Flyers Rumors: Why Ristolainen Has Become Much More Tradeable

The Philadelphia Flyers have a number of trade assets, particularly on the backline. And while so much of the talk has centered around Sean Walker and Nick Seeler, it appears that Rasmus Ristolainen has entered the picture strongly as well. 

The big blueliner is sometimes prone to defensive miscues, but, according to NHL Insider Chris Johnson, there are reasons why he's eminently tradeable now: 

He’s had an uptick in performance I would say… Philadelphia is willing to retain salary on a deal involving him, so that at least brings in the possibility that he could be moved. He’s still got 3 years beyond this season on his contract. But it’s not an overly onerous cap hit, and if the Flyers retain some salary, it gets a little more comfortable for some teams out there. 

With a $5.1M cap hit for another three seasons, it's a lot to expect an interested team to take on, but if Philly is indeed ready to retain enough salary, teams looking for a sizeable (6'4", 208 pound) D-man are bound to come calling. 

Granted, Ristolainen's offensive numbers have taken a big dip over the years, as he's gone from a consistent 40-point contributor in his days with the Buffalo Sabres to seasons more in the 20-point range with the Flyers, and this season, he's got just one point in 11 games. And his time on ice is down to less than 18 minutes per game, from a career average of 24 minutes. 

Johnson points out, however, that his underlying numbers in Philadelphia this season paint a more encouraging picture than those raw numbers would suggest, and he's still just 29 years old. 

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