Was this simply a trade to part ways with a player who didn’t fit in or did the Flyers fire the first shot in what could be a busy trade/sell season for the Flyers?
On Friday, the Flyers sent forward Jordan Weal to the Arizona Coyotes in exchange for minor-league defenseman Jacob Graves and a sixth-round pick in the 2019 NHL Entry Draft.
The Flyers, who have been hovering about 14 points out of a playoff spot with less than half a season of hockey to play, figure to be unloading players when the NHL trade deadline arrives on Feb. 25.
Weal, 26, was in his fourth season with the Flyers and never made an impact here.
This season he had three goals and six assists for nine points in 28 games. He’s been in and out of the lineup since he was acquired from the Los Angeles Kings on Jan. 6, 2016 (along with a third-round draft pick) in exchange for forward Vincent Lecavalier and defenseman Luke Schenn.
The Flyers used that draft pick to select Carsen Twarynski.
In 134 career games for the Flyers, Weal recorded 19 goals and 23 assists for 42 points. He also appeared in 43 games for the Flyers’ American Hockey League affiliate, the Lehigh Valley Phantoms, during the 2016-17 season, during which time he posted 15 goals and 32 assists for 47 points.
He was in the final year of a two-year contract which paid him a total of $3.5 million.
Graves, 23, has two goals and five assists for seven points in 32 games for Norfolk of the ECHL this season. He had three goals and three assists in 23 games last season for the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters, the primary affiliate of the Columbus Blue Jackets, while also recording four assists in 24 games for the ECHL’s Quad City Mallards.
Graves will report to the Flyers’ ECHL affiliate, the Reading Royals.
A number of Flyers have been rumored to be on the trading block, including Wayne Simmonds, Michael Raffl and possibly one of their veteran defensemen.