4 Ways The Flyers Failed In Free Agency

Chuck Fletcher promised an aggressive retool for the Philadelphia Flyers, but made some minor moves and a questionable trade instead of getting their guy.

Failure to Acquire a High-End Forward

The first and biggest reason why the Flyers failed in free agency was their inability to move on from James van Riemsdyk and free up the space to even offer Gaudreau a contract. According to Elliotte Friedman, Johnny Gaudreau wanted to go to Philadelphia, but they never made him an offer. The price to move van Riemsdyk was around the price it was for the Toronto Maple Leafs to move Patrick Marleau a few years ago which included a first round pick next year or the year after. If you were the Flyers, that's pretty much like trading a first round pick for Gaudreau, and well worth the cost for seven years of him on the team.

The Columbus Blue Jackets don't necessarily have the room, but they jumped at the opportunity to add a player of Gaudreau's caliber considering they don't come along very often. On top of that, the Flyers weren't able to add anyone else significant since they didn't move money in the first place. With Joel Farabee expected to miss some time to begin the season, it leaves the Flyers even worse off offensively.

Added to an Area Flyers Already had Covered

The big name the Flyers added in free agency was Nic Deslauriers who finished last season with five goals and 13 points with the Anaheim Ducks and Minnesota Wild across 81 games. He was brought on for his physicality, something they already have after qualifying Zack MacEwen two days prior. Sure, John Tortorella loves those types of players, but one may be enough when the team desperately needs more offense rather than even more physicality.

What's Up With the Goaltending Situation?

So the Flyers didn't bring back Martin Jones and Ivan Fedotov is spending at least one season doing Russian military service, so they have Felix Sandstrom and Troy Grosenick who they just signed on opening day of free agency.

Grosenick is not an NHL-caliber goaltender while Sandstrom may not be ready yet. With a few capable backups on the market, the Flyers elected to stand pat and do nothing in that regard, putting even more pressure on Carter Hart next season.

Flyers Brought In Another RD

The Flyers had Ryan Ellis and Rasmus Ristolainen on the right side for next season, then acquired Tony DeAngelo for three higher draft picks and signed him for two years, filling the right side of their defense. But in an interesting and questionable move, they also brought back Justin Braun who plays on the right side with no room on defense.

The Flyers have three high-end right defensemen and Ivan Provorov, Travis Sanheim, and Cam York on the left side already. That's either an overpayment ($1 million) for Braun to be a seventh defenseman or one of the defense is going to be gone soon. As far as seventh defensemen go for the Flyers, they signed Nick Seeler, Kevin Connauton, and have Ronnie Attard ready or very close, so bringing in another body was unnecessary.

All in all, the Flyers really missed the mark and will have a tough time competing against a division that mostly made very positive moves to get better.

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