So I’m having my morning coffee, scrolling social media, when I come across a post from a Flyers blog I follow. The headline reads: “Blockbuster William Nylander Trade to the Flyers?” and I have never clicked on something faster.
Apparently, according to the post, Chuck Fletcher is a big William Nylander guy, to the point where he was trying to get him to Minnesota two years ago. There were ongoing talks right up until Nylander signed his big contract in December of 2018.
So we’ve established that Chuck is a Nylander guy, but what would it take to bring him to the Flyers? Well, shocker, the Leafs are interested in Travis Sanheim. It really seems at this point that Sanheim is the Flyers’ biggest trade asset heading into the 2020-2021 season. He’s been mentioned in numerous potential deals, including the all but dead Patrik Laine trade rumors. He’s a young, big, puck-moving defenseman who isn’t too shabby defensively, so it makes sense why a lot of teams want him.
To reiterate my point from my Laine blog, I think getting rid of Sanheim for an expensive goal scorer is not a smart move. I said going for Laine would put the Flyers in cap hell and hurt their future from a defensive standpoint due to their inability to bring in another defenseman. Yes, Cam York is a promising prospect, but he’s still a few years out from making an impact at the NHL level. Other than York, there are no prospects that really feel like a sure thing to make the NHL, just guys who are “uh, maybe” type players. Not to mention, there’s the impact of Matt Niskanen’s retirement hurting the current defense group.
What I was going to say next was how Nylander’s contract would hurt the Flyers financially for the next few years. THEN I CHECKED CAP FRIENDLY. Man, I love those guys. I must have missed the day that Nylander’s contract went from a $10 million cap hit to a $6.9 million cap hit for the next three years. All of a sudden, I’m so in on this deal. The Flyers only add about $3.7 million to their current cap, and gain a player that would greatly help the offense. The rest of the money used (assuming someone else isn’t packaged in to sweeten the deal and further lower the added cap hit), can be used for a defenseman that can at least partially fill Sanheim’s shoes until York reaches the NHL. As long as that man is competent, then we’re in business, and have a great goal scorer in Philadelphia. Imagine Giroux, Couturier, and Nylander on the same line. I’m giddy just thinking about it because that line would be ELECTRIC to watch.
I really thought I was out on this deal when I started writing it. Now, I really want to see Nylander in the orange and black. He’ll have to switch from 88 again, but who really cares. This is almost definitely nothing more than a rumor, but with no hockey going on, I’m relegated to offseason acquisitions and my NHL 21 GM mode. Get Nylander to Philly, Chuck. I’m counting on you.