Philadelphia Flyers set to cut ties with 3 notable players this offseason
The Philadelphia Flyers could shake up their roster this offseason for several reasons. General manager Chuck Fletcher noted that the franchise needs to be improved in many areas before the start of the 2021-22 season. Fletcher needs to be smart if he wants financial flexibility. The team is made up of players who have been the core for years. Philadelphia’s struggles this season have raised concerns about the squad’s lineup.
The inconsistency plaguing Philadelphia is proof that the franchise needs to consider moving players who have resided as a member of Orange and Black for a number of years. Since the 2012-13 season, the Flyers have qualified four times in the playoffs. They have only advanced once after the first round of the playoffs in the four times they have qualified in the past nine seasons. The lack of playoff wins is the main reason Fletcher should consider building the team around a different core of players. This offseason is a chance for the GM to get rid of the expensive salary team in order to sign free agents restricted to long-term contracts. Fletcher could also use the salary cap relief to sign a free agent who would provide an upgrade to a position on the team.
Shayne Gostisbehere was considered the defenseman of the Flyers franchise when he was drafted in the third round of the 2012 NHL Draft. However, he ran out of time in his career due to injuries and be benched. Gostisbehere had a volatile 2020-21 season which included being placed on waivers. He was suspended two games for boarding defenseman Mark Friedman from the Pittsburgh Penguins late in the regular season.
The 28-year-old defender has two more years on his contract, which will be capped at $ 4.5 million each season. Philadelphia has a substantial financial investment in defenseman Ivan Provorov who will earn $ 6.75 million annually through the 2025-2026 season. If Fletcher is to sign a top free agency player this offseason, like defenseman Dougie Hamilton, the Flyers general manager will need to get creative with the offseason roster. Trading players who have failed to lose their salary is a primary option for Fletcher.
Gostisbehere had previously been benched by former Flyers head coach Dave Hakstol. Gostisbehere’s lapses in defense, his injury history and being in good health over several seasons are reason enough for the Flyers management to leave the defender this offseason.
James van riemsdyk
James van Riemsdyk has just completed a season in which he was tied for the team lead in total points and was one of two players to play all 56 games of the regular season. However, his offensive contributions were sporadic. Van Riemsdyk appeared in several games throughout the year where he was shut out in goals and assists. Like the rest of the offense, he experienced several cold streaks, which forced head coach Alain Vigneault to change line combinations and give young players a chance to prove themselves professionally.
Van Riemsdyk has found the most success playing on a line with Joel Farabee and Sean Couturier. He has also gained a reputation for being a regular player, which makes it difficult to determine at what times of the season he will be productive and unreliable. Van Riemsdyk was the most productive power-play player for Philadelphia in goalscoring. He finished with 10 power play goals.
Van Riemsdyk will be an unrestricted free agent heading into the 2023-24 season. He earned $ 7 million in the 2020-2021 season and is expected to earn the same amount over the next two seasons. Van Riemsdyk is one of the main Flyers players Fletcher could consider replacing due to his lack of consistency.
Jakub Voracek is a controversial name to include on this list, but he’s another player who has a big contract and is over 30 years old. Voracek has just completed a season in which he led the Flyers with 34 assists. He has been a player who will create chances for other players to score goals given the number of assists he has accumulated throughout his career. He’s one of the longest-serving players on the roster, having been acquired by trade to the Columbus Blue Jackets in 2011 as part of a multiplayer deal that included Philadelphia’s split from Jeff Carter.
Voracek is a team leader and seasoned veteran who has earned his place as a core member of the Flyers. Since its acquisition, the Flyers haven’t had much playoff success, winning two playoffs. They have failed to advance to the playoffs in five of the 10 seasons Voracek has been a member in.
Switching from Voracek can be tricky for Fletcher, given his age and contract. Voracek will be 32 at the start of the 2021-22 season. He will continue to earn $ 8.25 million for the next three seasons. If Fletcher were to trade Voracek, it would send a message to the fanbase that the team is starting to gradually move away from the core of players who have been part of the Orange and Black for years.
The next offseason is important in determining the future of the Flyers. The franchise is at a crossroads in determining whether to continue or move away from the current core of players. The main factor as to why management will start looking elsewhere is the lack of playoff success the Flyers have had in eight of the past nine seasons. The necessary improvement on defense, goalkeepers and special teams should be a priority for Fletcher this offseason. If the Flyers organization focuses on improving in these areas, the team will have better days ahead.
Matt grew up outside of Philadelphia and has been a hockey fan for most of his life. Matt covers the Philadelphia Flyers for The Hockey Writers. He graduated from Neumann University in 2011 with a BA in English. Matt continued his education in Salt Lake City. He graduated from Salt Lake Community College in 2020 with an associate degree in video / radio production. Matt interned at ESPN 700 KALL in Salt Lake City and covered sports for The Globe newspaper at Salt Lake Community College. Matt’s career goal is to cover sports in broadcast, podcasting, sports radio and / or as a writer. In his spare time, Matt enjoys exercising, listening to sports podcasts, and reading comics.