The Flyers brought in one of the biggest names on the free agent market this offseason in James van Riemsdyk, but it looks like they almost landed one of the most coveted trade targets.
In the latest episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast with Jeff Marek and Hockey Insider Elliotte Friedman, it was revealed that the Flyers made a run this offseason to try and land Artemi Panarin of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The crafty offensive winger will be a UFA at the end of 2018-19 and revealed in the summer he wasn’t ready to negotiate an extension with the Blue Jackets. Panarin was explosive in his first season with Columbus, leading the team in both goals (27) and assists (55) after being traded from the Chicago Blackhawks a year ago.
It appears the Flyers were likely one of many teams who tried to negotiate a trade offer for the budding superstar.
“Someone told me before they signed van Riemsdyk, Philly tried to take a run at Panarin,” said Elliotte Friedman. “I head that. That was one of the rumours going around that they were trying to land him.”
While Friedman may have heard the Flyers were in on Panarin, he wasn’t specifically able to confirm it through the team.
“I’ve got a better chance of finding the nuclear codes than finding that out from Hextall.”
While the speculation can run rampant, it would likely have taken quite the haul for any team to land Panarin from Columbus.
While the Flyers already have one of the best forward groups in the NHL, we’ll just have to wait and see if Hextall comes circling back if Panarin goes to free agency at the end of 2018-19.