TRADE: Danny Briere Is Making Moves
There comes a time in any general manager’s tenure when they must decide who they are. Really, that time comes for any decision-maker in any capacity. Eventually, the time to make a choice will come. And inaction is a choice all its own.
Danny made his choice very early in his tenure. The puck hasn’t dropped on the third Stanley Cup Final game, and he’s already made up his mind. He knows who he wants to be. He knows who he is.
Daniel Briere is the type of GM to set his mind to something, then pursue that end aggressively and relentlessly. Action is what fuels him. He doesn’t shy away from decisions. He embraces them.
This sounds flowery and vague. It’s anything but. With one trade, Danny told the world he was the exact opposite of his predecessor in temperament and strategy. He isn’t going to wait for the market to come to him. He isn’t going to hope something happens.
He’s going to make something happen. Good or bad or anything in between, Danny will have his say over the outcome.
Ivan Provorov is a Columbus Blue Jacket. The deal was done with a third party, already making this considerably more creative than anything the Flyers have done in the last few years.
Since then, there’s been an update in the likely return. Another 2nd round pick was added to the mix.
In total, they’ll receive: a talented RHD prospect, a first-round pick (#22 in this 2023 Draft), and two second-round picks. The seconds are more mysterious, but they may both be coming in the 2023 Draft.
In order to make that happen, the Flyers had to take on some “bad money” in Cal Petersen and Sean Walker. That will allow LA to resign Vladislav Gavrikov.
So the total package coming to Philly looks like this:
Helge Grans (more on him later)
#22 overall in 2023
24/25′ conditional 2nd
Petersen likely has nothing to do with anything. He’ll eat a roster spot and make way too much money until his contract expires.
Walker is a similar deal, but he can eat 2nd to 3rd pair minutes as a righty, and he only makes $2M. His contract expires after one season.
As far as taking something back to maximize return? You couldn’t have done much better limiting the damage.
To cash in on Provorov for a first-round pick and two seconds is more than fair value for a defenseman of his caliber.
That leaves the wild card. Who the hell is Helge Grans?
Helge Grans is an RHD prospect selected 35th in the 2020 draft, making him roughly the same age as Emil Andrae.
He’s 6’3″ and 205 pounds. He received remarkably high grades for both his skating ability and his passing ability in his draft year. He has good habits defending his blue line, which is amplified by his skating and ranginess.
Elite Prospects uses a 1-9 scale where 9 is the absolute top-end. 7 is a very high grade in their parlance, as 9 may as well be generational (for all intents and purposes)
I think he has top-4 potential as a puck-moving defenseman who retains the size to defend on his own end. He also has a wealth of pro experience to this point.
His 9 points in 59 games for the Ontario Reign isn’t terribly inspiring from this season. But his 24 points in 56 games from the year before? That’s much better.
The Kings have a terribly crowded RHD system, and I suspect that made Grans the odd man out.
I love his potential all the same. He seems right at home on a blue line who prioritizes his skills (as seen by York, Andrae, and Zamula all being in this farm system)
I love this return. You could not have theoretically maximized Provorov’s value any more than Danny just did.
But mostly? I love this trade. I love the concept of this trade. I love that the Flyers have a GM who is willing to go down swinging. He isn’t worried about looking bad 5 years from now and letting the ship sink in the meanwhile.
The Flyers have a GM who wants to make a difference. And it’s been a long time coming.
Mandatory Credit: Johnny Ulecka