The Philadelphia Flyers have improvements that need to be made throughout the roster based upon the lack of success the franchise had in 2020-21. Philadelphia struggled on defense and goaltending throughout the season, as the orange and black finished last in the NHL in team defense with 3.52 goals allowed per game. The Flyers need better play from starting goaltender Carter Hart, as he had a volatile season. Hart struggled this year and the play of the team’s defensemen affected his play. The club does not have much flexibility on the roster to make many big additions in free agency unless general manager Chuck Fletcher gets creative in moving some players that have high salaries.
The Flyers are likely to add players that improve the team defense and the penalty killing. Acquiring players via trade is an option but some of the players that are free agents can also provide an upgrade for Philadelphia. Here are some free agents the Flyers should consider signing this offseason.
1. Dougie Hamilton
Dougie Hamilton is one of the premier free agents this offseason and would provide an immediate upgrade for Philadelphia on defense. He is a right-shot defenseman and would be a good pairing with Ivan Provorov, who struggled this season after the retirement of Matt Niskanen. After Provorov’s underwhelming season, there is concern as to whether he can be a No. 1 defenseman, as he was more effective when he was paired with the experienced Niskanen. Hamilton would be the franchise player on defense for the Flyers if he is acquired this summer, as he makes contributions to all areas of the game.
Signing Hamilton would be complex for the Flyers, as the team does not have much financial flexibility and will likely re-sign restricted free agent goaltender Carter Hart to a new contract. The Carolina Hurricanes have allowed Hamilton to speak with other franchises about a long-term contract, and a sign-and-trade is an option that will be explored if Carolina decides to acquire prospects and draft picks in a trade involving the defenseman. Hamilton will likely command a contract similar to Alex Pietrangelo, who departed the St. Louis Blues for the Vegas Golden Knights after the 2019-20 season. Pietrangelo signed a contract with Vegas for seven years with an average annual value (AAV) of $8.8 million.