January 10, 2019 | 9:52pm ET
FLYERS OPEN FOR BUSINESS, WILL BUY AND SELL
Wayne Simmonds, forward
Philadelphia Flyers GM Chuck Fletcher is going to be very busy over the next six and a half weeks as he’s looking to reshape his roster for next season.
The Flyers are expected to sell some of their players ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline, with winger Wayne Simmonds the most attractive piece being dangled on the trade block, but Fletcher also wants to address holes on his roster.
Simmonds currently ranks No.4 on TFP’s Top 30 Trade Watch List.
During Thursday night’s “Insider Trading” segment on TSN, Bob McKenzie reported Fletcher has a “lengthy list of things he wants to do.”
Fletcher wants to add a veteran goaltender who can fold the fort until Carter Hart is fully ready to take over as the club’s No.1 goalie in a couple of seasons. In addition, the Flyers want a top-four defenceman to mentor the team’s young blueliners, and he wants a “top two or top three line centre” to add to his team.
“Will he trade veterans between now and the deadline? Absolutely,” McKenzie said of Fletcher. “Wayne Simmonds is more likely than not to be traded. Not 100 percent, but more likely than not.
“And while Fletcher could get draft picks and prospects coming back in for a guy like Simmonds or another veteran player, he’s also planning on using draft picks, prospects and younger players to try to go out and achieve those things – the goalie, the defenceman and the centre.”
Simmonds, 30, is in the final year of his contract and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1. He owns a 12-team no-trade list and will have some say in where he ends up, once dealt.