When the National Hockey League’s trade deadline arrives at 3 p.m. EST on April 3, the Philadelphia Flyers will have played 35 games on their regular season schedule. Regardless of what happens during the next six games that will be played by then, general manager Paul Holmgren seems likely to be an active trader.
Let’s begin by optimistically projecting a Chicago Blackhawks‘ style six-game winning streak through March 31. With the Flyers comfortably above the .500 mark at 19-15-1, “Homer” would try to obtain as many pieces as his existing inventory and budget would allow.
Assuming a 3-3 push, or a calculation that includes post-regulation points somehow equaling six, Holmgren would have to pursue a middle-of-the-road approach. In this scenario he swaps some of his under-performing players for some other team’s under-performing players, with the hope that new environments would benefit all involved. That type of money-managed approach is the likeliest path that could be pursued if any mid-range or higher-salaried men are acquired.
If Peter Laviolette‘s squad loses more than three out of the next six games, a 2007 scene could be replayed. Holmgren unloaded Peter Forsberg to the Nashville Predators during February of that year. That trade enabled the summer acquisitions of the rights to Predators’ pending free agents Scott Hartnell and Kimmo Timonen.
It’s hard to imagine this particular Flyers’ team creating a long winning streak. Playing at .500, or below, seems most likely through the end of this shortened-season. With that in mind, Danny Briere, Ruslan Fedotenko, Simon Gagne, Braydon Coburn, possibly Timonen and others are candidates for departure.
Considering any short-term outcome, Holmgren will be calling, texting and instant messaging his fellow NHL colleagues through the rapidly approaching early April trade deadline date.