The Philadelphia Flyers don’t have a lot of defensive options during free agency, but they will need to pursue a blueliner sometime in the offseason. While speculation turns to thoughts of Keith Yandle (again) and Mark Streit, both of these players may be too big of a cap hit for the Flyers.
The Flyers are already over the cap room, so they have no choice but to either amnesty Ilya Bryzgalov and Danny Briere or make cap room through a trade. Since they are $3 million over the cap floor, they may have to do both.
Another option the Flyers have is to trade for restricted free agent Jake Muzzin of the Los Angeles Kings. Muzzin’s three-year contract with the Kings expires at the end of the season and he will become a restricted free agent with a qualifying offer at a minimum of $635, 250. His cap hit for the Kings this year has only been $577,500, and he also only played 45 games with the team this season.
Muzzin is not a top line defenseman, and his 23 turnovers will be a huge risk for the Flyers. However, he’s not afraid to get physical with his 70 hits and 29 blocked shots. He also knows when to shoot the puck even though it may not go in, as he logged 77 shots on goal this season.
So should the Flyers try to go after him? Yes.
Muzzin may not be a big name, but that explains why his price tag is not as large. He’s also a younger player that could add depth to the struggling Flyers defense. What’s the better option, throwing money at a slow, aging player like Streit or getting a decent deal out of a young defenseman like Muzzin?