NHL Rumors: The Philadelphia Flyers and Sean Walker – To Trade or Not to Trade

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – An Almost Perfect Night for Jagr episode on the Philadelphia Flyers and pending UFA defenseman Sean Walker.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Marek: “Speaking of business with both parties in the same place last week, ie management and agent, do you think the Sean Walker business took a step forward?

Like Keith Jones Daniel Briere can Stewart who’s the agent, all chatted before the Philadelphia Flyers – Toronto Maple Leafs game …”

Friedman: “Yeah, were you stalking their meeting on Thursday morning in Toronto.”

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Marek: “I got my tentacles all over the place. And I don’t think that you know anything definite came out of it, but I just can’t help with thinking that at least you know, the conversation was moved forward as the Ristolainen injury, complicate things or maybe make things easier, we’ll see.

But it very much feels like I mean, obviously this is going to come to some type of crescendo by deadline on March 8th if there’s not an extension before that. But it kind of feels like at least both sides have had you know, some a little bit of FaceTime with each other. I think that there’s a feeling that you know, any contract is probably between $4 to $5 million per season. Term will probably be an issue as is usually an issue. But does it feel like the Walker situation in Philly is, is starting to come a little bit more into focus?

Friedman: “I think there was a time where people thought that the Drysdale acquisition pushed Walker out. I definitely believe that the thinking has changed there. I do think there too, and I was one of those people too, I got those signals that Drysdale pushes Oh, Walker. I’m no longer certain about that.

Now I think Philly’s gonna want a number in the mid to low fours. Like I know you wrote in your Ring Fries blog that four to five. I think if it gets closer to five, I think it’s going to be tougher for Philly to do. But if it’s mid to low fours, I could see that getting done now.

I think it’s really fascinating, like Philly, they’re like, again, they’re playing cards. They’re, they’re playing poker. They’re trying to sign people but they’re saying hey, there’s a limit. And, but they’re also setting high prices on guys. It’s almost like they’re waiting to see, I said this last pot almost waiting to see what happens first. We get what we want, or the player signs.

But I think in Walker’s case the pendulum has definitely swung too we’d prefer to keep him. I think one of the reasons is, you know, Drysdale is a super talented player, but he’s still very young, and is, is learning how to defend, and I think they just feel if Walker leaves, Drysdale is going to be asked to do some things he isn’t ready to do yet.

So, that I do think is part of this process. So yes, but I think it’s got to be at Philly’s number.

Marek: “One of the things that I, that I’ve always believed here is that if the Philadelphia Flyers that, I look at you know, what you’re replacing Sean Walker with? So if the flyers get offered a first-round pick, means a really, really good chance that that’s going to turn into an NHL player. But if that’s a third or fourth-round pick, there’s no guarantee that that’s going to be a player, and it probably makes more sense for Philly to hang on to him, even if he’s not going to get signed, for example.

To keep them for this run, whatever this run turns into. You know what mean? Like, one way or the other, They want to get either someone that can guarantee will play in the NHL or keep him for whatever this run turns into. Do you agree with that?

Friedman: “Well, I think the other thing too with the cap going up, it’s going to be easier to move players in theory. That’s another factor here. It’s that, if things go to where we all think this is supposed to go, we should be able to see more movement.

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Like, like I’ll be honest with Hanafin one manager predicted to me that he would sign in Calgary and then in three or four years, if it didn’t work, they could just move. Now it doesn’t look like that’s happening but that’s what that manager predicted was going to happen. He actually called me on Sunday to say he was surprised that, that didn’t, that isn’t what worked out.”