On the Philadelphia Flyers …
Dave Isaac: GM Ron Hextall isn’t closing the door on the possibility of goaltending prospect Carter Harter playing in the NHL next season. Get the sense that the odds are slim though.
John Boruk: GM Hextall said that when they are looking at the free agent market, they’ll be looking for someone who is a good penalty killer.
Mike Sielski of the Philadelphia Daily News: GM Ron Hextall won’t be deviating from their original plan.
“We’re not going to change what we set out to do four years ago,” Hextall said. “We put a plan in place, and to go sideways now would be the wrong thing to do. To do that now would not be setting us up for success. Successful is not making the playoffs or winning one round or winning two rounds. Four years ago, I sat here. I said our vision is to build a top, contending team that can win the Stanley Cup. Unfortunately, it doesn’t happen overnight. … This is a bit of a slow process.”
Though some fans want coach Dave Hakstol fired, but he isn’t going to be, and it doesn’t make to fire him.
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Daily News: GM Hextall is remaining patient. They have one of the better farm systems with prospects like Carter Hart, Morgan Frost, and Wade Allison.
Hextall has moved out salary since taking over and has the salary cap space to add some pieces this offseason if he chooses.
Does Hextall go after big names like John Tavares or John Carlson?
That may depend on if he plans on offering Wayne Simmonds a contract extension. Simmonds has a year left on his deal. Does he sign Ivan Provorov and/or Travis Konecny to big extensions? Both will be RFAs after next season.
“Do they fit in what we’re doing? Do they fit in terms we can afford?” said Hextall, referring to free agents in general and not specifically Tavares or Carlson. “There’s a lot of digging we have to do prior to making those decisions.”
They could have up to $25 million in salary cap space if they buyout Jori Lehtera, around $22 million if they don’t.
Assuming Brian Elliott can handle the duties in net next year to bridge until Carter Hart is ready, then their main offseason needs are a third-line center and a veteran defenseman.
guesses the Flyers will kick tires on Tavares but ultimately decide he’s too expensive and then turn to the likes of Paul Stastny or Riley Nash. This would save money for Provorov, Konecny and maybe Simmonds. If they decide to move Simmonds, then they could look at free agent Michael Grabner.
Options on the blue line could include Carlson, Jack Johnson, Toby Enstrom, Ian Cole, and Thomas Hickey.
Maybe Hextall could package Simmonds and a young defenseman for a proven defenseman.