NHL Rumors: 2012 NHL Lockout Behind Quiet Philadelphia Flyers Offseason?

By Mark Donatiello

The Philadelphia Flyers were one of the more active teams early in the 2012 offseason, but after failed runs at big-name free agents, the Flyers have become rather silent.  They still lack defensive depth, the offense will rely heavily on the development of their youth, and players like Bobby Ryan and P.K. Subban are still disgruntled and on the market.  Is it more than a coincidence that as an NHL lockout becomes more likely, the Flyers have grown silent?

NHL lockout rumors are intensifying as Gary Bettman‘s self-imposed deadline creeps ever closer.  The players have until September 15th to concede to what is essentially a protection plan for NHL owners.  Otherwise, another NHL lockout will begin to eat away at the upcoming season.  Beyond the obvious disregard of hockey fans everywhere, an NHL lockout and this offseason’s failed CBA negotiations carry financial uncertainty for NHL teams moving forward.

As new contract limitations and salary cap numbers are likely imminent, the Philadelphia Flyers might be best served to remain quiet until more details surface.  Attempting to poach a player like P.K. Subban will require a tremendous contract offer that could cripple the franchise if the owners prevail in CBA negotiations.  Even picking up Bobby Ryan’s reasonable salary, assuming a reasonable package of prospects could be assembled for a blockbuster trade, puts the Flyers at a disadvantage if drastically different financial limitations are implemented.

Why push it?  The Philadelphia Flyers will be an elite team this season and the holes in their roster are overstated.  The defense could certainly be upgraded, but as it stands the Flyers have a capable set of middling blueliners.  If the Andrej Meszaros injury was the key to the panicked NHL rumors of the demise of the Philadelphia Flyers,  an NHL lockout could mean that Meszaros doesn’t miss a single game this season.  With all the uncertainty of the coming weeks, and the drastic changes an NHL lockout or a new CBA agreement could bring, the Flyers are best served to silently wait through the remainder of the 2012 offseason.

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