Travis Sanheim

Flyers balked at CRAZY asking price in trade for top winger

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Flyers balked at CRAZY asking price in trade for top winger

According to sources, the Flyers kicked the tires on Ottawa winger Mike Hoffman, with the apparent asking price of defenseman Travis Sanheim and a first-round pick as a starting point. Needless to say, any negotiations or discussions didn’t advance much further than that.

“It’s an emotional time for all of us and you’ve got to really think things through clearly,” Hextall said following Monday’s 3 p.m. deadline. “To do something because someone else did something, that’s not how I operate. We’re going to make well-thought-out decisions.”

Hextall may be willing to part with the pick considering the Flyers could have two first-rounders in the upcoming draft depending on what happens with the St. Louis Blues, but the highly-coveted Sanheim is a deal breaker. 

“We’ve got a lot of good young players and we get asked about them fairly often,” Hextall said.

Hextall, like most general managers, utilizes the days leading up to the trade deadline to gain a barometer on what other GMs are thinking, what prospects teams value and what’s the starting point for any potential deal. It’s all a matter of performing due diligence.    

However, Hoffman is certainly a player that would interest Hextall, who stated he doesn’t believe in overpaying for a rental. Hoffman is under contract for two more years after 2017-18 at a very reasonable cap hit of just over $5 million a season. 

For an organization and a head coach looking to play a more up-tempo pace, Hoffman would be an ideal fit. He has blazing speed with a terrific shot and he’s seven goals shy of his fourth straight 25-goal season. He’s also a natural left winger, the one forward position the Flyers are a little thin at right now. 

Interestingly, the 28-year-old Hoffman came into Flyers' training camp 10 years ago on an amateur tryout. He returned to the QMJHL where the Senators selected him at the age of 19 in the fifth round of the 2009 NHL draft. As a late bloomer, Hoffman wasn’t an NHL regular until the age of 25. 

With Valtteri Filppula in the final year of his contract and the possibility that Jori Lehtera could be bought out of the final year of his contract, the Flyers will have some financial maneuverability to add a veteran forward, if that’s what they elect to do.

If Sanheim is the must-needed piece to broker a deal, then the Flyers could have to involve a third team — much like the Matt Duchene blockbuster trade between the Predators and Avalanche earlier this season.

The small-market Senators are also looking to cut payroll and add prospects as they currently have a shortage of their own draft picks. Until the Derick Brassard trade with Pittsburgh, Ottawa didn’t own a single pick in the first three rounds of this year’s draft. 

While there was very little chance Hoffman was going to be moved at the deadline, discussions could heat up in late June when all 31 teams reconvene at this year’s draft in Dallas.

Doing what he does best, Oskar Lindblom catching fire

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Doing what he does best, Oskar Lindblom catching fire

Before this week begins, it's time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers' prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

Oskar Lindblom, LW, 21, 6-1/192, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Flyers fans can't wait to see this at the NHL level.

Last weekend, Lindblom potted a goal in three straight games for the Phantoms, giving him 16 on the season through 54 contests. All three tallies came within close range as the Swedish winger's scoring IQ continues to grow during his first AHL season.

Since going scoreless in his first six games, the 2014 fifth-round pick hasn't gone more than four straight games without a point.

Lindblom surprised many with his vast development leading up to the 2017-18 season. While some were disappointed he didn't make the Flyers' roster out of training camp, a 20-goal campaign at Lehigh Valley will be a nice accomplishment along his path to Philly.

Travis Sanheim, D, 21, 6-4/199, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Just how much of a difference-maker is Sanheim? The Phantoms are 9-1-2 since the 2014 first-round pick joined them after he was sent down by the Flyers.

Over Lehigh Valley's 3-0-1 week, Sanheim extended his point streak to seven games with five more assists, putting him at 12 helpers in as many games.

Seeing plenty of minutes and responsibility, Sanheim has collected 13 points to go with a plus-11 rating.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel, RW, 21, 5-11/187, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
Aube-Kubel is another Phantom worth noting here.

The 2014 second-round pick put up five points (one goal, four assists) in four games last week, continuing his surge in Year 2 of his AHL development. He now has 13 points (four goals, nine assists) in his last 12 games.

After a feeling-out process last season, Aube-Kubel is coming on strong in 2017-18, as he's a plus-20 and third on Lehigh Valley with 37 points (15 goals, 22 assists).

Quick hits
• Ho-hum for Morgan Frost, who had a six-point week through three games. At 94 points, Frost is six away from 100, while his plus-54 rating remains best in the OHL.

Here's a glimpse into his vision and skill:

• Goalie Carter Hart picked up a win and a shootout loss over the weekend. In total, he made 60 saves on 65 shots.

Maksim Sushko tallied two goals (including this one below) and two assists through three games last week. A 2017 fourth-round pick, the 19-year-old has 48 points in 47 games for Owen Sound.

• Wingers Isaac Ratcliffe and Matthew Strome, also 2017 draft picks, recorded three points each in a pair of games.

• Playing for the first time since Jan. 31, German Rubtsov returned from an undisclosed injury to notch an assist over three games last week. The Flyers' 2016 first-round pick has 24 points (nine goals, 15 assists) in 27 games for Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

• In Michigan's two-game sweep of top-ranked Notre Dame, Cooper Marody tacked on three more assists, giving him 26 overall, which is tied for most in the Big Ten.

Here's his primary helper from Sunday's 1-0 win:

Anthony Salinitri pushed his point streak to seven games with an assist Friday and a goal Saturday. The 2016 sixth-round pick has 25 goals and 25 assists in 56 games.

• During the four-game week for the Phantoms, Mike Vecchione scored his 12th and 13th goals of the season, while adding an assist.

Philippe Myers had an assist Tuesday for his first point since Jan. 26, while Samuel Morin (undisclosed injury), who hasn't played since Jan. 20, remains out.

Travis Sanheim proving he doesn't belong in AHL

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Travis Sanheim proving he doesn't belong in AHL

Before this week begins, it's time for our weekly check-in on the Flyers' prospects playing in the AHL, overseas and at the junior and college levels.

With teammate Tom Dougherty working the Olympics this month for NBC, I'll be chipping in with our Future Flyers Report the next few weeks.

So let's get into it:

Travis Sanheim, D, 21, 6-4/199, Lehigh Valley (AHL)
As expected, since being sent down to the Phantoms, Sanheim has shown that offensive potential everyone loves about his game. Through eight contests with Lehigh Valley, the 2014 first-round pick has eight points, featuring seven assists.

This was a big week as Sanheim went off for six points (one goal, five assists) in three straight wins for the Phantoms.

With the Flyers turning to Brandon Manning as their sixth defenseman, Sanheim had become a healthy scratch for nine of his last 10 games in orange and black. General manager Ron Hextall's philosophy is developing prospects through playing, so Sanheim on Jan. 22 was shipped to the AHL, where he's doing just that.

The Flyers obviously want to see him grow in his all-around game and defensive responsibilities. Sanheim is a smart kid and understands that. His game is ready for the NHL, but right now, the Flyers aren't ready to play him every night.

"Overall, just trying to play well in all areas," Sanheim said Friday, via "I've been playing quite a bit, so all the situations, just trying to make sure that I'm improving in those areas. I think I've seen some improvements throughout my game."

Carter Hart, G, 19, 6-1/177, Everett (WHL)
It seems like Hart setting a record or claiming an award has become the norm.

The 2016 second-round pick pitched a 23-save shutout in the Silvertips' 5-0 win over Vancouver Saturday. The victory was significant on multiple fronts because it marked Hart's 26th career shutout, tying the Western Hockey League record, and his 107th career win, matching Everett's all-time record.

Hart leads the WHL in goals-against average at 1.53 (next closest is Cole Kehler at 2.77) and save percentage at .952 (next closest is Patrick Dea at .914).

Matthew Strome, LW, 19, 6-3/201, Hamilton (OHL)
Strome went off for a four-point game Sunday in the Bulldogs' 5-2 win over Morgan Frost-led Sault Ste. Marie. Strome potted his 30th goal of the season and tallied three assists.

Knocked for his skating struggles, Strome certainly looked OK here on these two helpers.

A fourth-round pick this summer, Strome has 56 points (30 goals, 26 assists) in 52 games this season.

Quick hits
• Although he was surprisingly held off the score sheet and finished a minus-3 Sunday, Frost scored two goals Thursday in the Greyhounds' 4-3 win over Niagara, giving him 32 on the season. He still leads the OHL with 88 points and a plus-51 rating.

• Speaking of 30-goal seasons, Isaac Ratcliffe picked up his 30th on an overtime winner to lift Guelph past Saginaw, 4-3, Friday. 

The 6-foot-6 winger added his 31st Sunday in a 3-2 OT loss to London.

Nicolas Aube-Kubel had a three-point week for the Phantoms during their three-game winning streak. The 21-year-old winger scored his 14th goal of the season in Friday's 5-1 win over Hershey and recorded two assists in Wednesday's 4-3 decision over Charlotte. The 2014 second-round pick has 32 points in 50 games after putting up 18 in 71 last season.

Philippe Myers missed one of Lehigh Valley's three games this week, while Samuel Morin (undisclosed injury), who was getting in work at Flyers Skate Zone last Monday, has not played since Jan. 20.

• After going scoreless in five straight games, Mikhail Vorobyev had a goal and an assist in the Phantoms' 5-3 win over Rochester Saturday, while Oskar Lindblom had an assist, his only point during the week.

German Rubtsov, the Flyers' 2016 first-round pick, has missed five straight games with an undisclosed injury. The 19-year-old has 23 points (nine goals, 14 assists) in 24 games since being traded to Acadie-Bathurst Titan.

David Kase had three points (two goals, one assist) and a slick shootout winner in a 5-4 Mora IK win Sunday over Färjestad BK.

• Sixth-round pick Anthony Salinitri is riding a five-game point streak in which he has six goals and an assist.

• Big Ten products Cooper Marody and Tanner Laczynski have kept a steady pace. Marody, tied for second in the Big Ten with 23 assists, registered a two-point game (one goal, one assist) in Michigan's 3-2 win Saturday over Michigan State, while Laczynski leads the conference with 25 helpers for Ohio State.