Not a joke post.

Danny Briere should trade everyone he possibly can and bring in a some vets on short-term deals to mentor the kids until they’re ready to lift the Stanley Cup. That’s how the Flyers rebuild should go. We need the hockey versions of Sergio Rodriguez and Luc Mbah a Moute playing in Philly next season.

Why? Because you’re either all-in or you’re not in. Briere got off to a great start with the Ivan Provorov move and then salary dumped Kevin Hayes after Torey Krug decided to be a dickhead and screw up the better, original deal. Tony DeAngelo and Travis Sanheim look to be on their way out as well, so we’ve got an aggressive GM running the show now, trying to undo Chuck Fletcher’s handiwork.

Here’s what they could/should do with some of the other names on the roster:

 

Ryan Ellis

He’s got four more years at $6.2 million but the Flyers can just throw him on long term injured reserve and get around the cap hit. They can sit on this contract for a few seasons without having to do anything at all, so Ellis in floating around in abeyance for the time being.

Ryan Ellis’ finest moment as a Flyer

 

Sean Couturier

Coots is a tough one. He has seven more years at $7.75 million, but nobody is trading for him before learning whether or not he can actually play. It’s been practically two seasons now. There’s a chance he gets moved at the next deadline, but more likely it’s something that’s punted into next year or the year prior.

Truthfully, his contract is not that prohibitive. You’re looking at second line center money by the time the Flyers are competitive again, and if you’re getting enough production from Coots at that point in time, you probably think about just keeping him instead.

 

Travis Konecny

The best player on the team during this miserable past season. 31 goals and 30 assists for a guy who turned 26 back in March. TK has two more years at $5.5 million and plenty of good hockey in front of him, but you’re also looking at someone who can return good value if Briere is fully committed to the rebuild. Whether or not we see TK’s name in real trade rumors will be a good barometer for how far Briere is willing to go here. He’s the guy who sits right on the fulcrum of the rebuild, because by the time you become competitive again, he’ll be 28 years old and in need of a new contract.

 

Cam Atkinson

Similar to Coots but on a more manageable contract. Atkinson got his injury situation sorted and comes back with two more years at $5.8 million and a limited NTC that allows him to list 10 teams he’s okay with being traded to. He’s not going anywhere until we determine what he’s capable of doing this season.

FWIW, Elliotte Friedman reported that Atkinson was one of the guys who tried to convince pain in the ass Krug to waive his no-trade clause and come to Philly. 

 

Rasmus Ristolainen

Four more years at $5.1 million. Risto is 28 and will be on the wrong side of 30 by the time the Flyers are once again contenders, but if he shows progress like he did this past season, it’s honestly not a horrible contract. Risto is more of a “wait and see” case compared to some of the other guys on this list, which seems crazy to say considering how out we were on him not that long ago.

 

Scott Laughton

Three more years at $3 million. There was the rumor that Briere turned down for Laughton an offer of a first rounder this year and future second, which falls somewhere between insane and implausible on the trade spectrum. That said, Laughton is the perfect third line center for a contender and the Flyers should extract whatever value possible for the 29 year old.

 

Joel Farabee

Five more years at $5 million, but he’s only 23. Younger than Carter Hart, Noah Cates, Kieffer Bellows, Owen Tippett, and Wade Allison. You ride a healthy Young Beezer and see if he crosses the 40-point threshold and takes the next career step. His age puts him on the right side of the rebuild timeline.

 

Carter Hart

Hart shouldn’t be untouchable. If he’s not named in the Hockey Canada scandal, and Briere gets a reasonable offer, it should absolutely be considered. They’re high on Sam Ersson and Hart will be in line for a long-term extension after earning $3.9 million in 2023, so the decision on what to do with him is going to have to be made sooner rather than later. Can’t necessarily kick the can down the road here.

 

The Process, part 2?

Briere is going to have to find the balance between value extraction and salary retainment. You want to clear out guys who aren’t part of the rebuild and don’t fit the timeline, but you’re also hesitant to just dump with nothing in return. That Kevin Hayes move hopefully is the outlier.

The real question is how the Flyers view this timeline, and unless there’s a whiteboard leak ala the Sixers, we probably won’t get a concrete answer on that. Are they looking at 2025 as a contending year? 2026? There are plenty of players who aren’t immediate problems, but find themselves on the wrong side age-wise and that’s the main point to consider.

The other thing you’re wary of doing is jettisoning all of your vets and throwing a bunch of kids to the wolves on a nightly basis. The Sixers did that in the early days of the Process, putting Mbah a Moute out there with a bunch of other green players, and, occasionally, a 34 year old Jason Richardson. Then they began to sprinkle in some older guys on the tail end to balance things out (Rodriguez, Ersan Ilyasova, Jerryd Bayless). The main problem with the Sixers’ rebuild is that they went too far in one direction, which resulted in the NBA stepping in and screwing everything up.

So it’s about lessons learned from the Sixers, and it’s not out of the realm of possibility for the Flyers to fill temporary roster holes with one and two-year deals for free agents, then those guys move on when the kids catch up. Shit, I’d have taken a guy like Nick Foligno for two years if Chicago hadn’t signed him, and you can throw Wayne Simmonds a one-year deal to come back here and close out his career. Show the kids how to play, provide some leadership, and wrap up your career with a different role.

That’s the theme here – clean house, stock up on assets, plug the gaps with short-term deals and play your kids. The blueprint is there and the Flyers are in full rebuild mode. This is no longer an aggressive retool.

We talked about all of this on Crossing Broadcast: