Should the Flyers trade for Phil Kessel?

With Toronto in full rebuild mode, they may decide to part ways with star right-wing Phil Kessel. If they do, should the Flyers make an offer?

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Photo credit: Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports

Back at the trade deadline, TSN reported that Philadelphia was one of the eight teams (BOS, CHI, LA, MN, MTL, NYR, PHI, PIT) that Kessel would waive his no-trade clause for and it has since sparked speculation among fans. Of those eight teams, Pittsburgh is really the only destination that could trade for Kessel and his $8M cap-hit without sending a pricey contract back to the Leafs, but we talk Flyers here so let’s at least take a look.

Trade Proposal:

to Philadelphia – Phil Kessel

to Toronto – 7th overall pick, Robert Hagg, Brayden Schenn, Vincent Lecavalier

If the Flyers were a team who just needed one top scoring forward to be a cup contender, sure, this deal would work for them but we just are not that type of team. This trade would also leave the Flyers just under $4M in cap space if the cap raises to $71M. However, if the cap stays the same we’d have under $2M left which should make everyone uneasy with Jakub Voracek, Michael Raffl, and Sean Couturier having just one year left one their deals which all will presumably inflate (Brayden Schenn’s contract is up as well, but in this scenario he is traded). General Manager Ron Hextall stated on Friday that extending Jake Voracek’s contract was a top priority which makes taking on Kessel’s hefty contract even less likely.

Then of course there’s the issue that Kessel refused to play left-wing in Toronto and we don’t have top-6 right-wing spot open for him. There’s no reason to move Voracek to the left after a breakout season like he had, and Simmonds has already tried left-wing before, an experiment that didn’t last very long. While it’s possible Hakstol may attempt to use Simmonds on the left side in his system, it still doesn’t make sense to add Kessel.

So, no, Kessel to the Flyers should definitely not be a thing that happens this Summer or anytime in the near future. Draft well, wait for our prospects and (hopefully) see success. The era of high price win-now moves is over (hopefully), Hextall has made it very clear that his policy is patience and building through the draft.

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