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Canadiens And Flyers Could Make Great Trade Partners

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Montreal Canadiens

The Philadelphia Flyers are desperate to return to the spring dance this season, and the Montreal Canadiens should swoop in to take advantage.

The Philadelphia Flyers are hurting right now, with Sean Couturier possibly out long-term and most competitive NHL rosters already set for the upcoming season. In a recent editorial looking at potential replacements for Couturier, Philly Hockey Now’s Sam Carchidi proposed three options that could make sense for the Flyers in the short and long term. One of those options was Montreal Canadiens’ centre, Christian Dvorak.

It’s a perfect storm that makes a lot of sense. After the acquisition of Sean Monahan last, the Montreal Canadiens have a surplus of centres, while the Flyers would have Kevin Hayes as their No. 1 centre in the absence of Couturier.

Dvorak was all the hype a year ago when he was acquired by the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for a 1st round pick in 2022 and a 2nd round pick in 2024 from the Arizona Coyotes. After a slow start to his tenure in Montreal and a few injuries along the way, Dvorak really seemed to find his groove under Martin St. Louis.

Dvorak began to play a more physical game and took more shots at a much faster rate, resulting in more successful shot attempts and scoring chances. His quicker decision-making helped him rack up the points despite playing with an ever-changing cast of linemates. In the 21 games he played under St. Louis, Dvorak quietly put up four goals and 13 assists for 17 points and a 58% faceoff percentage. He was one of the most improved veterans on the team under St. Louis, putting up a 65-point pace during that time, while alleviating Nick Suzuki’s defensive responsibilities.

That could be exactly what he could bring to this Flyers’ roster if the price is right, but what could such a price be?

A well-placed source believes that Dvorak’s value is likely not as low as some may believe, but has the opportunity to get even better if the Canadiens remain patient and wait for an opportune moment:

“If the Canadiens aren’t taking on any salary, I could see a 2nd round pick being the price, given how tight the market is right now from a cap perspective,” said the source when looking at Dvorak’s value in the current market. “But the Canadiens aren’t desperate for cap space and could likely move out other forwards to make room in their lineup. They could get a better return if Dvorak plays this season like he ended the last one. If he’s able to continue his momentum and the Canadiens remain patient, Dvorak’s value will improve down the line.”

The Canadiens do have to move a forward, but, as Kent Hughes has said, he will not just give away a valuable forward for the sake of gaining cap space or alleviating a logjam. That being said, similarly to the Canadiens’ situation a year ago this time, the Flyers find themselves in a conundrum, as general manager, Chuck Fletcher is looking for an aggressive retool that would see his team return to the playoffs this season.

If the Flyers were to offer up a conditional 2nd round pick in 2023 that would become a 1st round pick should the Flyers make the playoffs, it could make a lot of sense for both sides of the equation. If the Flyers miss the playoffs, that will be an early 2nd round pick in a very deep draft, but, if they do make the playoffs, that pick will move up about 15-20 spots.

Kent Hughes has already swooped in and taken advantage of an equally dire situation when he extracted a 1st round pick from the Calgary Flames as an incentive to take on Sean Monahan. It wouldn’t be the least bit surprising to hear that some dialogue was had between both general managers on the subject.

When it comes to these deals, it’s all a question of timing, but the clock is ticking on the Philadelphia Flyers and GM Chuck Fletcher.

 

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