Who should be the Flyers’ number one priority?
With the 2019-2020 season just around the corner, the Philadelphia Flyers have found themselves in a pretty decent spot. The team made some quiet moves in the off season, both releasing and signing new players. Most notably, the organization acquired Kevin Hayes, Matt Niskanen, Justin Braun and Tyler Pitlick, extended Scott Laughton, Travis Sanheim and Nicolas Aube-Kubel and parted ways with Radko Gudas, Andrew MacDonald and Ryan Hartman.
However, the organization has still yet to ink two of their top players: Travis Konecny and Ivan Provorov. The Flyers have just over $13 million in cap space left, which should be enough to lock down both players.
However, the question needs to be asked: who should the Flyers consider their number one signing priority?
Who should the #Flyers worry more about signing?
— Tyler Bonita (@tylerbonita_) July 12, 2019
Konecny’s fiery personality and skill on the ice allowed him to become a fan favorite very quickly. Philly’s first line winger has 59 goals and 124 points in his three years with the team. In both of the last two seasons, he racked up over 40 points, has had back-to-back 20 goal seasons and has been in the top five in scoring. The 22-year-old had some highlight reel plays over his tenure, most notably a goal against Boston, where he weaved through multiple Bruins defenders before sending it five hole into the back of the net.
Travis Konecny highlight, anyone? pic.twitter.com/rXEEGVtCST
— Brandon Murphy (@2Murphy8) August 3, 2019
The top line of Giroux – Couturier – Konecny seemed to be a good fit, as they were solid in the second half of the 2018-2019 season. The three were all in the top five for scoring and generated much of the Flyers’ offense.
With the additions of Kevin Hayes and Tyler Pitlick, the team should have a stronger offense in both the top six and bottom six. However, it’s clear that the 2015 24th overall pick is still an important part to this Flyers offense. His ability to create scoring chances and make plays in important circumstances is something that the Flyers need.
The Flyers’ first line defenseman has 97 points and an average ice time of 23 minutes in his three years with the team. The 2015 seventh overall draft pick had a breakout season in 2017-2018, notching 41 points and becoming a key asset to the team’s defense. He was quickly promoted to the first line defensive pairing with Shayne Ghostisbehere.
Despite Provorov’s impressive first season, in the 2018-2019 season, the defenseman seemed to have a down year. In a season where the team as a whole struggled, Provorov seemed to follow suit, only scoring 26 points in 82 games. It was clear the 22-year-old was struggling and did not seem to be himself.
Philly’s defense overall seemed to be a big issue last season and the team has made moves that will hopefully change that. Losing Gudas, who was arguably the Flyers best defenseman last season, was a big hit for the team, but the additions of Niskanen and Braun should fill that gap. Still, Provorov remains truly fit for the top line pairing. He is the only defenseman that averaged over 20 minutes of ice time this past season, which shows just how valuable he is to the team.
So the question remains; Who should the organization consider their top signing priority?
The answer every fan wants to hear is obviously both. These two young players are both very important to the organization and both play incredibly important roles with the team. Konecny is a top-scoring forward and Provorov is the perfect fit for a first line defenseman.
Training camp starts in just a few weeks, so it’s crunch time to get these two players to resign. Flyers General Manager Chuck Fletcher seems optimistic about signing both, so hopefully Flyers fans will see these two in the orange and black come October.
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