As the Philadelphia Flyers watch their postseason ambitions become increasingly less likely, fans have been calling for changes to be made to the roster. GM Chuck Fletcher has been happy to oblige, having dealt two players in the past week, sending forward Jordan Weal to Arizona and forward Taylor Leier to Buffalo. Both forwards have struggled mightily in their time in the NHL, with Taylor Leier having an uninspired 39 game stint with the Flyers last season during which he only totaled 5 points, and then failing to make the pro team this season. Similarly, despite a strong opening in the 2016-2017 season, Jordan Weal has been unable to secure a starting spot on the pro roster, often only be used in case of injury.
Fletcher’s return for both skaters has been similarly underwhelming, with Weal fetching Arizona’s 6th round pick and 23-year-old defenseman prospect Jacob Graves, and Leier being exchanged for the 23-year-old winger Justin Bailey. Graves has struggled to obtain a long-term spot at the AHL level, and likely will never make his way to the NHL team, while Bailey has had small stints in the NHL with Buffalo, putting up points nearly identical to Leier. By and large, these trades seem to be serving more to shake things up in the organization than reform the team at the pro or farm levels. Neither Weal nor Leier have been the main causes of a problem with the Flyers this season, however, it is possible that getting a new face in the locker room, or simply removing one, can help the team in the latter half of the season.
More interestingly, however, Fletcher is likely not done making moves this season. Dale Weise was waived early this week, and although he went unclaimed, he is not traveling with the team to Montreal this weekend, and it is incredibly likely that he will be traded in the coming days. Due to Weise’s clearing of waivers, Philadelphia will likely be picking up some of his 2.35-million-dollar salary or adding other pieces to get the move to go through. Beyond this, Fletcher has confirmed the long-time Flyer Wayne Simmonds will be either re-signed or traded by the deadline this year. Despite a fake report recently, it is incredibly likely that Simmonds is approaching the end of his time in the orange and black, with Fletcher being looked towards to get a significant payment for the 30-year-old power forward who is scheduled to be a free agent next year.
Collin has been a lifelong hockey and sports fan rooting on Philadelphia for as long as he can remember. He is currently enrolled at the University of Maryland, College Park studying communications.