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Flyers goaltender Carter Hart might be available. Should the Oilers be interested?
By Cam Lewis8 months ago
The Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, and Columbus Blue Jackets linked up for a three-team trade on Tuesday.
According to Frank Seravalli, the Blue Jackets are getting Ivan Provorov and Kevin Connauton, the Flyers are getting Cal Petersen, Sean Walker, prospect Helge Grans, and a first- and a second-round pick, while the Kings are retaining 30 percent of Provorov’s contract and they’re receiving nothing else.
This trade is interesting from an Edmonton Oilers perspective for a couple of reasons.
First of all, one of their division rivals is freeing up salary cap room, likely to try to re-sign trade deadline acquisitions Joonas Korpisalo and Vladislav Gavrikov, who are both set to his unrestricted free agency in a few weeks. Second, it indicates that the Flyers are fully in seller mode and that they’re willing to take on bad contracts in exchange for future assets, which might make them an ideal trade partner for the Oilers this summer.
The Flyers have a handful of quality young players who they could trade in order to kick off a much-needed rebuild. Defenceman Travis Sanheim, wingers Joel Farabee and Travis Konecny, and goaltender Carter Hart would all be welcomed additions to contending teams, and, according to The Fourth Period, the Flyers are actively working towards a trade involving the Sherwood Park native.
Hart was selected by the Flyers in the second round of the 2016 draft and he broke into the NHL a couple of years later and posted a .917 save percentage in 31 games as a 20-year-old. He put up a .914 save percentage over 43 games in 2019-20 and had an impressive .926 save percentage over 14 games during his first appearance in the playoffs that summer.
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The three seasons since then haven’t been as successful for Hart, but part of that can be chalked up to the quality of the team playing in front of him. Between the pandemic-shortened 2021 season, 2021-22, and 2022-23, Hart played in 127 games for the Flyers and put up a .900 save percentage.
It makes sense why the Flyers would want to move on from Hart at this time. He’s entering the final season of the three-year, bridge contract that he signed with the Flyers back in the summer of 2021. He’ll be a restricted free agent upon the conclusion of that contract and has one more year left of team control before he’ll be eligible to hit the open market as an unrestricted free agent.
Goaltending was an issue for the Oilers this year. Jack Campbell had a disastrous first season with the Oilers and Stuart Skinner wound up picking up more of the slack than expected, as the veteran struggled to an .888 save percentage in 36 games while the rookie posted a .913 save percentage in 50 games. Skinner had a difficult time during his first go-around in the NHL playoffs and the Oilers ultimately weren’t comfortable shifting to Campbell as the starting goalie because of his performance during the regular season.
If the Oilers want to make an upgrade on Campbell, reaching a deal with the Flyers for Hart could make sense for both sides. Philadelphia seems willing to take on bad contracts in order to maximize the quality of the return that they would receive in return for their core players.
Campbell is signed for four more seasons at $5 million annually, which is the same cap hit that Cal Petersen has on his contract that has only two more years left on it. Since it cost the Kings a first- and a second-round pick along with a prospect to get rid of Petersen, dumping Campbell and adding Hart would certainly cost the Oilers more than that.
What say you, Nation? Should the Oilers reach out to the Flyers about acquiring Carter Hart? How much should they be willing to give up in order to make a deal?
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