Chuck Fletcher expects Nolan Patrick to play this year, won’t pay ‘massive price’ for rental

In a time when the Philadelphia Flyers have been dealt a tough hand, general manager Chuck Fletcher provided some positive updates on Tuesday afternoon.

Fletcher held his “State of the Team” address after practice on Tuesday and had some good news on Nolan Patrick and Oskar Lindblom, who are both dealing with injuries that are bigger than hockey.

In December, Lindblom was diagnosed with Ewing’s Sarcoma, a rare form of bone cancer. Patrick has been dealing with migraines after being diagnosed with a genetics-related predisposition for Chronic Migraine Syndrome last offseason.

Lindblom has been ruled out for the season and has begun treatment, while Patrick’s status for this season remains more optimistic.

Fletcher noted that both Lindblom and Patrick remain in the team’s long-term plans, including next season. That’s great to hear for both players personally and on the ice for the Flyers. And we could see Patrick even before that.

“I do expect him to play this year,” Fletcher said of Patrick. “He skated again today. He’s getting his heart rate up higher. I think he’s feeling a bit better. It’s hard to predict.”

There is no timetable for Patrick to return, but the fact that he hasn’t been completely ruled out is a good sign. If he can get the migraines under control, that would be great for Patrick’s long-term personal life as well as his hockey career. The 21-year-old center is blessed with a ton of talent and could be a huge asset for the Flyers.

“Once we have certain information, if he’s cleared for contact or anything like that, we obviously will let you guys know right away,” Fletcher continued. “I can just tell you from the on and off ice workouts he’s doing, he is progressing. There certainly isn’t any clear path as to which way this will go.”

Patrick will likely require a rehab stint with the Lehigh Valley Phantoms to get back up to speed, but the door is open for his potential return which would be a nice second-half addition for the Flyers.

The Flyers have had trouble filling out their bottom-six forwards after being dealt injuries to their two young forwards.

They have tried to bridge the gap with a few options going back-and-forth from the AHL to the NHL, but none have taken hold of the job. Could a trade be in the works?

“You’re always looking to see if you can improve your team. You’re always on the phone talking to teams and those type of players, there’s not a lot of them readily available,” Fletcher said.

A trade-deadline acquisition would certainly help the Flyers, but don’t expect them to pay a high price.

“For our situation, I don’t know if it makes sense to pay a massive price for rental right now. I don’t think that that is the right move for this group but if we can add a forward that can help our team, sure.”

The Flyers are also tight up against the salary cap without much wiggle room. So, an in-house option might be their best bet.

Could that in-house option and pseudo deadline addition be Patrick? Hopefully, but we’ll have to wait and see.

Either way, the biggest takeaway and most important thing is that Patrick has been progressing and will hopefully see the ice sometime this season.

What do you think?