The NHL trade deadline isn't until March 21 this season, so we're still a ways away from available players coming into full view, and when teams have to make the call: are they in, or out, and to what degree?
Names are beginning to pop up in rumours, and we'll explore each one as they arise. Previously, we looked at John Klingberg, what he might be worth both on the trade market and on an extension, and also at what he, Mark Giordano and Jakob Chychrun would bring to any acquiring team.
While teams do have a few weeks to really commit to any plans for this season, we can see big decisions coming on the horizon for a few. And these all aren't as simple as trading away an expiring contract -- instead, a lot of these choices are going to have long-term effects.
If you're a trade hound, the Philadelphia Flyers might be the most interesting team in hockey right now.
"The thing with Philly is, to me from what I've heard, the biggest question they have is, 'OK, what's the honest assessment of who we are? Where are we going here? We made some big moves and they still haven't paid off yet.'" Elliotte Friedman said on the Jeff Marek Show this week.
The Flyers were on lists like this last year and then, after missing the playoffs, they made notable changes in the off-season. Ryan Ellis, Cam Atkinson and Rasmus Ristolainen were among those added, while long-time Flyer Jakub Voracek was moved, along with assets and players you'd pool in the "futures" category. The Flyers were trying to win again this year. Even goalie Carter Hart, who had a miserable 2020-21 season, has looked a little more like himself at time this season. Usually stabilizing a shaky situation in net is good enough to fix problems, but not here.
As the Flyers have been on a teeter-totter -- in the playoffs one year and out the next -- for a decade, this is looking more and more like the season they'll break that pattern and miss two in a row. It's such an odd situation. Two years ago, the Flyers were one win away from an appearance in the bubble semifinals. Ever since, they appear to have some deep-rooted issues.
They attempted a fix those issues in the off-season and since that hasn't worked, more changes must be ahead.