There was some hope for Flyers’ fans at the start of this season. Their team had shored up both their defence and top 6 forward groups, they got off to an 8-4-1 start, and Carter Hart appeared to have bounced back after a tough sophomore season last year. Since then, things have fallen off the rails in Philly. Ryan Ellis, the Flyers’ new #1 RD option, was injured after just 4 games (he had 5 points in those 4 games) and looks like he may miss the entirety of the season. The newly-acquired Rasmus Ristolainen was tasked with stepping up and filling Ellis’ role, and much like his time in Buffalo he has struggled to play top-pair minutes. The Flyers still lack offensive support behind their core forwards, and there is very little in the way of exciting prospects bubbling up to solve these issues. While GM Chuck Fletcher doesn’t seem ready to blow the whole thing up just yet, there will be some significant changes made to this group at the deadline. The Flyers will be looking to bring in young talent and budding RFAs to try and put together a deeper and more sustainable group of players, and their older veterans – such as pending UFA Claude Giroux – will end up going the other way. Here are two such players the Flyers could look to add to their group.
The Rangers’ backup goaltender reportedly requested a trade last summer, one that has not come about as of this writing. Georgiev has had a season very similar to last year’s; with numbers reflecting the same level of play he’s shown previously: 2.92GAA, .902sv%, and a 7-6-2 record. The Rangers are set on Igor Shesterkin being their starter in net going forward, which leaves Georgiev out of the running for the big job in New York. He’s 26 years old and makes $2.425 million until next summer when he reaches RFA status. The Flyers are desperate for a backup goaltender that can hold their own behind young Carter Hart. Martin Jones was brought in as a placeholder for that role but hasn’t risen to the task. Georgiev would get more playing time and a more defined and consistent role in Philly than he’s seen with the Rangers, and the Flyers have a few pieces up-front that would bolster the Rangers heading into the playoffs.
The Lightning will be interested in the same set of players that the Rangers are, headlined by Claude Giroux and Rasmus Ristolainen. In Tampa’s case, they have a ton of talented players and very little cap room to pay them all with. Take Anthony Cirelli, a 24-year old forward making $4.8 million until July 2023. He’s a great player, another one of Tampa’s draft steals that has gone on to play significant minutes for the Lightning. He will be an RFA when his current deal is up but will be expecting a raise, and while he does fill in on the Lightning’s top line when Kucherov is injured, overall he’s a middle 6 forward on Tampa’s powerhouse offence. The Lightning have an opportunity to snag a valuable player from the Flyers heading into this year’s playoffs, as well as save themselves some cap space for next summer, and the Flyers could add a talented young forward who would stay under team control for at least two more seasons. There’s a deal here that could solve needs for both teams if they can come to an agreement.
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