2. Marc Staal
Just like Walker, Marc Staal was brought in over the offseason to add depth to the Flyers’ backend. The left-handed blueliner is coming off a solid season that saw him record 15 points in 82 games with the Panthers before suiting up in 21 outings during their Stanley Cup run.
Having said that, it doesn’t take a rocket scientist to see that Staal doesn’t have a long-term future in Philadelphia.
For starters, he’s only on a one-year deal, making him a likely trade chip for a contender looking to add D-man depth. He’s also turning 38 in January and if he’s trying to win a Cup before he hangs up his skates, the Flyers could trade him to help with that goal.
Secondly, at his age, there’s no telling how much longer Staal will be able to compete at a high level. His defensive play was great last season, highlighted by a minus-18 on-ice goal differential that was worse than his expected goal differential (minus-12.4). If Philadelphia is trying to win games at any point, dressing him likely won’t help.
Whether it’s due to Staal’s declining play or a chance to chase a championship, I won’t be shocked if he isn’t in the end-of-year team photo.