Braun now at top of Flyers’ trade possibles list

Justin Braun
      PHILADELPHIA – Usually it takes an injury or a COVID-19 infection to keep defenseman Justin Braun off his skates.
      But Sunday was an entirely situation.
      With the NHL trade deadline coming up at 3 p.m. on Monday and Braun likely headed to a Stanley Cup contender, Flyers general manager Chuck Fletcher decided not to dress Braun to avoid any last-minute injuries in an afternoon game against the New York Islanders at the Wells Fargo Center.
      “There’s been a lot of teams calling on Justin,’’ Fletcher said in a pre-game press briefing. “We’ll see what that means over the next day. He plays really hard and he’s a guy who blocks shots, takes hits. So I thought it would be prudent to resolve this over the next 24 hours and just hold him out for today.’’
      While other speculated trade targets did play in the New York game, that doesn’t mean there won’t be any more moves over the next 24 hours.
      “We’ll see,’’ Fletcher said. “Again, there’s been a lot of calls on Braun. A few calls here and there on some other players. The interesting thing about the last few weeks is I’ve been able to speak to a lot of teams who have different types of ideas. Most of them don’t make a lot of sense right now. I think it’s been really good to get an idea of what may be available in the summer. I remember the trade deadline in 2019, my first year here, I was talking to (Capitals GM) Brian MacLellan at the deadline about (Matt) Niskanen and (Radko) Gudas. At the time it just didn’t make sense for Washington to pull the trigger. I don’t know how eventful the next 24 hours will be for us. But it’s been a very informative process.’’
      >More contract space
      Included in the Claude Giroux trade to Florida were the contracts of prospects Connor Bunnaman and German Rubtsov.
      That lowers the number of Flyers pro contracts from 49 to 47 (Tippett/Giroux evened out) and gives Fletcher more options in the offseason. The limit is 50.
      “Absolutely,’’ Fletcher said. “That was a critical part for us as well. We have 47 contracts now instead of 49. Whether it’s today or tomorrow or coming weeks, we have more involved in potential opportunities. At 49, it’s tough.’’
      >Rumors about Provorov
      Although Ivan Provorov is considered one of the mainstays of the Flyers’ future, there have been several media reports suggesting the Russian has become unhappy here and wouldn’t mind a trade.
      One possible team showing interest is St. Louis, coached by former Flyers head coach Craig Berube. Although the two were not together in Philadelphia, Provorov would be a good fit on the Blues and the two could certainly make it work.
      >Trade deadline mechanics
      Fletcher was asked about some of his other pending unrestricted free agents, which include Derick Brassard and Keith Yandle.
      “The deadline is really the time of the year when you look at your unrestricted free agents when you’re out of it and you try to get as many young assets as you can,’’ Fletcher said. “I’ve talked to a lot of teams about hockey trades and things like that. Teams typically aren’t looking to pull a good player off their team to get a good player. They want to give you picks and prospects to get more good players so they can win a Cup. Certainly we’ll do what we can at the deadline and we’ll do what we can with our college (undrafted players) and free agents. Over the summer we’ll do what we can with the draft and free agency.’’
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About Wayne Fish 2418 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.