Flyers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Potential Darcy Kuemper Trade, Jack Eichel, MoreJuly 28, 2021
Flyers Rumors: Latest Buzz on Potential Darcy Kuemper Trade, Jack Eichel, More
Over the past three weeks, the Philadelphia Flyers' roster has changed greatly. They've traded away Jakub Voracek, Philippe Myers, Shayne Gostisbehere and Nolan Patrick. They've acquired Cam Atkinson, Rasmus Ristolainen and Ryan Ellis. But there's still work to do.
Now, free agency is set to begin Wednesday at noon ET, and Philadelphia will likely add more players to its roster as it looks to bounce back from a down 2020-21 season in which it missed the playoffs.
Here's some of the latest buzz surrounding the Flyers at this point in the offseason.
Flyers Showing Interest in Potential Kuemper Trade
Before the start of the 2021-22 season, the Flyers are likely going to acquire a goaltender. And it's possible they could do so by pulling off yet another trade.
According to The Athletic's Pierre LeBrun, Philadelphia is one of five teams that has shown "varying degrees of interest" in Arizona Coyotes goaltender Darcy Kuemper. The Colorado Avalanche, Toronto Maple Leafs, Carolina Hurricanes and Edmonton Oilers are the others, per LeBrun.
It's possible that list could be trimmed down. Colorado might look to bring back Phillip Grubauer, and Edmonton may not necessarily be in the market for a goaltender unless it trades or releases Mikko Koskinen. So the Flyers could be a more realistic landing spot for Kuemper.
The 31-year-old Kuemper is a 10-year NHL veteran. After playing five seasons for the Minnesota Wild, he began the 2017-18 campaign with the Los Angeles Kings, who then traded him to Arizona later that season.
Kuemper continues to provide solid play, as he had a .907 save percentage and a 2.56 goals against average in 27 games for the Coyotes this past season.
Are Flyers Still in Pursuit of Eichel?
One of the top names featured in trade rumors this offseason has been Jack Eichel, a 24-year-old center who has spent his first six NHL seasons with the Buffalo Sabres. He was limited to 21 games this past season due to a neck injury, but he is a top offensive player when healthy.
The Flyers appear to have been one of the teams to have had discussions with the Sabres regarding Eichel. The Athletic's Charlie O'Connor reported Philadelphia general manager Chuck Fletcher "did more than kick the tires" on Eichel earlier this offseason. However, O'Connor also noted it's possible "that ship has sailed."
That doesn't mean Eichel won't be traded, though. But he may not be heading to Philadelphia, especially considering Buffalo owner Terry Pegula "wants Eichel to land in the Western Conference," per The Athletic's Rick Carpiniello.
Maybe the Flyers will look to boost their offense another way. O'Connor wrote that the team may "have interest in buying low" on Vladimir Tarasenko. The St. Louis Blues forward requested a trade earlier this month and is likely one of the top players who will be dealt before the end of the offseason.
Other Teams 'Drove Up the Price' for Ristolainen
After spending his first eight NHL seasons in Buffalo, Ristolainen should provide a boost to Philadelphia's defense next season. In order to land the 26-year-old, the Flyers had to give up the No. 14 overall pick in the 2021 NHL draft, defenseman Robert Hagg and a 2023 second-round draft pick.
That may sound like a lot, but it was a price that other teams were willing to pay, too. LeBrun reported that "at least two other teams" were willing to send a first-round draft pick and another asset to the Sabres in exchange for Ristolainen.
"Other teams were also making offers, so that drove up the price on the Flyers," LeBrun wrote.
Ristolainen is set to become an unrestricted free agent after the 2021-22 season. He'll be looking to put up better numbers than he did this past season, when he had four goals, 14 assists and a plus-minus rating of minus-18 in 49 games for the Sabres.