Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

The rebuild is in full swing, and the Philadelphia Flyers seem to come up in every NHL rumor. Will Danny Briere make a push to acquire Trevor Zegras? What about Jakob Chychrun?

Mitch Marner and Martin Necas might be on the block too. Rutger McGroarty is the most recent addition to the NHL trade rumor mill. The list of potential trade targets continues to grow for the Flyers. 

Danny Briere

Any negotiations the Flyers pursue will come with restrictions. Briere made it clear that salary cap challenges will limit the financial flexibility the Flyers work with this offseason.

“The reality is, we have a lot of dead money going into year two of my tenure. But that was the plan also. We acquire assets to help us for the future, like picks and stuff, so this summer is going to be tough. Next summer, (it) should ease up a little bit, but we’re still going to be in a little bit of a crunch. But looking further towards the future, I think it’s going to hopefully get easier. And as the cap rises, hopefully again next summer, know that that’s going to help us.” -Danny Briere

The young GM, however, spoke to The Athletic after the season ended about his offseason outlook. His promise to stay open for business leaves plenty of room to explore the trade market.

“If there’s a trade that makes sense, that can bring more talent, there’s a way that makes sense — maybe it’s a hockey trade — we’re definitely open for business and we’re going to keep exploring that.” –Danny Briere

Flyers In Trade Market

Scott Laughton and Rasmus Ristolainen will draw some interest from around the NHL in possible player-for-player trades. The Flyers will look for a new home for Cam Atkinson to finish his NHL career.

Joel Farabee could draw more interest than any other internal trade candidate. The 24-year-old ended the season in a major scoring slump, and a change of scenery doesn’t seem out of the question.

Is Farabee worth dealing for Trevor Zegras? Would the Senators covet Laughton in a Chychrun deal? Rutger McGroarty is the new wild card. An intriguing offseason looms for Danny Briere.

Related Content: Philadelphia Flyers Offseason Primer 2024

  • Rutger McGroarty, Winnipeg Jets

    Another first-round pick from the 2022 NHL Draft out of the US National Team Development Program wants a trade.

    The Flyers lost Cutter Gauthier in a now infamous saga that ultimately landed Philadelphia’s former fifth-overall pick with the Anaheim Ducks.

    His former teammate Rutger McGroarty reportedly expects a trade just two years after the Winnipeg Jets selected him with the 14th-overall pick.

    McGroarty lit up the scoresheet in two seasons at the University of Michigan. He also captained Team USA to a gold medal at the World Junior Championship in Sweden in January.

    Reported disagreements with the Jets about his timeline to debut in the NHL, however, will almost certainly end their relationship before it truly begins. The Flyers could look to pick off a dynamic young forward who has unexpectedly hit the market.

    “Winnipeg may be able to use McGroarty to acquire a first-round pick — and a high one at that — or an older, more developed prospect who the front office views as ready to make an immediate NHL impact.” –Murat Ates

    A prospect swap with the Flyers seems unlikely, but would Briere deal the 12th-overall pick in 2024 for a player drafted in the same range of the first round two years ago?

    The Flyers did look like a sensible partner for Kevin Cheveldayoff and the Jets before the NHL Trade Deadline, although the two front offices never executed a deal.  There’s an even bigger question though.

    Would the Flyers waive the concern of another USNTDP prospect who wants to move to a new organization before he ever plays an NHL game? Stay tuned for a chance to see the ultimate irony. Goaltender Thomas Milic #1 of Team Canada makes a pad save on a tip by Rutger Mcgroarty #2 of Team United States during the third period in the semifinal round of the 2023 IIHF World Junior Championship at Scotiabank Centre on January 4, 2023 in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada.

  • Trevor Zegras, Anaheim Ducks

    The NHL world turned its attention to John Tortorella in 2021 when he questioned whether a highlight-reel play from Trevor Zegras and Sonny Milano was good for the sport. Could Tortorella ironically end up coaching Zegras just a few years later?

    Zegras broke out at the NHL level with 61 points in 2021-22 and 65 points in 2022-23. However, he doesn’t look like a centerpiece of the future for the Ducks.

    He dealt with injuries in 2023-24, and his production dipped when he was on the ice. The Flyers could pounce on the opportunity for a center with a high-end offensive skill set in need of a change of scenery.

    Would Briere pursue the 23-year-old? Questions about Zegras’ attitude have drifted into conversations. The Flyers might hesitate to risk a culture that they’ve emphasized so heavily under the leadership of their new front office.

    Trevor Zegras doesn’t look likely to end up in Philadelphia. However, if he’s available, the Flyers should think twice about the culture they’re building if it doesn’t allow for a dynamic young talent to join the mix.

    Trevor Zegras #11 of the Anaheim Ducks controls the puck during the second period of a game against the Vegas Golden Knights at Honda Center on November 05, 2023 in Anaheim, California.

  • Jakob Chychrun, Ottawa Senators

    The Flyers have come up in trade conversations about Jakob Chychrun dating back to the left-handed defenseman’s days with the Arizona Coyotes.

    Elliotte Friedman of SportsNet linked the Flyers to him at the NHL Trade Deadline. Chychrun’s father Jeff also played parts of five NHL seasons with the Flyers from 1986-1991. Will Briere strike a deal with the Ottawa Senators?

    Chychrun broke out offensively with 41 points in 56 games during the pandemic shortened 2020-21 season. However, injuries have stunted his ability to develop into a Norris Trophy caliber defenseman.

    Chychrun didn’t fully assimilate on a talented Ottawa team that performed below expectations in 2023-24. He scored 14 goals and added 27 assists to match his career high in scoring, but the Senators could’ve expected more in his first career 82-game season. He hadn’t played more than 68 since his rookie season in 2016-17.

    The Senators also became more prone to allowing scoring chances at 5-on-5 with their 26-year-old defenseman on the ice.

    His offensive metrics and power-play output didn’t offset the weakness. Although he didn’t reach his potential with the Senators, the Flyers could identify him as a reclamation project who would benefit from Brad Shaw’s coaching.

    The Flyers lack a workhorse defenseman they can deploy in a number one role. Briere could aim high to correct the lack of top-end talent on Philadelphia’s roster. Thinking outside the box to land an underperforming player with star potential is an intriguing strategy.

    Ottawa will look for a substantial trade package in return for a player with notable injury history entering the final season of his contract.

    Jakob Chychrun #6 of the Ottawa Senators takes a first period shot while playing the Detroit Red Wings at Little Caesars Arena on January 31, 2024 in Detroit, Michigan.

  • Martin Necas, Carolina Hurricanes

    The Carolina Hurricanes will almost certainly trade impending restricted free agent Martin Necas. The 25-year-old forward will sign a contract in the neighborhood of $6-7 million in average annual value (AAV).

    Necas broke out with 28 goals in 2022-23 and followed it up with 24 goals in five fewer games in 2023-24. He’s played center and wing in Carolina.

    The Flyers will need to internally evaluate his positional fit before any potential deal. His skill set matches the Flyers’ needs if they deem him a long-term center option.

    Initial reports indicated some interest from the Flyers. However, it didn’t look like they could offer the return package that (now) GM Eric Tulsky would ask for.

    Elliotte Friedman cited league sources discussing ideas that could change the tides.

    “They think that Carolina has either indicated to teams that you have what we want or you don’t have what we want. What some teams told me is that they’re wondering if there’s going to be some of those teams that were initially told by Carolina ‘You don’t have what we want,’ can they do a three-way deal to try to get what Carolina wants if they want Necas?” -Elliotte Friedman

    Briere would have to part with legitimate talent in a deal to land Martin Necas. The young GM might send Joel Farabee or Morgan Frost (or both) if a blockbuster went down.

    The Flyers will need to decide how aggressive they want to be. It would require similar decisions to the line of thinking in a potential Jakob Chychrun trade. Necas, however, wouldn’t cost as much money on a long-term contract as Chychrun or Mitch Marner.

    The Flyers haven’t given indicators that Farabee or Frost are off the table in trade discussions. If they’re going to get involved in a blockbuster trade, Martin Necas is probably the likeliest acquisition of high-end skill.

    Martin Necas #88 of the Carolina Hurricanes celebrates after a goal during the third period in Game Five of the Second Round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Madison Square Garden on May 13, 2024 in New York City.

  • Patrik Laine, Columbus Blue Jackets

    Patrik Laine burst onto the scene as one of the NHL’s best snipers in 2016-17. The Winnipeg Jets fed their breakout sniper for 138 goals in his first four seasons (37 goals per 82 games).

    However, he’s since signed two lucrative contracts and failed to stay healthy and match the production of the early years of his career.

    The Jets dealt him to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2021. Then head coach John Tortorella quickly benched him. Philadelphia’s new sheriff has proven plenty of times that these instances don’t ruin his long-term relationships with players. Just ask Travis Konecny.

    The Flyers lack the sniper skill set Laine brings, especially on their struggling power play. However, the former second-overall pick has graded poorly in defensive metrics consistently enough over eight NHL seasons to think that significant improvement is unlikely.

    The Blue Jackets might need to add a sweetener to get a trade partner to accept Laine’s $8.7 million cap hit for the next two seasons.

    Danny Briere will most likely pass considering the cap issues in Philadelphia.

    Patrik Laine #29 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against the Washington Capitals during the first period at Capital One Arena on November 18, 2023 in Washington, DC.

  • Mitch Marner, Toronto Maple Leafs

    The Toronto Maple Leafs have built an impressive lineup of offensive firepower over the past eight seasons. Mitch Marner has developed into a star winger with great two-way ability and value on both special teams units.

    He’s averaged over a point per game in 576 career regular-season games, and he excelled his scoring pace with 99 points in 2022-23 and 85 points in 69 games last season.

    The intensity of the Toronto market after recent playoff failures and the questionable allocation of top-heavy cap resources have put Marner’s name at the center of trade rumors entering the final season of his contract.

    The Maple Leafs don’t want to lose Marner. They’d prefer to extend him, but circumstances could dictate otherwise. Could the Flyers pounce on an opportunity to acquire a dynamic talent in his prime while a unique set of circumstances could potentially lower the return package sent to Toronto?

    The rebuilding Flyers will likely extend Travis Konecny, a player the same age, draft class, and position who brings a similar skill set as Marner.

    Briere will focus his search for top-end talent more on defensemen and centers than on wingers who command big money, especially if the Flyers sign Konecny to a long-term contract in the neighborhood of $9 million in AAV.

    Marner would help solve the lack of high-end talent in Philadelphia. However, don’t expect Briere to make a deal with the Maple Leafs.

    Mitch Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs takes the puck as Tomas Nosek #92 of the New Jersey Devils defends during the first period at Prudential Center on April 09, 2024 in Newark, New Jersey.

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    97.5 The Fanatic will analyze draft prospects, free agent targets, and potential trade options for the Philadelphia Flyers during the 2024 offseason.


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