Flyers and Avalanche Almost Did Big Trade Before Drysdale Deal

According to a report from Philly Hockey Now citing Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet, the Philadelphia Flyers explored a potential trade involving prospect Cutter Gauthier and the Colorado Avalanche’s defenseman Bowen Byram. A trade that would have been on the level of the blockbuster that did happen between the Flyers and Anaheim Ducks, moving Byram would have been a big trade.

However, Friedman suggests that the Avalanche were not interested in a one-for-one deal and insisted on additional assets beyond Gauthier.

The Flyers ultimately traded Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks in exchange for defenseman Jamie Drysdale and a draft pick. This move raised questions about whether the Avalanche made the right decision by not pursuing the trade with the Flyers.

Byrman’s Injury History Might Have Been a Challenge for the Flyers

Byram, a key defenseman for the Avalanche, was the fourth overall pick in the 2019 NHL Draft and contributed to the team’s Stanley Cup victory in 2022. Despite his talent, Byram has faced challenges related to injuries, including concussions, limiting his playing time in previous seasons. This would not have been the first time the Flyers made a big trade and got burned by health issues. Ryan Ellis was supposed to be a huge add from the Predators. He played all of four games across two seasons.

That said, Byram he has played 39 games in the current season and is poised to surpass his previous career-high of 42 games.

Would the Flyers Have Needed a Left-Shot Defenseman?

The report questions whether the Flyers, who already have left-shot defensemen like Travis Sanheim, Cam York, and Egor Zamula, needed another player in that position. The team also has Nick Seeler and Marc Staal in the mix for playing time. Seller has been in the trade rumor mill, but the Flyers might have been right to grab the right-shot Drysdale.

Time will tell if the Avalanche and Flyers made the right call not going ahead with this deal. So far, Drysdale has two points in two games and looks like a solid fit.

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