Despite a wave of trades to revamp their roster, the Flyers still have some needs as NHL free agency opens Wednesday at noon ET.Aside from deep organizational depth, the club looks just about set on defense with the acquisitions of Ryan Ellis, Rasmus Ristolainen and Keith Yandle, a free-agent signing that should be announced Wednesday.But the Flyers need to address their backup goalie position and could possibly use another forward, particularly at center given they're a little thin down the middle.Let's take a look at five potential free-agent targets for the Flyers.
Bernier turns 33 years old in August and has played much of his career in a tandem.
He would make a lot of sense for the Flyers from a term and cost standpoint. There's also the familiarity factor. Bernier has a connection to Flyers goaltending coach Kim Dillabaugh, who oversaw goalie development with the Kings when the veteran started his NHL career in Los Angeles. Flyers senior advisor Dean Lombardi was the general manager of the Kings then.
The Flyers were linked to Bernier ahead of last season's trade deadline before the club's slide pushed it into sell mode.
With the moves they've already made, not sure the Flyers are really in the price range of Coleman, who is one of the bigger names on the free-agent market and expected to have a ton of suitors.
But the 29-year-old forward possesses so many qualities the Flyers would love on their roster. Coleman, who just won back-to-back Stanley Cup championships with the Lightning, has a pair of 20-goal seasons on his résumé, provides positional versatility and is proficient on the penalty kill.
After the trade of Nolan Patrick, the Flyers lost depth down the middle. The window is open for Morgan Frost to seize a full-time job, but the 22-year-old center is coming off a shoulder injury that required surgery in February and limited him to two games last season.
If the Flyers want to give themselves more options at center, Bonino is a 33-year-old with a winning pedigree who takes tough faceoffs.
Before a solid 2020-21 season with the Wild, he put up 18 goals, 17 assists and a plus-17 mark for the Predators in 2019-20.
The Canucks on Tuesday placed Holtby on unconditional waivers for the purposes of buying out his contract.
Holtby had a rough 2020-21 season in Vancouver, going 7-11-3 with a 3.67 goals-against average and .889 save percentage. The season prior when he was on the Capitals, Holtby went 25-14-6 with a 3.11 goals-against average and .897 save percentage.
Could a backup role be good for the soon-to-be 32-year-old?
Staal, another established center option for the Flyers, had one of his best seasons in 2017-18 with the Wild, Chuck Fletcher's last season in Minnesota.
With Staal set to turn 37 years old in October and at the tail end of his career, maybe the Flyers will be open to a one-year deal for cheap to add insurance down the middle. Staal could see the Flyers as a solid win-now opportunity at this stage of his career.