Flyers Trade Ryan Hartman to Dallas for Tyler Pitlick
So, remember when I said the Flyers are probably done making moves? Yeah, about that...
The bias for action remains as alive as ever. Chuck Fletcher and the Flyers made their second headline of the day, trading right winger Ryan Hartman to the Dallas Stars in exchange for forward Tyler Pitlick.
We'll start with who's coming in. Pitlick is on the final year of a 3-year deal with an AAV of just $1 million, which is less money than Hartman was projected to make. I talked about the Flyers tight cap situation when discussing the Sanheim extension. While this move technically gives the Flyers less cap space (just over $17 million now), they will save money compared to whatever deal Hartman signs with Dallas, his fourth different team.
Pitlick doesn't have the same upside as Hartman - he's basically a pure fourth-liner. He only had 12 points last year, but only played 47 games - the year before, he put up a respectable 27 points, which is his career-high. Pitlick started in the Oilers organization, but seemed to stagnate until he went to Dallas in 2016. He has played both center and right wing over the course of his career. Looking at the Flyers depth chart, he is more likely to play the latter.
The 2010 second round pick has an ok track-record it terms of Corsi and play-driving. However, he has been hampered by coaches who have used him in an extremly defensive role. According to Hockey-Reference, Pitlick started over 70% of his shifts a year ago in the defensive zone. Over his career, that number is still an extremely high 63.5%. Given better linemates (likely to be Raffl and Laughton) and a bit more balanced role, Pitlick could thrive in Philadelphia.
Pitlick is a physical winger who is a good forechecker and plays a tenacious style of play. He was also on pace for 14 goals last year before injuries hampered his season, which would have tied a career-high. However, this move was probably driven by the cap just as much as it was in terms of a player-for-player transaction. I went deeper into the Flyers cap situation in the Sanheim article, so make sure to check that out for more insight.
This move is far from a blockbuster. However, there is no such thing as a nothing trade in today's NHL, especially when you're dealing one roster player for another. Hartman may have the higher ceiling of the two players, but Pitlick's play-style, versatility, and low cap hit could make him a very good fit for the Orange and Black.