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Recapping the Philadelphia Flyers’ 2024 trade deadline moves

(Heather Barry Images, LLC)

General manager Daniel Brière and the Philadelphia Flyers were busy this week as the NHL’s trade deadline wrapped up at 3:00pm ET on Friday afternoon.

In a year where the Flyers are rebuilding yet are in a playoff position in mid-March, some tough decisions had to be made. Would the Flyers sell? Would they add pieces? Can a rebuilding team still make the playoffs after trading a key piece of their team?

Well, we got a few answers to those questions, as it remains evident the Flyers still want to reach the postseason while acquiring assets for the future.

Let’s take a look at what they did.

Sean Walker, 2026 5th to Colorado for Ryan Johansen, conditional 2025 1st

The first move might have been the biggest for Brière and the Flyers as they traded defenseman Sean Walker to the Colorado Avalanche.

Walker, along with a 2026 fifth-round pick, fetched forward Ryan Johansen and a conditional 2025 first-round pick that will become a 2026 if the Avalanche’s first-rounder next year falls in the first ten selections.

Walker was originally dealt to Philadelphia in the Ivan Provorov trade in June, and he was largely seen as a throw-in with not much value. The 29-year-old blueliner proved everyone wrong almost immediately.

Walker set a new career-high in goals (6) in 63 games with the Flyers, including the first two shorthanded goals of his career. He saw more ice time per game (19:36) with the Flyers than in any season with the Kings and was a focal point of Philadelphia’s penalty kill, which is still ranked at the top of the league.

The Keswick, Ontario native played himself into being an attractive asset on an expiring contract for playoff contenders, and while the Flyers tried to get an extension done with him, they felt it was best to trade him after they extended Nick Seeler to a four-year deal.

The return for Walker is about as good as you can get, as Brière nabbed a first round pick and Johansen for him. Ridding themselves of Johansen was a much-needed cap dump for Chris MacFarland and Colorado to have flexibility to make more trades, and taking that contract likely allowed Brière to get a first rounder instead of a second. That pick is obviously the big fish in the deal that the Flyers caught. Johansen has cleared waivers and will be asked to report to AHL Lehigh Valley after the Flyers could not find another suitor for the veteran forward.

“We didn’t have a lot of talks,” said Brière about flipping Johansen. “There were a select few teams that kind of danced around. But at the end of the day, nobody was willing to make the move. We were willing to retain on him, too. Unfortunately, it just didn’t pan out.”

2024 5th to Philadelphia for retaining 25 percent of Noah Hanifin’s contract

The Flyers served as the middle man in the Noah Hanifin trade between the Calgary Flames and Vegas Golden Knights.

On paper, Calgary traded Hanifin to Philadelphia at 50 percent retained salary ($2,475,000) for the rights to forward Mikhail Vorobyev, and then the Flyers flipped Hanifin to Vegas at 25 percent retained salary ($1,237,500) for the Golden Knights’ 2024 fifth-round pick.

Brière weaponized his cap space to gain another draft pick. It was a smart deal and Hanifin’s contract expires at the end of this season.

Wade Allison to Nashville for Denis Gurianov

After failing to make the Flyers out of training camp and reportedly being disgruntled when sent down to AHL Lehigh Valley, forward Wade Allison was shipped to the Nashville Predators for forward Denis Gurianov.

Allison will be a case of “what could have been” as he showed flashes of his skill in the NHL when he was healthy, which was unfortunately a rare occurrence.

The former 2017 second-round pick appeared in just 75 games across three seasons with the Flyers. 2022-23 was his most impactful season and when he saw the ice the most as he set career-highs in games played (60), goals (9), assists (6), points (15), penalty minutes (36), hits (190), and blocked shots (62).

Before the trade, the Carman, Manitoba native registered 10 goals and 7 assists for 17 points in 46 contests with the Phantoms this season.

As for the return, Denis Gurianov will have an opportunity with the Flyers before the organization makes a decision on him.

“He’s interesting,” said Brière. “Big 6’3” left winger that can skate like him, the fact that he’s had some success in some big games. He had a pretty interesting playoff run a few years ago. I know it’s been a little tougher for him the last couple years, but if he catches fire again, we’re a little thin on the left side, and he brings us speed and size. Who knows where that goes.”

Gurianov was a first round pick of the Dallas Stars in 2015 and finally broke out in 2019-20, posting 29 points in 64 games before he helped the Stars reach the Stanley Cup Final with 17 points in 27 playoff games. He finished 11th in Calder Trophy voting for his efforts.

After parts of three more seasons with Dallas, Gurianov was traded to Montréal for Evgenii Dadonov in 2023. Gurianov left the Canadiens in free agency and has split this season between Nashville and AHL Milwaukee. In 294 career NHL games between the Stars, Canadiens, and Predators, Gurianov has racked up 52 goals and 61 assists for 113 points.

If Gurianov works out, the Flyers have another successful reclamation project in their hands. If not, the Flyers can waive him and his contract expires after this summer anyway.

2024 4th to Buffalo for Erik Johnson

Brière did a tiny bit of buying today as he brought in veteran defender Erik Johnson from the Buffalo Sabres for a 2024 fourth-round pick.

Johnson signed a one-year, $3,250,000 contract with the Sabres in the offseason after spending parts of 13 seasons with the Avalanche, who he won a Stanley Cup with in 2022. Johnson is now the only former first overall pick and former Stanley Cup champion on the Flyers’ roster.

“What we’re looking for from Erik is to bring his experience,” said Brière. “The fact that he’s played for a long time, the fact that he’s played a lot of playoff games, the fact that he won a Stanley Cup, hopefully he can share a little bit of that with our young group.”

Johnson will help bring playoff experience and veteran leadership as well as his physicality and defensive prowess for a young team hungry to make a final push for the playoffs as they enter the final 18 games of the regular season.

Managing Editor at Flyers Nation. Proud lifelong supporter of the Philadelphia Flyers and all things hockey related. Steve Mason's #1 fan.

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