It seems to happen often so we shouldn’t be surprised: That guy who used to play here is now killing it somewhere else.
We’ve seen an incredibly long list of former Flyers contribute to Stanley Cup-winning teams and we’ve seen a goaltender in Sergie Bobrovsky win two Vezina trophies in another city. Guys leave and achieve greatness. Will it happen again? The Flyers sent a shotgun blast of former players throughout the league this summer and many of them are expected to play a factor in their respective teams’ fortune.
We break down the 2021 departures and what they have to look forward to.
Brian Elliott, Tampa Bay Lightning: For the third straight year, Elliott took a pay cut, but this time, he ended up in a different uniform. The Lightning have won back-to-back Stanley Cups and have perhaps the biggest salary cap crisis in the league so getting Elliott at just $900,000 makes sense, especially when you have arguably the best goaltender in the league in Andrei Vasilevskiy. Elliott enters a perfect situation, as Vasilevskiy typically plays about 75 percent of Tampa’s games and has not been pulled from a game in three years. The 36-year-old Elliott likely won’t be forced into too many bad situations and he has elite defenders like Victor Hedman and Ryan McDonagh in front of him. Elliott could join a very long list of former Flyers lifting the Cup after leaving Philadelphia.
Shayne Gostisbehere, Arizona Coyotes: Gostisbehere’s time in Philly finally came to an end this summer after a polarizing time of extreme highs and lows here. He will be given a clean slate in the desert and could be cast correctly into a lineup that is now thin on the back end after the departures of captain Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Alex Goligoski. Perhaps a pairing with sturdy veteran defensemen Anton Stralman. Ghost won’t discover his defensive form overnight but he could be a valuable piece for a rebuilding team, especially on the power play.
Robert Hagg, Buffalo Sabres: The Sabres are going nowhere fast, especially as the team continues to grind out a deal to send superstar center Jack Eichel elsewhere. A change of identity was needed in Buffalo and they’ll get a guy who plays hard every night in Hagg. The Sabres have improved on the blue line and Hagg will need to compete to crack the lineup but his service will be deemed valuable especially if they choose not to rush No. 1 overall pick Owen Power into the lineup — a mistake they made with 2018 No. 1 overall pick Rasmus Dahlin. Hagg could be one of four Swedish-born players in the Sabres’ everyday lineup, which includes Dahlin, Victor Olofsson and Rasmus Asplund.
Philippe Myers, Nashville Predators: One could imagine the Flyers had a tough time letting go of Myers, but found it a necessary evil to bring in Ryan Ellis. In Nashville, Myers will be paired with a veteran defenseman no matter where he ends up in the pecking order on the right side. The Predators’ left side consists of Roman Josi, Mattias Ekholm and defensive-minded Mark Borowiceki, who are all a shade over 30. Nashvill seems to historically develop great defensemen with a list that also includes Ryan Suter, Shea Weber, Seth Jones and the aforementioned Ellis. Myers could have found a worse landing spot.
Nolan Patrick, Vegas Golden Knights: The Nolan Patrick era in Philadelphia officially reached bust status when he was traded this summer. The former No. 2 overall draft pick registered 70 points in 197 career games in Philly with flashes of brilliance but long stretches of frustrating play, in addition to uncertainty to injuries, mostly due to migraines. The Golden Knights took the gamble and will insert Patrick somewhere in the middle six with potential to unseat Chandler Stephenson on the top line if he can get off on the right foot. This would look eerily similar to Brayden Schenn winning a Cup in St. Louis if Vegas can finally get over the hump.
Carsen Twarynski, Seattle Kraken: Twarynski signed a one-year two-way deal worth just $750,000, which further clouds his future with the expansion Kraken. He’s a low-risk option to play on the fourth line, much like he was in Philadelphia. The Kraken have a lot to figure out so we probably won’t know right away if he is expected to make an impact. But using Vegas as an example, players came out of nowhere to be key contributors. Maybe Twarynski gets a chance.
Jakub Voracek, Columbus Blue Jackets: The Blue Jackets are in rebuild mode but that doesn’t mean Voracek can’t have a productive season. Defensive-minded coach John Tortorella is gone and the Blue Jackets could open it up this season. Although the cap hit is high, Voracek has steadily produced north of 0.8 points per game into his 30s. And has he ever had a true goal scorer like Patrik Laine on his team? Known as a passing playmaker, Voracek could have a huge year on the power play feeding one-timers to Laine.