After a promising 8-4-2 start, the Philadelphia Flyers are winless in their last seven games, going 0-5-2. With the club sitting near the bottom of the Metropolitan Division, the Philadelphia Inquirer's Sam Carchidi believes general manager Chuck Fletcher could face some tough decisions if they're out of playoff contention in the coming weeks.
The toughest could be asking captain Claude Giroux to waive his no-movement clause. The 34-year-old center leads the Flyers with 18 points in 21 games. Carchidi suggested Giroux, slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer, could fetch the Flyers a first-round pick and a quality prospect at the March 21 trade deadline.
Giroux isn't the only veteran Fletcher could consider shopping. Goaltender Martin Jones and defensemen Keith Yandle and Rasmus Ristolainen are also UFAs next July. Winger James van Riemsdyk, 32, has a year remaining on his contract with an annual average value of $7 million while Cam Atkinson has an annual cap hit of $5.875 million through 2024-25.
Peddling Giroux, however, would signal Fletcher's intention to continue the core shakeup he started this summer.
It's doubtful Fletcher is considering shopping Giroux or anyone else right now. Plenty of time remains in the schedule to turn things around. Getting sidelined defenseman Ryan Ellis back in January should provide a boost. Fletcher could also opt to replace head coach Alain Vigneault before shaking up the roster.
If the Flyers lose more ground in the standings by January, Fletcher could be forced to take some drastic measures. The most significant could be sitting down to discuss his plans with Giroux and determining whether his captain sees his future with a rebuilding club in Philadelphia.