Flyers

Eichel buzz, Caufield debate, more in 3 Flyers thoughts

Flyers

In a week, the calendar will turn to July, commencing a busy month for the Flyers.

It features the Kraken expansion draft (July 21), NHL entry draft (July 23-24) and opening of free agency (July 28).

As the 2021 playoffs continue to near the Stanley Cup Final, let's get into our latest three Flyers thoughts.

1. The Eichel tower

The precarious Jack Eichel situation in Buffalo is just another reason to buckle up for this Flyers offseason.

The Flyers are in a spot this summer in which they'll consider everything and anything. They should be as open-minded and aggressive as any team in the league considering where they stand after a letdown, disconcerting 2020-21 season.

In April, Chuck Fletcher said stemming back to last offseason, the Flyers had "numerous conversations with essentially every general manager." With the Flyers' position now and the apparent strife in Buffalo between star player and team, it would be surprising if the Flyers' GM doesn't pull up a seat at the Eichel table.

A week ago, The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun reported that conversations between the Sabres and Eichel suitors were "getting more intense and serious." LeBrun then included the Flyers among six teams he believes make sense for an Eichel trade. On Wednesday, Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli listed Eichel as the NHL offseason's No. 1 trade target.

 

Next season, the 24-year-old center will be on the fourth year of his eight-year, $80 million deal, per CapFriendly.com and PuckPedia.com. He's from North Chelmsford, Massachusetts, and played a year at Boston University before being selected No. 2 overall after Connor McDavid in the 2015 draft.

The Flyers have the Northeast connection working for them in making Eichel feel comfortable and close to home if they do land him in a trade. The Flyers also have the ability to deliver a haul for a blockbuster. Their organizational depth consists of solid variety, a good picking of older, established players still performing at a difference-making level, younger, proven talent and potential ascending prospects.

Speaking of connections, here's a fun one between Fletcher and Sabres general manager Kevyn Adams. When Fletcher briefly took over as general manager of the Panthers in 2002, he traded Adams to the Hurricanes. Adams, now 46 years old, was then a 27-year-old center for Florida.

Not a bad icebreaker to talk major business.

This offseason, the Flyers are expected to have interest in big names on the back end, Dougie Hamilton and Seth Jones to name a few. They'll look to upgrade "everywhere," as Fletcher said in May.

There has been no indication of the Flyers being in pursuit of Eichel. The shakeup and sacrifices to acquire him would be weighty. We'll see how much the trade winds pick up as July rolls around. The entire NHL will have eyes and ears on the Eichel situation.

2. Flyers Alumni vs. Flyers Warriors

There's a really cool event Sunday for Flyers fans.

At the IceWorks Skating Complex in Aston, Pennsylvania, members of the Flyers Alumni will play a charity game against the Flyers Warriors, a team dedicated to U.S. Military Veterans with injuries/disabilities and a passion to play the sport.

Zack Hill/Philadelphia Flyers
Warriors captain Jim Young and Flyers icon Bob Clarke in September 2019

Doors will open at 3 p.m. ET with opening ceremonies set for 4 p.m. ET. Fans can purchase tickets right here.

Below is the Flyers Alumni roster.

Two great groups of people coming together for a good cause. Should be fun.

3. Cam-Cole comparisons ... already?

If anyone is genuinely upset or peeved by the Flyers' decision to draft Cam York over Cole Caufield, those feelings are awfully premature.

You've got to give this time.

Caufield is an impressive 20-year-old kid with eight points (three goals, five assists) over 14 games in the Canadiens' playoff run. He possesses innate goal-scoring ability, which he put on full display in his 72-goal draft year. Caufield was taken by Montreal in the 2019 draft at 15th overall, a spot after the Flyers selected York.

 

York himself is an impressive 20-year-old kid, a point-producing defenseman who reached the Flyers this season and has plenty of accolades.

Both have combined for 13 NHL regular-season games. Both have all kinds of potential. It's insanely too early to debate this.

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