Bowen Byram flies by the bench for fist bumps
Photo credit: NHL

Avalanche shoot down wild trade proposal from Eastern Conference contender

Published January 13, 2024 at 2:14

The Philadelphia Flyers traded former top prospect Cutter Gauthier to the Anaheim Ducks earlier this week, which shocked the hockey world. Seldom do we ever see two young stars of this caliber moved, especially in the same deal. Gauthier had just come off a gold medal for Team USA at the World Juniors, where he led the circuit with 10 assists and 12 points.

The trade was shocking to all hockey fans, because at first glance, why would the Flyers trade one of the best prospects mid-season and after yet another fantastic showing for his country? However as the days have rolled by, we have learned that Gauthier had informed the club last May that he did not plan on signing his ELC with Philadelphia.

General Manager Daniel Briere worked the phones diligently and quietly as word never leaked out. There were rumours here and there but they were always shot down vehemently. We learned shortly after the trade went down from Charlie O'Connor that the Flyers had offered Gauthier to Montreal ahead of the draft for their 5th overall pick. The Flyers were keen on pairing David Reinbacher with Matvei Michkov but Montreal declined.

Now we are finding out that the Flyers had offered Gauthier to the Colorado Avalanche as well. They were looking to receive defenseman Bowen Byram in return. Elliotte Friedman dropped that bombshell on Friday and explained why the deal never materialized:

"I think Philly did ask about Bowen Byram and I just think Colorado wasn't going there I suspect Colorado's answer was we are not doing this 1-for-1, it's got to be more than Gauthier for Byram"

Instead, Anaheim Ducks GM Pat Verbeek kept his eye on the situation from the beginning and eventually got his man - it was rumoured that he tried to move up in the draft to nab Gauthier himself. The Flyers got their future top-pairing defenseman in Jamie Drysdale while also acquiring a 2nd round pick in 2025.

Gauthier in Montreal is one thing, but the skilled prospect playing for the Avalanche would have pushed them even further over the top considering they have Stanley Cup aspirations with their core that already includes Nathan MacKinnon, Mikko Rantanen, and Cale Makar.

January 13   |   247 answers
Avalanche shoot down wild trade proposal from Eastern Conference contender

Should the Avalanche have traded Bowen Byram with all of his previous health concerns?

Yes15060.7 %
No9739.3 %
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