2022 Flyers Offseason Preview: NHL Draft

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

It could be worse, the Philadelphia Flyers will pick fifth overall in the 2022 NHL Draft. Last Tuesday night, the Montreal Canadians won the Draft Lottery, however the reason Philadelphia dropped one spot is because the New Jersey Devils jumped three spots to second overall after having the fifth-best odds to win the first overall pick.

The Flyers had entered the night with the fourth-best odds of receiving the first overall pick at 9.5 percent, a 9.8 percent chance of receiving the second overall pick, a 15.4 percent chance of receiving the fourth overall pick, a 44.9 percent chance of receiving the fifth overall pick, and a 20.5 percent chance of receiving the sixth overall pick.

This is the first time in franchise history that Philadelphia will select fifth overall.

Now that the Orange and Black know where they are picking in the upcoming draft on July 7, let’s take a look below at some of the top prospects that could be available at fifth overall, and why they could be an important asset to add. (Disclaimer: Each comparison is based on what parts of these prospects’ game I see in current NHL players.)

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 Flyers 2022 Offseason Preview: Contracts

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Another season has come and gone for the Philadelphia Flyers and they displayed another humiliating season. The offseason is officially here for the Flyers, so it’s time review some of the decisions at hand for the team. In this four-part series, we'll review contracts, the NHL Draft, free agency, and line combinations.

There were very few bright spots during this all-around brutal year for the Orange and Black; dealing with injuries, two losing streaks of 10 games or more, and more. Some depth pieces were brought in to help boost the team, from Martin Jones in net, to Keith Yandle on the blue line, or Derick Brassard as a top-nine center.

Below are the pending unrestricted free agents and restricted free agents RFA’s and other contracts Philadelphia should consider moving, or look to re-sign and determine a realistic contract for each player. According to CapFriendly, the Flyers now unfortunately have $295,000 less to spend now due to Fletcher exceeding the salary cap after accounting for bonuses during the regular season. On top of that, both Sean Couturier's new extension with a $7 million AAV, up from $4.3 million AAV, and Joel Farabee's $25 million extension with a $5 million AAV, up from $925,000, will kick in at the start of the upcoming season.

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Flyers Trade Deadline Preview: Assets Galore

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

It is just a few short hours until the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline arrives, and the Philadelphia Flyers still have plenty of decisions to make. On Saturday evening, the Flyers officially traded their 15-year veteran and captain Claude Giroux to the Florida Panthers.

Although it was an underwhelming return, GM Chuck Fletcher most likely isn’t done. There have been several players rumored to be dealt before the 3 p.m. deadline hits on Monday. Listed below are the Flyers options on who may no longer be here with the Orange and Black.

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Who Will Win the Giroux Sweepstakes?

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

It’s no secret that Philadelphia Flyers captain Claude Giroux is among the most anticipated trade pieces for the 2022 NHL Trade Deadline. He has a no-movement clause, an $8.275 million cap hit, and is a pending UFA. With that being, said the Flyers’ options are limited in what is a realistic return for their longtime captain.

It has been rumored that the 34 year-old Giroux would accept a trade to any three of the Colorado Avalanche, St. Louis Blues, or Minnesota Wild. Several other teams have kicked the tires on “G,” including the Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and even the New York Rangers. No matter where he goes, the 15-year veteran will make an impact with his new team after the March 21 deadline. It’s time to take a look at which teams have a legitimate chance to make a push for Giroux, and what they have to offer.

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Fletcher's Seat Heats Up with Briere's Addition to Flyers Front Office

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Danny Briere is staying in the City of Brotherly Love with the Philadelphia Flyers. Last Tuesday, Briere was officially named a Special Assistant to the GM to current GM Chuck Fletcher. Fletcher, who was hired on Dec. 3, 2018, is in his fourth season as the GM has had an interesting tenure in the front office.

Fletcher replaced Ron Hextall, who occupied the GM role from 2014-2018. Yet, here we are again having the same conversation, as the Flyers have only gotten past the first round once since Fletcher has been here. After another loss to the Detroit Red Wings Saturday afternoon, Fletcher’s window is getting smaller and smaller in Philadelphia. With the hiring of Briere, what does that window look like?

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Clarke's Comments Bring About Another Revisit of 2017 Draft for Flyers

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

In light of recent events with the groundbreaking comments made by Philadelphia Flyers legend Bobby Clarke and the comments he made on “The Cam and Strick Podcast” with former NHL enforcer Cam Janssen and NHL reporter Andy Strickland, it’s time to look back at the 2017 NHL Draft once more.

Clarke went on the podcast, and discussed that former GM Ron Hextall was the one who went against his own scouts’ advice to take defenseman Cale Makar or even Miro Heiskanen and instead selected Brandon Wheat Kings’ star forward Nolan Patrick. Not only are we reviewing the pick itself, but alongside the Brayden Schenn trade on the night of the 2017 NHL Draft, as well as who else the Flyers could have drafted. Back in January 2018, I revisited the Schenn trade, but it’s time to revisit it a little more since time has passed.

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Flyers Starting to See Return of Injured Players

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

It’s no secret that the Philadelphia Flyers are having one of their worst seasons in recent memory. It includes a 10-game losing streak and the firing of head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant coach Michel Therrien in the last week.

To be fair, the Flyers have been decimated by injuries since the new season began, most notably to Ryan Ellis, Kevin Hayes, and more recently Joel Farabee. There have been other injuries to some of the Orange and Black’s top prospects who are on the cusp of making the NHL, including Wade Allison, Cam York, Tyson Foerster, Zayde Wisdom, and Tanner Laczynski.

Foerster, unfortunately, is most likely out for the rest of the season after crashing into the boards and injuring his shoulder. Laczynski is also likely out for the year with a hip injury, and has had horrible luck with injuries. Last year, he was also out for the season to receive hip surgery, and just five months later, needed surgery on his other hip, his current injury.

The Flyers have had nothing but injury after injury to key players, young and old. Thankfully, things seem to be back on track with getting some important young stars back in action.

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Journeyman Brassard Fitting Right In with Flyers

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

Typically, when an NHL player jumps around the league and plays for nine teams throughout his career there is a major issue. However, for Derick Brassard, he’s been able to prove why he’s an exception.

As a former sixth overall pick in the 2006 NHL Draft, Brassard had spent six relatively strong seasons with the Columbus Blue Jackets, netting 58 goals and 169 points in 309 games. Since then he has played for the New York Rangers, Ottawa Senators, Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Colorado Avalanche, New York Islanders, and Arizona Coyotes, all prior to joining the Philadelphia Flyers during the offseason.

Now at 34 years-old, the 15-year NHL veteran is making an immediate impact with the Orange and Black, scoring five points in his first three games with the team. He is certainly making his time count while usual second-line center Kevin Hayes finishes recovering from an abdominal surgery that takes six-to-eight weeks to heal.

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What Should the Flyers Expect from Joel Farabee?

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

From the day he was drafted, it took only one full season for Joel Farabee to make his NHL debut during the 2019-20 season. That was all possible due to a blockbuster trade during the 2017 NHL Draft, one that sent Brayden Schenn to the St. Louis Blues for the 27th overall pick, a conditional 2018 first-round pick, and Jori Lehtera. The conditional 2018 first-rounder, which was 14th overall, was used by the Flyers to select Farabee.

Fast forward to the 2019-20 season, where the 6'0", 164-pound left winger showed the mindset of a veteran throughout the 52 games he played in a season shorted due to the pandemic, scoring eight goals and 21 points. In his second season in the league, the 56-game 2020-21 season, the now 21-year-old from Syracuse, NY, would exceed expectations, going from the 21-point total as a rookie to 38 points, including 20 goals.

Farabee was rewarded this offseason with a six-year, $30 million ($5 million AAV) contract extension, which will kick in during the 2022-23 season.

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What’s Next for Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher?

By Jeff Quake, Sports Talk Philly staff writer 

It’s no secret that this year’s Philadelphia Flyers team has severely underperformed, but after a while there’s only so much you can do pointing fingers at the person to blame.

In years past, it was the coach or the system from Dave Hakstol’s coaching, and Craig Berube’s system with the type of players he had as head coach. Then there was the GM, from Paul Holmgren handing out awful contracts or making embarrassing trades left and right – Andrew MacDonald’s six-year $30 million extension, or Ilya Bryzgalov’s nine-year $51 million deal. However, after a while there’s only so much blame you can put on management, and that is when the blame needs to be shared by the players themselves.

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