The NHL trade deadline is less than a month away -- March 5 -- but hockey fans are already salivating over the possible names out there.
Alas, I don’t see any major defensemen that could significantly upgrade the Flyers’ blue line either being available or dealt at that time, anyway.
Gotta think something along those lines happens over the summer.
Here’s some reader feedback via Twitter:
@tpanotchCSN Given that Raffl and Vanek will be teammates in Sochi, wouldn't a trade for Vanek be a good thing?— Tyler Fuller (@tylerfuller21) February 7, 2014
A: The Flyers could have had Vanek earlier in the season when they were in dire straits (great band, by the way) to get a scorer and jump start this offense, but the price the Isles paid was fairly steep. I don’t hear any rumblings right now that the Flyers are aggressively pursuing offense though -- and I’ve said this before -- Bobby Ryan or a legit scoring winger would have better suited the Flyers last offseason than another centerman. That’s not a knock on Vinny Lecavalier, but he’s not exactly what the Flyers needed most and now they are stuck with him for four years in the wrong spot. Bad move.
@tpanotchCSN Are they going to make a big trade?— Brian Rosenwald (@brianros1) February 7, 2014
A: Paul Holmgren’s MO has been to strike before the deadline. The best, most recent example of that was in 2012 when he got Nick Grossmann and Pavel Kubina more than a week before the NHL trade deadline. That said, you seldom have blockbuster deals on trade deadline day. That happens at the NHL draft or during free agency. Don’t see anything major from the Flyers coming until the summer.
@tpanotchCSN With Kimmo's last Year, Does this open a spot for #55 Sam Morin?— Diehard Flyers Fan (@diehardflyers) February 7, 2014
A: Great question. They really liked the defensive prospect in training camp. A lot depends on what happens during the remainder of his junior season and how he looks in both rookie camp and training camp this coming summer and fall. You can’t rule him out based on what Flyers scouts were saying last September. Morin, incidentally, drew a two-game suspension and fine from the QMJHL for throwing his stick during a late January game and striking a fan in a wheelchair. The fan forgave him. The league did not.
@tpanotchCSN agree100 percent... Lots of rumors weber will be shopped this year... Coutierre Schene cousins and a first... Yes?— Brian Fioretti (@Instigatorz889) February 7, 2014
A: The way Nashville general manager David Poile stocked up with younger defensemen this season seems to indicate the Predators may be willing to part with Shea Weber’s gargantuan contract this summer. Wouldn’t surprise anyone. If that happens, you can be certain the Flyers will be a major player. Again, Weber is the kind of impact defenseman the Flyers need. He is the type of player worth unloading major talent/prospects for. Yet this is not the kind of deal that will happen at the trade deadline. Makes little financial sense to do it now when Poile can command so much more at the draft, which happens to be in Philadelphia this summer.
@tpanotchCSN Flyers need impact D-man.... as has been the story for almost all my life as a Flyers fan— Donald McGettigan (@DonM409) February 7, 2014
A: They had one in Chris Pronger and he was the first impact guy since Eric Desjardins. If Pronger never gets hurt, never develops post-concussion syndrome, who knows what happens or how the Flyers long-term fortune goes. Which is why so much attention will be focused on Weber “if” the Preds move him this summer.
@tpanotchCSN They need to put Schenn on wing and Vinny at center. They signed him for 5yrs to score. Schenn needs to deal with playin wing.— ThatIsNotMyDog (@ThatIsNotMyDog) February 7, 2014
A: The Flyers aren’t going to do that at the expense of any of their young centers -- meaning Schenn or Couturier. They need Lecavalier to mentally accept and get comfortable with the idea of playing the off-wing on the left side. Unless they move a center this summer. I feel it’s asking a lot from an accomplished player of Lecavalier’s stature but for $4.5 million -- his actual cap hit -- they can ask him whatever they want. Problem is, Lecavalier is here for four more years and this entire process of moving him from center to right wing to left wing has been a total failure.