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NHL Rumors: Are There Any Free Agent Defensemen For Philadelphia Flyers To Target?

At some point the next several weeks, whether it’s before there is a new CBA or after, assuming there is one at all, the Philadelphia Flyers are going to have to take a look at their defense and consider adding, whether it’s out on the free agent market or through a potential trade.

The trade route seems unlikely for the Flyers at this point, given their situation. Teams know they’re desperate for defensive help and can drive up the asking price no matter what player on their roster Philly happens to be targeting.

That makes the free agent route much more likely. Although the pickings are pretty slim at this point in the summer, on an already thin free agent market, there are some pretty solid options that the Flyers could choose to look at, and hopefully manage to sign on the cheap. So which free agents could the Flyers consider? Take a look.

  • Carlo Colaiacovo - The former St. Louis Blues defenseman is probably the best defenseman on the market, but there’s a reason for that. He’s only 29, young compared to other free agents, and he can move the puck well from the blue line. However, he’s never played more than 67 games in a season because of injury.
  • Chris Campoli - Campoli may be the most underrated d-man out on the market. He spent most of the year last year with the Montreal Canadiens sitting out with an injury, but is still a capable offensive d-man who could help to replace some of the offensive void left back there by Matt Carle.
  • Pavel Kubina - His brief time with the Flyers at the end of last season wasn’t exactly memorable, but it’s still a bit surprising to see Kubina still out on the market. If the Flyers could get him for cheap, he could add a few points and a nice physical presence on defense.
  • Michal Rozsival - Like Colaiacovo, just not to the same degree, there is an injury concern that comes with signing a guy like Rozsival. But he’s a solid d-man, defensively responsible and put up at least 30 points four times in his career.
  • Cam Barker - This one is a bit more intriguing. Barker was once a top defensive prospect in the NHL, but has yet to realize that potential. He put up 40 points in just 68 games back in ’08-’09, but it’s been all downhill from there. If he gets a shot at an NHL job, it might have to be earned in training camp.
  • Steve Eminger  - This may be the most likely route if the Flyers are hoping to snatch up a cheap defenseman. Eminger is a former Flyer who has been working out in the area. He’s nowhere near the player he was expected to be, but has proven he can be very solid as a depth defenseman.
The point is, there are options for the Flyers to explore, especially if they’re unsatisfied with their current blue line group, which I would hope they are. There are young guys capable of stepping up into bigger roles, but the Flyers are going to have to at least explore the potential to add a veteran, even if it’s only on a training camp invite, prior to camp opening.