Flyers

Flyers trade options: Jacob Trouba, Jared Spurgeon are intriguing defensemen

Flyers trade options: Jacob Trouba, Jared Spurgeon are intriguing defensemen

Chuck Fletcher won't close any doors in his first offseason as Flyers general manager.

"We're going to be active in trying to improve our team," the GM said two days after the Flyers' season ended in April. "How that translates this summer, we'll find out.

"I think we need to add a couple more proven players — I think we could add in any area. Clearly we need to find a goaltender to play with Carter [Hart]. Certainly a veteran defenseman could help. I think some help up front, as well. I think we score, but maybe finding another experienced guy that can help with that mindset — playing the right way, that could contribute both ways."

It's no secret the Flyers will look to utilize free agency in gearing up for a bounce-back year in 2019-20. It's also no secret the trade route is an avenue for Fletcher, especially with the June 21-22 NHL draft ahead. He has already taken advantage by trading a fifth-round pick to acquire soon-to-be unrestricted free agent Kevin Hayes (see story)

With a strong prospect pool, greater cap space and now nine selections in the draft, the ability to explore trades is evident.

The Flyers hold the 11th overall pick in the draft (see five targets). According to a report by Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Fletcher has listened to trade offers for the pick.

This week, we're looking at some possible targets for the Flyers, with some help from TSN's trade bait board by Frank Seravalli. To be clear, the Flyers have not been linked to these players; we're simply looking at potential fits.

Jacob Trouba, D, Jets

The 25-year-old defenseman coming off a career season is one of the hotter names on the trade market. According to Seravalli, the Jets have "engaged in dialogue with multiple interested parties" about Trouba, who is set to become a restricted free agent. The 2012 first-round pick is a do-it-all, top-pair guy that scored 50 points (eight goals, 42 assists) this season.

In an excellent piece, which highlights the Flyers as a team that should pursue the Jets' blueliner, Ken Wiebe of the Winnipeg Sun writes how Trouba wants to be paid like a No. 1 defenseman.

That's where it gets tricky. Trouba will garner a raise from his $5.5 million and Winnipeg will demand a nice package in return for him. A younger player and the No. 11 overall pick, possibly? Maybe a prospect or pick and Shayne Gostisbehere, who is under contract through 2022-23 and cheaper? There's no doubt the Flyers have the essentials for the trade scenario.

Not sure it's the wisest move, though, given the team already has a lot to like on the blue line and can add to the position in different ways.

Jared Spurgeon, D, Wild

Similar to with Jason Zucker, the Flyers know Spurgeon well as Fletcher signed him in 2010. The 29-year-old is a righty shot — the Flyers have only two on the blue line (Radko Gudas, Philippe Myers) — and enjoyed a career season of 14 goals and 43 points in 2018-19. For his career, the 5-foot-9, 167-pound Spurgeon is a plus-51.

"He has the ability to play in every situation: up a goal, down a goal, both specialty teams," Fletcher said in 2015, via the Associated Press. "He just does everything right. Just a great system player."

Spurgeon, who has a modified no-movement clause, will enter 2019-20 on the final year of his contract with a cap hit a little over $5 million. The Wild missed the playoffs for the first time in seven years and draft one slot after the Flyers in the first round. Again, the Flyers have what it takes and the haul to acquire Spurgeon shouldn't be as daunting as other targets.

Contract information courtesy of CapFriendly.com.

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2019-20 Flyers season grades: Oskar Lindblom

2019-20 Flyers season grades: Oskar Lindblom

The 2019-20 NHL regular season has concluded and the next time the puck drops will officially kick off the race to the Stanley Cup. The Flyers are hungry and ready to battle it out, but that is thanks to the hard work from back in October. 

In an End to End series, NBC Sports Philadelphia’s Brooke Destra, Joe Fordyce and Jordan Hall will be grading players based on individual performances. 

Today we will be looking at Oskar Lindblom.

Destra

If I had the opportunity to list all of the qualities that make Lindblom the wonderful player and person he is, I’d probably be here until the start of the Stanley Cup Playoffs. In a season that started off looking so bright for the 23-year-old, his world, along with Flyers fans', were turned upside down when the team released a statement in December — that Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma. 

My heart broke with the news, but I knew he was going to be strong through it all. I thought seeing him back on the ice at Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, New Jersey, a few weeks ago would’ve been the best news of 2020 — but the video of Lindblom ringing the bell, indicating that he finished his treatments, topped it tenfold.

Lindblom embodies strength, resilience and a sense of hope. He’s loved by his teammates and fans in Philadelphia — the support they have given through it all never went unnoticed. While there isn’t a definite timeline on his return, what a moment it will be when he dresses for a game once more. When that time does come, it’ll be one for the books. 

A+ for the strongest player on the Flyers this season. 

Fordyce 

Let’s start with the beginning of the season. On the ice, Lindblom was one of the best Flyers in the early going with 11 goals in 30 games and projected to surpass his career high with flying colors, but this is not Lindblom's story this season.

In mid-December, the Flyers announced that Lindblom had been diagnosed with Ewing’s sarcoma, a rare form of cancer that forms in the bones or tissue surrounding the bones. Lindblom began battling the disease, while still being around the team from time to time.

Lindblom’s diagnosis also touched off the “Oskar Strong” campaign around the NHL with players from teams throughout the league wearing Oskar Strong T-shirts. This included the Flyers' heated rivals like the Penguins and Devils proving that hockey is, indeed, a family regardless of the sweater you wear.

Lindblom has since finished his treatments, receiving a standing ovation when leaving the hospital on the last day, and he’s recently been seen skating with Flyers players at the practice facility. 

A+ on and especially off the ice for Lindblom.

Hall

It's truly astounding to see the impact Lindblom had on the Flyers' 2019-20 regular season.

Not only was Lindblom one of the team's best forwards and projected to finish with 30 goals before being diagnosed with Ewing's sarcoma in mid-December, but his courageous fight and bright smile also constantly uplifted the Flyers. He made this team better from Day 1 and still found a way to make it better while battling cancer at 23 years old.

Whenever Lindblom was able to visit the Flyers, his teammates were genuinely blown away by his strength, smile and selflessness through the circumstances. It was no coincidence that after seeing Lindblom at the Wells Fargo Center in December, the Flyers answered their lowest point of the season with four straight wins.

"He’s still like the same person, you can’t really tell what he’s going through," Robert Hagg said in March. "Nothing bothers him."

"He brings everyone into a happier place," Kevin Hayes said in March. "If you’re having a bad day, you don’t have a bad day anymore when you see Oskar."

"Oh, it’s awesome. His smile, you know, he’s just a great guy to have around," Justin Braun said in February. "He brightens your day."

Those words say it all. A+ for Lindblom and how he has impacted so many.

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Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award

Scott Laughton earns Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award

The Flyers seem to always know what they're going to get from Scott Laughton.

Finding his niche in the NHL as a tireless, team-oriented role forward, Laughton on Tuesday was named the recipient of the Flyers' 2019-20 Yanick Dupre Class Guy Award, an honor that is given to the Flyer deemed to show character, dignity and respect on and off the ice as voted by the Philadelphia chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association.

Laughton scored a personal-best 13 goals this season despite playing 33 fewer games than he did in a career year during 2018-19. Staples of his game: constantly skating hard, forechecking, killing penalties, playing different positions and standing up for teammates. Remember the Senators game?

A 2012 first-round pick of the organization who has played parts of seven seasons for the Flyers, Laughton is always classy, professional and accessible in his dealings with media members and fans.

"It's very special for me to be awarded this by our media," Laughton said in a statement released by the Flyers. "Throughout the year I try and bring positive energy to the rink and do all the little things to be a good teammate and representative of the organization. Getting more involved in the community has been important to me and I hope to continue to build on that each year."

The Flyers are handing out their annual team awards throughout this week. Kevin Hayes was the recipient of the Gene Hart Memorial Award. Below is the schedule for the remaining honors:

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