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Potential trade pieces between the Toronto Maple Leafs & Philadelphia Flyers: Seller Profiles

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Photo credit:© Eric Hartline-USA TODAY Sports
Shane Seney
1 month ago
Welcome back to another rendition of Seller Profiles, and this time around, let’s head to the city of Brotherly Love to check in on what the Philadelphia Flyers might have to offer the Toronto Maple Leafs ahead of the March 8 trade deadline.
The Flyers enter action against the Maple Leafs with a very surprising 29-19-6 record and have essentially shattered any expectations of the team, from just about everyone in the hockey world. Nobody saw the Flyers’ success coming and even though they are going to be in the mix for a playoff spot as we approach the trade deadline, don’t expect to see GM Daniel Briere shipping out top prospects and draft picks. Briere recently spoke to the media and made it loud and clear, that regardless of the overachieving, he will not enter ‘buyer mode’:
“We’ve said for the beginning that we want to build a team that will become a Stanley Cup contender for years to come, and not just a one-in, one-out, one-in, one-out [pattern of playoff and non-playoff season as happened in the late 2010s].  The eye is still on the future. We won’t make trades just to make trades…I think our players understand where our focus is. The one thing I won’t be doing is trading prime assets to make a run. If there’s a hockey trade that will make us better (for the immediate and long-term) future, we’ll certainly look at it.”
Briere has already pulled off a couple of bold moves since taking over the helm in Philly, including moving top prospect Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks and also taking on the bad contract of goaltender Cal Petersen last summer in a three-way blockbuster.

Flyers Have Several Trade Options for Maple Leafs

The Flyers have a couple of defensemen who would help upgrade the Leafs’ blueline and they have a couple of pieces up front that would certainly give Toronto a new wrinkle up front. Let’s start with Nick Seeler, the 30-year-old 6-foot-2 blueliner who has essentially come out of nowhere to spring-board up trade boards for almost every insider.
Seeler is of interest in large part, because of his contract. The former fifth-round pick of the Minnesota Wild is owed just $775,000 against the cap this season and doesn’t have any trade protection. He’s a pending unrestricted free agent at season’s end and so far there’s been very little on the contract extension from in Philly.
Seeler’s not a very well-known name around the league, however, he’s as steady as they come and tough as nails. He’s currently the league leader in blocked shots with 155, which would rank him first on the Leafs by close to 50 blocks. Seeler’s played top-four minutes for the Flyers this season, leading the d-core with a +18 rating and also providing a ton of minutes on the penalty kill. All of these elements check boxes for the Maple Leafs who are currently playing Mark Giordano too much and now dressing William Lagesson due to Morgan Rielly’s suspension as options are limited.
Seeler has been playing a ton of minutes this season with Sean Walker as his d-partner and in a perfect/ideal world of fantasy land, Leafs GM Brad Treliving would love to pluck both of these d-men from Briere, however, that would take a significant trade package heading to the Flyers. Walker has seen his trade value skyrocket this season after being dealt by the Kings last summer and he’s been given some more ice time and top-four minutes and the Keswick, ON native has run with it:
Walker’s having a stellar season playing a career-high 19:26 of ice-time a night, he’s chipped in nicely all over the ice, including five goals and 19 points in 54 games, along with being a steady presence on PK2 and also adding 89 shots, 59 hits, and 79 blocked shots. Walker’s known for his effortless skating abilities, hockey sense, and above-average IQ on the ice. He’s a touch undersized at 5-foot-11, but he doesn’t play that way, never shying away from contact and oftentimes relying on his skating to put himself into the best possible position. As resident insider Frank Seravalli recently pointed out, Walker is among the very best when it comes to his skating ability and how smooth he is on the ice. Frank sees Walker as a prime trade candidate and is ranked among the very best when it comes to skating metrics via NHL Edge.
While Seeler is making just $775,000 this season, the right-handed Walker is a bit more costly at $2.65 million, which is still reasonable considering the return on investment. He’s a bit of a Swiss army knife on the back end and can handle minutes in just about any situation. Because of his skating ability, Walker can transition through all three zones and knows when to jump into the play and when to hold back. He’s been an absolute rock for the Flyers this season and it’s going to take substantial trade to pry these two d-men away from Briere, even with him being open to moving both before March 8.
While Treliving is very focused on upgrading his blueline ahead of the deadline, that’s not his sole focus. The Leafs could use some more versatility among their bottom six and another Flyer to consider as trade bait is veteran Scott Laughton. There’s been quite a bit of buzz recently about Briere listening to trade offers on the Oakville, ON native, who has two seasons left on his contract at $3 million. Adding Laughton could be seen as a much riskier move due to his remaining contract and the fact he’s been inconsistent this season, recording seven goals and 23 points in 54 games.
Treliving wouldn’t be interested in Laughton to light up the scoresheet, as there’s much more than offense that he brings to the table. Laughton is a character player whom teams look for to do all the little things well and make the ‘right’ play at the right time. Laughton does bring a ton of leadership qualities to the rink each day and his intangibles are something that could make a GM swallow the $6 million left on his deal while ponying up to Briere’s demands. While he won’t be a sexy name among all Leafs fans, Laughton is an intriguing option for the Leafs as he could be slotted in as the third-line center and give Max Domi a chance to play the wing in the top-six, which may help balance out the Leafs secondary scoring.
The likes of Seeler, Walker, and Laughton all check boxes for the Leafs, it’s just going to depend on what Treliving is willing to give up and how exactly the finances are going to work as Toronto has peanuts for deadline cap space heading into March 8. Adding Travis Konecny is a pipe dream, so you might as well put that one to bed before the day even begins.

Maple Leafs Have Trade Options for Briere

Treliving isn’t going to move the first-round pick for a rental, but he may be willing to move it for two. Adding Seeler and Walker would be a huge get for Toronto, but doesn’t seem like that scenario is on top of the Flyers wish list.
Laughton’s asking price is likely a solid prospect, NHL depth forward, and mid-round draft pick. What about David Kampf, Marlie Ryan Tverberg who has 26 points in 29 games, and a third-round pick in 2024? Kampf and Laughton play a similar style, however, Laughton is much more physical and can chip in more offensively. Kampf isn’t a fan favorite in Toronto and there wouldn’t be much crying and screaming taking place if he was moved ahead of the deadline.
Nick Robertson feels like less of a trade candidate these days based on the trust being shown by the coaching staff and the fact the Leafs are going to need cheap entry-level costing forwards for the next couple of seasons while Treliving tries to manage the cap. With Briere dealing Gauthier to the Ducks recently, he could however view Robertson very highly on his wish list, which could make things interesting.
The Flyers GM has also shown in the past he’s willing to take on a bad contract if it means there’s a sweetener in the deal. Philly is currently projected to have close to $8 million in deadline cap space, which could be leveraged ahead of March 8. While Tyler Bertuzzi hasn’t been good for the Leafs, it could be risky moving him to Philly. It feels like if the Leafs did that, they’d end up playing the Flyers in the playoffs, just in time for Bert to find his game and clap back at his old club who gave up on him. However, moving Bertuzzi’s $5.5 million off the books at the deadline would open up a realm of possibilities for Treliving and could allow him to get very creative on where he shifts his financial resources.
Nevertheless, the Flyers are going to be a team to watch ahead of the trade deadline and they could very well be open to some business with the Maple Leafs. There are several different avenues for trade potential between the two clubs and it’s going to be entertaining to see what Treliving cooks up ahead of his first big rodeo as Leafs GM.

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