Heating up the Rumor Mill
As the trade deadline gets closer, you’ll hear more rumors about players on the move. Rumors will intensifty during the Olympic Break, when there will be less to talk about, NHL-wise. As we get closer, we at Liberty Bell Sports will go through potential trade options for the Flyers.
With the Atlanta Thrashers and Ilya Kovalchuk coming to town tonight, it is a good time to start talking about the NHL’s trading deadline. Most likely the bigger deals will happen after the Olympic Break, as many teams are still in the race at this point, but don’t rule out the possibility of some deals happening before the Olympics. Kovalchuk himself will probably not be dealt until March 3rd.
Looking at the Flyers, it is obvious their biggest need is defense. With Ryan Parent out until late February/early March and Danny Syvret having setbacks with his shoulder injury, the third pairing is rookie Oskars Bartulis, who has been unimpressive and oft-injured Ole-Kristian Tollefsen. With Mika Pyorala practicing at defense, it shows the Flyers are desperate at the position. The problem with acquiring someone (as was the case last year) is cap room. Last season, the Flyers had to jettison Glen Metropolit and Ossi Vaananen on waivers and deal Scottie Upshall to Phoenix to make room for returning Danny Briere and to have some wiggle room for the rest of the season.
Marty Biron was a trade deadline acquistion in 2006.
This year, the Flyers seem to be in better shape capwise, but still don’t have much room to pick up a big name player, unless they move salary out. However, the problem with that is most of their high priced talent have a “No Movement/Trade Clause” in their contracts. Which means they cannot be moved by the Flyers unless they are asked to waive that clause. This prevents a problem for a GM trying to add pieces for a Stanley Cup run. By the numbers and my unofficial math, we’ll have to clear up money just to continue with our current roster.
Another problem is a lack of draft picks. With their first two picks in 2010 gone, and their first two in 2011 (and a third in either 2010/2011), draft picks are something Paul Holmgren can’t deal away. If there is a deal made, you might see a prospect moved, because of the draft pick situation. Could a current prospect entice a team to make a deal? Depending on the player, but with the farm system the way it is, the Flyers would like to hang on to (at least) their top few.
Could one of the goalies fetch something? With three goalies and very little cap room, it’s possible Holmgren is working the phones to see if one of his goalies can fetch either a depth player, or another draft pick. However, teams know the situation the Flyers are in, and a backup goalie (heading into the stretch) is not a premium position. Basically what we are looking at, unless some things change, is the team we are going to ride into May and hopefully June.
We’ll be back as the deadline gets closer, with a deeper look at potential players available. As for now, keep your eyes on the bottom of the standings, and come talk Flyers-Thrashers over on the forum for tonight’s game.