Going End to End today are NBC Sports Philadelphia's Jordan Hall and Brooke Destra.
The topic: Which Flyers player has the most to lose in the 2019-20 season?
Robert Hagg could go from playing all 82 games in 2018-19 to being a seventh defenseman in 2019-20. The Flyers' defense will look a lot different this season with the additions of Matt Niskanen and Justin Braun. The team is also "bullish" on 22-year-old Philippe Myers, general manager Chuck Fletcher said in mid-June (see story).
Hagg is only 24 years old and has proven his durability with 152 games over the past two seasons. However, Hagg will now be in serious competition for playing time. The Flyers are high on Myers and there's also 2013 first-round pick Samuel Morin in the picture.
Hagg, a 2013 second-round pick, understands his role and what works for him at this level. He competes and won't just give away his ice time, but things are getting crowded on the blue line. He'll be a restricted free agent next offseason. This year is awfully important and a ton could change from now until next summer for Hagg.
All eyes are on Carter Hart in hopes that he carries the Flyers to the playoffs this season, but where does Brian Elliott fall into all of this?
Elliott extended his contract this offseason on a one-year deal worth $2 million. He beat out the highly anticipated Cam Talbot for the backup position. Talbot, a mentor to Hart, was brought in as a potential backup option for the future but the job went to Elliott, who will be entering his third season with the Flyers.
There are a few things that go into analyzing why the 34-year-old goalie has a lot to lose this year and it comes down to: his ability to stay healthy and how much longer he plans on playing before hanging up his skates.
In 2018-19, he was just one of eight pieces in the Flyers’ goaltending carousel. Elliott can be very serviceable if not overplayed, so being a backup should be the perfect scenario, right? Not exactly.
The future beyond this season is unknown territory. Elliott is going to have a limited number of times to prove that he is still able to handle the pressure of the league. Not to mention, it’s crucial he stays healthy or he’ll be labeled as injury-prone moving forward. If he plans on playing after 2019-20, teams may not want to risk bringing on a player with that kind of track record.
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