After 12 consecutive losses and the playoffs slowly becoming a major challenge, the Flyers realized they needed to do something to get the team going. Multiple line changes had been attempted, including auto-lines, to no avail. The current roster was just not getting the job done. That's when the trade block went up, including all of Philadelphia's talent.
The Flyers organization was ecstatic to receive so many inquiries, with roughly half the league reaching out. Only a handful of those teams included offers, but one of them was the Blackhawks. The layout of the trade was much different at the time of completion from when was initially offered, but it helped lay the ground work to making a trade happen. Philadelphia would like to thank all teams that reached out, particularly those that came in with an offer. Ultimately it was the prospect of adding Dougie Hamilton that made a trade happen.
Going to Chicago are two excellent assets in young two-way center Sebastian Aho, and solid defenseman Mattias Ekholm. Veteran UFAs to be Marleau and Gudas were also included for roster and cap room purposes.
Hamilton highlights the package coming to Philly, giving them a legit #1 dman that can be used in all situations. He brings a complete game and the team is ecstatic to bring him into the lineup, feeling like he's the exact type of player needed to fill out the roster. Defeseman Justin Faulk also comes to Philly, upgrading on Ekholm, albeit at a higher salary, but further improves the roster and makes Philly more competitive to try and get themselves back in the playoff race. Veteran forward Backlund will replace Marleau in the lineup, and youngster Tyson Jost is the final piece to the return, who will slide into the 4th line center spot.
With Aho gone, it gives a significant downgrade to the forwards, but Aho was struggling to start the season, and had slipped down to 3rd line center spot himself. The hope is Hamilton and Faulk can make all the forwards look improved.
Now, the focus is to stop the insane losing streak, one the team nor the league could have anticipated. End the losing streak, and start crawling back into the playoff picture. This is too good of a team to not be competing in the playoffs!