The Flyers had a lack of offense this past season and it had nothing to do with the top line. Behind Raffl and Read our next left winger is R.J. Umberger and that’s an issue.
While there are a few players in the organization that could end up being placed in 2nd and 3rd line winger roles, there are definitely some upgrades that could and should be made.
The free agent market doesn’t have any big names, however, there are some good options that should be given a look at like David Booth. Booth, 30, will be beginning his 11th NHL season next year and if he’s not returning to Toronto, maybe Philadelphia would be a good fit. The former 30-goal scorer with the Panthers has struggled with injury problems over the course of his career, and that may shy away many teams from pursuing him. Matt Beleskey’s contract is ending as well but the only way he and Ducks part ways is if he demands more money than they feel he is worth. Coming off of his first 20-goal season, he could ask for a significant pay increase.
Out of League Options
Even with reports that Hextall is not going to Prague, you know we must have scouts at the IIHF tournament to look for any standouts. Team Latvia’s captain, Kaspars Daugavins, has definitely been a standout with 7 points in 6 games, including 2 overtime goals.
Currently 8th in IIHF scoring and tied for 3rd in goals, the former Ottawa Senators prospect is making a good case for an NHL team to bring him back to the league. The speedy left winger has 91 games of NHL experience, including a trip to the Stanley Cup Finals with the Boston Bruins back in 2013. In a reduced role with both the Senators and the Bruins, he only managed 15 points (6 goals) in those 91 games. This season in the KHL he lead his team, Dynamo (Moscow), in both goals (22) and points (37).
While I doubt trading for a winger would be the best choice, it’s a road they can take. Nathan Gerbe could be a target for many teams this summer as the Hurricanes will likely want to bring in more draft picks. Gerbe, 27, is entering the final year in his 2-year contact with a cap-hit of just $1.750M. With his speed and penalty killing abilities, Gerbe would be a great fit for the Flyers.
So, who do you think the Flyers should bring in this Summer? If it were up to me, I wouldn’t go the trading route just for the simple reason that we need our draft picks.