27 games, he has no goals and three assists with 53 penalty minutes. Last season, in 50 games, Lemieux had eight goals and five assists and 97 penalty minutes. He also spent time in Winnipeg and with the New York Rangers in his eight-year NHL career.
Add in the team’s only other trade ahead of the deadline, sending Isaac Ratcliffe to Nashville for future considerations, and the Flyers trade deadline moved a minor-league forward and two fourth-line forwards for another fourth-liner in Lemieux and two late-round draft picks scattered over the next two draft years. That was Chuck Fletcher’s big sale.
Meanwhile, 20 games remain on the 2022-23 season, but with the deadline now in the rear-view mirror, it is all merely a formality. The trade deadline was the Flyers’ playoff run, their chance to make any potential impact on their future. Instead, they dropped the ball yet again. It would be surprising if the current front office regime hadn’t displayed such incompetence already.