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Travis Konecny Highlights, Sam Gagner And A Very Good Weekend For The Philadelphia Flyers

It was quite an eventful weekend for Ron Hextall and the Philadelphia Flyers. We touched on Ivan Provorov being selected at #7 overall on draft night and despite the fact that he’s Russian, I know that was a real solid pick up for the Flyers. And now we make our way on over to Travis Konecny who the Flyers were able to steal at 24 after moving up 5 spots with Toronto on Friday night. A lot of people had the Ottawa 67’s captain going much earlier in their mocks and from the highlight video above, you can see why. The kid is speedy, he has great vision, a lightning release on his shot and even though he’s a bit undersized at 5’10”, he’ll still throw around the body out there. Pretty general scouting report, I know. But what’s really left that needs to be said after watching this goal right here? I’m sold and I’m rock hard.

Obviously there have been plenty of players who have lit up the OHL before and haven’t been able to find their game as well in the NHL, but that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be incredibly excited about Konecny’s potential. Especially when you see numbers like this.

konecny-ohl-stats

Maybe think about bumping this kid over to the wing and now we’re having all the fun in the world. Speaking of fun, let’s talk about Ron Hextall doing the goddamn thing and shipping Grossman plus Pronger’s contract down to Arizona in exchange for Sam Gagner.

grossman-gagner

Trading Pronger is simply hilarious since, you know, he doesn’t actually play ice hockey anymore. So thank god for the Arizona Coyotes and their dollar menu of a team that desperately needed to reach the cap floor. Getting Pronger off the books opens up $4.9 million against the cap so let’s all let out a collective sigh of relief. As for the actual players traded in the deal, getting rid of Grossmann is perfect because it opens up a spot on the overcrowded and underachieving blueline that the Flyers needed. Retaining $500,000 on Grossmann’s salary is whatever considering how well this played out for both teams. As it stands right now, the Flyers defense is a goddamn travesty but always remember that there’s a ton of young talent just waiting for their call. Grossmann was (hopefully) just the first domino to fall. The future is bright. The future is bright.

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Then we get to Sam Gagner. The 25-year-old has spent his entire career in hockey hell aside from a brief 4-hour stint in Tampa Bay. After playing 7 seasons in Edmonton and 1 in Arizona, he comes to Philadelphia with one year left on his contract with a cap hit a little over $3 million. Not great but not bad either. At the moment though, nobody–including himself–has any idea what his future holds. There’s a strong chance that Hextall will just use a buyout on Gagner which would only cost the team around $1 million over 2 years and open up more room to make a splash in free agency come Wednesday (slash make a trade for Kessel because those rumors are fun). Or…. the Flyers could just say fuck it and keep Gagner. Pray he doesn’t mind moving over to play the wing and see if there’s still some London Knights Sam Gagner that wasn’t viciously murdered by the incompetence of Edmonton and Arizona. We saw it happen last season with Del Zotto. Bring a guy in whose career has reached a cross roads of sorts on a one-year deal and see what happens. It’s a very low-risk scenario to be in and the entire situation right now for the Flyers is a win-win. Simple as that. But my gut is telling me that I really want Gagner to stay because nothing would be worse than seeing him light it up in a different sweater next year after putting that bastard Don Maloney in his place for this bullshit quote.

maloney-gagner-quote

Yeah, okay guy. Because I’m pretty sure the rest of the world doesn’t think that your entire organization can play hockey at the National Hockey League level so why don’t you pipe down over there. Especially considering Gagner was 2nd in points on Arizona’s team last year. What a clown.

Sparknotes In Case You Hate Me And Don’t Want To Read The Words I Write:

1) Travis Konecny is very good and we should all be very excited about that.

2) Getting rid of Grossman and Pronger’s contract was an A+ move by Ron Hextall and we should award him the key to the city and all of our wives.

3) Personally, I’d like to see the Flyers keep Sam Gagner around. But if they buy him out, well then that’s cool too.

4) Free Agent Frenzy on Wednesday. One of the best days of the year. Turn up.