Ron Hextall has preached patience since he became the general manager for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was not going to mortgage the future to make a bold move. The Flyers trade deadline plans reflected that sentiment. The deadline came and went, with little done in Philadelphia.
And that’s exactly how Hextall expected it to be.
Hexy says Flyers didn’t want to “mortgage the future” just to get marginally better for a couple mos. #Flyers
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) February 26, 2018
Philadelphia Flyers Trade Deadline Preached Patience
The Flyers sat quietly during the NHL’s trade deadline as other teams scrambled to make moves. The Flyers saw other teams in their division make big moves for now and the future. The New York Rangers traded Ryan McDonagh in a blockbuster deal. The Pittsburgh Penguins made a few deals to sure up their roster, including trading for Derick Brassard. The Columbus Blue Jackets would acquire veteran Thomas Vanek.
One name that had been thrown around in rumours was Evander Kane. The Flyers and Buffalo Sabres had been linked as potential trade partners since Brian Elliott went down a few weeks ago. Kane ended being traded to the San Jose Sharks for a prospect and two picks, likely more than Hextall would part with.
With the Flyers likely to make the playoffs, there was no need for Hextall to make a blockbuster trade. With Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux playing at high levels while Nolan Patrick and Travis Konecny continue to improve, a move was not in the cards for the Flyers.
While the team did not make any trades on deadline day, there were a few minor moves that the team did make.
Johnny Oduya Claimed Off Waivers
To sure up the defensive core, the Flyers would claim Johnny Oduya off waivers from the Ottawa Senators. Oduya is a veteran defensemen that has Stanley Cup playoff experience. He won the cup twice with the Chicago Blackhawks. He has six goals and 22 assists in 109 playoff games.
Get to know our latest acquisition, Johnny Oduyahttps://t.co/4pmpDe7ESv
— Philadelphia Flyers (@NHLFlyers) February 26, 2018
This season, Oduya has four goals and four points in 51 games. He is likely to slot in as the team’s seventh defensemen. Following this move, the Flyers would learn that the Colorado Avalanche claimed Mark Alt off of waivers. Alt was likely being sent down to the AHL as a paper move, but will instead head to the Avalanche.
Alt was serving as the seventh defenseman before the waiver claim.
Matt Read Recalled From Lehigh Valley Phantoms
A familiar face was recalled from the American Hockey League. After spending most of the season with the Phantoms, the Flyers recalled Matt Read. With this move, Read will not be eligible to participate in the Calder Cup playoffs. Read will add depth to the Flyers roster as the seasons winds down.
Flyers have recalled Matt Read, per Ron Hextall. Won't affect the four callup rule since it happened ahead of the deadline.
— Bill Meltzer (@billmeltzer) February 26, 2018
Oskar Lindblom was briefly sent down to the Phantoms before the deadline ended. He was then promptly called back up following it. The move was made so Lindblom would be eligible for the AHL playoffs should the Flyers send him down. With Wayne Simmonds still about a week away, Lindblom has more time to impress.
While he has not registered a point, Lindblom has impressed enough to be playing on the Flyers second line. He’s slotted on the wing with Patrick and Jakub Voracek.
The paper move of Lindblom will go against the amount of post deadline moves the Flyers can make. They now have three emergency recalls left.
Alex Lyon was also briefly sent to the AHL. Along with Lindblom, he is eligible for the AHL playoffs.
John Muse Signed To NHL Contract
Muse was originally brought in to be an ECHL goaltender. The Flyers rewarded him with an NHL deal for the rest of the season. Muse has impressed since taking over as the Phantoms starting goaltender. In eight games, he has a 2.05 GAA and .934 SV% with the team. In 24 games with the Reading Royals of the ECHL, Muse had a 2.27 GAA and a .930 SV%.
Should anything go wrong with the Flyers current goaltenders, this gives the team another option should they need it. Dustin Tokarski was previously the only other healthy goaltender in the organization on an NHL contract.
While Muse likely does not see NHL time, he is eligible to play in the playoffs should the team need him to.
Few Moves Made, But Not Surprising
With a quiet Flyers trade deadline, Hextall was reaffirming that he believes the current Flyers are a playoff team. The team was not going to get rid of any prospects or picks with their current spot in the standings. Only one point out of first place, Hextall felt making a move was not necessary. Overpaying for a rental was not something he wanted to visit.
The plan continues to be to widen the Flyers current window, not shorten it with rentals and short-term moves. Claiming Oduya gives them a solid replacement if injuries or bad play arise. Adding Read from the Phantoms gives the Flyers more line combination options.
The Flyers trade deadline was a quiet one, but if you’re Ron Hextall, that is exactly how you expected it to be.
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