Trade talk around the league is heating up! There are many teams active right now trying to improve their rosters and the Philadelphia Flyers are among them.
The Flyers are reportedly in the initial stages of trade talks with the Nashville Predators, the player they are targeting is Mattias Ekholm.
Mattias Ekholm is a reliable top 4 defenseman, and at 30 years of age he is contracted for two more seasons with a tantalizing $3,750,000 cap hit. We let you know that the Predators are talking calls on Ekholm and now it appears the flyers are among the teams making those calls.
It is unclear what the Predators are looking for in return but it will likely be prospects as they are trying to retool for the future, while the Flyers are looking to bolster their blueline for a run at the cup. Insideahlhockey.com reported the following:
The Nashville Predators were in town at the Flyers’ AHL affiliate’s home rink PPL Center Saturday night, scouting the Lehigh Valley Phantoms’ plethora of rookie defensemen (Linus Hogberg, Mason Millman, Wyatte Wylie and Egor Zamula) and other notable forward prospects.
While it might seem to be purely coincidental on the surface – scouts attend AHL games all the time – the fact that Nashville was scouting the Phantoms’ games this past weekend against the Penguins comes at a time when the Predators’ organization doesn’t play against the Flyers organization at either the NHL or AHL level (Predators AHL affiliate Milwaukee opted out of the 2020-21 season, and they play in the AHL’s Western Conference so wouldn’t face the Phantoms anyway).
Also worth noting, since InsideAHLHockey keeps track of which scouts attend Phantoms games, is that Nashville has only ever sent scouts to the PPL Center two or three times in the past several years since we’ve been keeping track of scout attendance and which teams’ reps are on hand. They simply don’t face the Flyers’ organization in direct competition, albeit twice at the NHL level in a “normal” season. This year, the NHL has an in-division only schedule.
Furthermore, it makes sense that the Predators are doing their homework with an Eastern Conference team because when thinking about trading a player of Ekholm’s caliber it’s usually wise to send the player out of conference.
This deal is in the beginner stages and not close to done, but talks are happening and it will be something to keep your eyes on.
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