Let's just start with this: it would be downright stunning if the Flyers traded Joel Farabee at the March 3 deadline.
He has been considered a foundation piece by the organization ever since his breakout sophomore season in which he led the Flyers in goals as a 21-year-old. It resulted in a six-year, $30 million contract extension, a deal that just kicked in this season.
"Hopefully everything works out and I can stay in Philly my whole career," Farabee said in September 2021. "I think that's definitely something I'd want to do."
But Farabee's name popped up Thursday on a top-50 trade target piece by Daily Faceoff's Frank Seravalli. Farabee was listed at No. 20 and Seravalli reported that "Farabee's camp has voiced their displeasure to the Flyers as to how this season has unfolded under coach John Tortorella."
Farabee, who turns 23 on Saturday, has endured a challenging 2022-23 season, stemming from his sudden offseason neck surgery in late June. He found a way to recover in time to play in the Oct. 13 opener and hasn't missed a game all season. But his summer training plan was completely thrown off, which has undoubtedly had an impact on his effectiveness and production.
The 2018 first-round pick enters the weekend with nine goals and 17 assists in 59 games. He has gone 18 straight games without a goal. His minutes over the past three games haven't exactly helped his chances at breaking his goal-scoring slump.
Tortorella benched Farabee in the second period of the team's 4-3 win Monday over the Flames. The young forward finished with just 3:52 minutes. He played only 10:21 minutes the game prior and 12:27 minutes in the Flyers' 4-2 loss Tuesday to the Oilers.
More: Tortorella sticking with Farabee, says the winger's agent 'should just shut up'
In mid-December, Tortorella said he wasn't going to let Farabee "hide behind his injury." Farabee didn't make excuses, either.
He actually never has as a Flyer, even as a 19-year-old rookie.
Coaches and players have raved about Farabee's hockey IQ and advanced game. And if anyone wonders what he's like as a teammate, just look at his eight career NHL fights as a 6-foot, 183-pound winger.
The Flyers think highly of Farabee and they'll have to work with Tortorella so he can see it, too. Farabee needs to help the Flyers, but they can also help him.
It would be crazy if they can't make this work.
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