Philadelphia Flyers’ Chuck Fletcher with Nolan Patrick and more
Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer: Chuck Fletcher faces some critical decisions this summer but what GM doesn’t. Defense and goaltending are paramount to success as everyone has seen with the Stanley Cup finalists especially.
Philadelphia was among the worst defensively allowing 3.52 goals per game. It is safe to say they are exploring all options — especially Dougie Hamilton and Seth Jones. Chuck Fletcher has pieces to consider for a trade including Nolan Patrick. Does he dangle the former number two overall pick somewhere?
Again, there are many possibilities. Fletcher needs a backup goalie that can be a 1A at times if needed. Carter Hart had a nightmarish season, to say the least. Yes, he should bounce back but stability is important.
There is no doubt the Flyers’ younger players must improve in the offseason. A semblance of normal should help that hopefully. Players like Cam York, Wade Allison, and Morgan Frost must take more prominent roles with the big club.
Most importantly, Fletcher prays he can bring in a big player defensively. That will help the most and stabilize his team.
Edmonton Oilers and yes, Nolan Patrick
Jim Matheson of the Edmonton Journal: With so many lefty-shooting forwards, it is clear that Edmonton needs a middle or bottom-six center that can shoot from the right and they win a few faceoffs too.
That is where Nolan Patrick could enter the mix. It has gone far from ideal in Philadelphia and that has been far from the forwards’ fault. He certainly will not get the return of a former pick as high as his stature was.
“I don’t know if Nolan will ever be a top six player but he can be a third-line centre. Sure, that’s fair. You have to lower your expectations with Nolan,” said Craig Button, TSN’s draft expert. “The projection on him was he would be a No. 1 centre with where he was drafted … number two overall. But he’s not.”
Again, thanks to Craig Button. Button is right though. Also, Patrick can be had for very cheap and helps both parties. Now, does Philadelphia try to package the center another way? That is one thing. Do the Flyers protect him in the expansion draft? That’s the other thing.