The countdown to the NHL trade deadline spurred debates leading up to Monday’s 3pm final call, and the Flyers were active, perhaps more so than would’ve been guessed. This activity however came at a relatively small price.
Their first move was bringing aboard a player with playoff experience, good on the draw, and a quality penalty killer to provide some 4th line depth. If you thought Nate Thompson in your head then congrats you’re right! The 13 season NHL vet makes the Flyers his 8th team, and looks to head to the playoffs with his 4th different team.
He comes from Montreal in exchange for a 2021 5th round draft pick. At that price, why not take a flyer on a locker room vet who play the same role as a Connor Bunnaman (who was sent down to the Phantoms make room) and produce at an equal or better level?
Move two comes in the form of a deal seeing the Flyers and Ducks link up to send Derek Grant to Philadelphia and send Kyle Criscuolo and a 2020 4th round pick over to southern California. Grant is having a career high year in goal scoring (14) and at 20 points is only 4 away from his career high. He’s getting plenty of ice time on a bad Ducks team, and has made good on his opportunities. At center or wing he provides a big body (6’3″ 206) that could see him move anywhere from line 2 to line 4. He’ll have to adjust to playing on a team in the heat of a playoff race from a team that was buried in the bottom of the entire conference.
Criscuolo who may get a shot at cracking Anaheim’s roster in the late season, but will spend some time in San Diego with the Duck’s AHL affiliate the Gulls. He moves to a team in AHL playoff contention and with remarkably better weather than Allentown.
Room is made for him by sending Joel Farabee to the AHL. Farabee will get prime time minutes as the Phantom’s season winds down. He’ll be up before the end of the season and then the playoff push, but the Flyers are favoring ice time for Farabee in his rookie year.
In another minor league move, TJ Brennan gets his wish to move on from the Phantoms and will jump to the Rockford Icehawks, the Chicago Blackhawks AHL affiliate. The Flyers get back Nathan Noel who will report to the Reading Royals in the ECHL.
The Flyers will be back in action Tuesday night against the Sharks, and begin their final stretch of the season. With 20 games left the Flyers are currently in a playoff position, sitting at 3rd place in the Metro division.