A mere four days ago the Philadelphia Flyers fired General Manager Chuck Fletcher after roughly four and a half years at the helm.
Hired by the organization in December 2018, he has always been a polarizing figure due to his reputation for his inability to get his teams past one round of the playoffs in a five-year span. He had the same reputation during his time as the General Manager of the Minnesota Wild, and nothing changed while he was in Philadelphia.
Steve Dangle of the Steve Dangle Podcast and Sportsnet YouTube channel has expressed on several occasions that Chuck Fletcher has always been a puppet of the team’s owners, which could very well be the case.
But, his decisions, such as
from the Nashville Predators in 2021, a productive defenseman on the tail end of his career that has been marred by injuries, and defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen from the Buffalo Sabres for a first-round pick, leave one to scratch their heads at these types of decisions no matter who was behind them. Then, to make matters worse, he signed the unproven Ristolainen to a
, worth $25.5 million dollars, which ultimately made it near-impossible to move the 28-year old right-handed defenseman.
Now, that the Flyers are in a post-Fletcher era, reports have already surfaced about the possible availability of their young goaltender Carter Hart. The Flyers were famous for retooling under Fletcher, but never entered a full-blown rebuild given the moves for Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen, among others.
Under new management, interim general manager Daniel Briere, the Flyers would do well to enter into a full-blown rebuild. And one of the first pieces on the move could be the 24-year old netminder Carter Hart.
This season he is 17-21-10 with a .906 save percentage on a struggling Philadelphia team, which is certainly not a bad stat line for a potential franchise cornerstone. The Los Angeles Kings were in the market for a goaltender at the deadline and ultimately did acquire Columbus’ Joonas Korpisalo.
However, Korpisalo is a pending unrestricted free agent at the end of this season and could potentially not re-sign with the Kings. As a part of the trade, LA traded their franchise goaltender Jonathan Quick to Columbus, who ultimately found his way to the Vegas Golden Knights as the hours closed to the trade deadline.
So, if Korpisalo doesn’t re-sign, then Pheonix Copley would be the only NHL-level goalie on the roster. Just last month, general manager Rob Blake signed the 31-year old Copley to a one-year contract extension that kicks in after this season, worth $1.5 million dollars. The Kings do still have Cal Petersen under contract, but due to sub-NHL performance he will most likely be on the Ontario Reign for the forseeable future and it could be near-impossible to trade him after Rob Blake re-signed him to a three-year contract extension in 2021, worth $15 million dollars.
Unfortunately, it will also be difficult to buy Petersen out of his contract as well. Hockey Royalty’s Kyle Garcia breaks it down below:
The potential departure of Korpisalo after this season, the remaining one-year on Copley’s deal, the difficult contract with Petersen all create a perfect storm for the Los Angeles Kings to pursue Carter Hart, should he become available by the Philadelphia Flyers.
The long-time Flyers goalie is currently on a three-year contract, worth $11.9 million dollars that he signed in 2021. His contract, as it stands runs through the end of the 2023-2024 season, in which he becomes a restricted free agent. So, not only would the Kings have him for another season after this one, but they would also retain his rights to re-sign him instead of watching him walk for nothing in free agency.
If Rob Blake could package a third or fourth-round pick with Cal Petersen or one of the many prospects that the Kings have in their system, then that could be enticing to the Flyers who would want to acquire picks and prospects, if they were to enter into a full-blown rebuild.
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