Philadelphia Flyers Need to Unload Andrej Meszaros

Ed Mulholland- USA TODAY Sports

Anyone who witnessed the calamity that was the Philadelphia Flyers 2012-2013 season should be able to agree on two obvious weaknesses; goaltending and defense. With the goaltending issue (hopefully) solved through the acquisition of Ray Emery and the extension given to Steve Mason, all eyes turned to defense.

The Flyers made genuine attempts to bolster their defense. They acquired veteran blueliner Mark Streit from the New York Islanderswhile picking up young prospects Samuel Morin and Robert Hagg during the 2013 NHL draft. Unfortunately, these youngsters aren’t projected to be NHL-ready for a number of years.

As the season approaches, salary cap remains an issue. When Chris Pronger inevitably goes on the long-term injured reserve list, the Flyers will gain a little less than $5 million in cap space. This will not take effect until the first day of the season.

Surely, the Flyers are trying to re-sign Simon Gagne, albeit at a discounted price. It can also be assumed that Paul Holmgren is always looking to make a deal, attempting to acquire more players before the season starts. To meet the aforementioned goals, the Flyers need to clear cap space. And Andrej Meszaros is the only justifiable solution.

The 27-year-old Slovakian defender is a force to be reckoned with on the blueline, with a powerful slapshot to match. If healthy, he’s the type of player the Flyers need to be successful.

Unfortunately, Meszaros is unlikely to be healthy throughout the upcoming season. During the 2011-2012 season, he suffered an Achilles injury as well as a shoulder injury. The shoulder injury proved to be reoccurring despite surgery, and he played in just 11 games during the 2012-2013 season.

Meszaros will take up $4 million in cap space during the coming season, a figure that the Flyers desperately need free. As said, he’s a skilled defender, and great when healthy. It’s unlikely he will be able to remain healthy, and that is a liability the Flyers cannot take.

Andrew Fitzgerald is a Philadelphia Flyers writer for Follow him on Twitter @awfitz. “Like” him on Facebook or add him to your network on Google.

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  • Ryan

    I mean, unless you know something I don’t(which is entirely possible), I just don’t understand where the lack in Mez’s health comes from? I mean the guy is just turning 28 which isn’t an age that you detoriate and can’t recover from a bad stretch of injuries, but again maybe you know somethign I don’t involving his shoulder in rehab and such??
    My take is that Mezaros has been a solid and consistent defender since he broke into the league at 18 for Ottawa. He dropped off the map for a minute in Tampa, but came back and had a really strong year in philly and was having an even better second year before he went down with the achilles tear. Before the achilles season, which he played in 62 games, but the 6 seasons prior, starting with 05-06, he played 82, 82, 82, 52, 81, 81 games.
    I’m not saying he will be healthy, and I like you really hope he is, but he’s not exactly an injury prone type guy. Bad injury with the achilles, and basically was just cleared by doctors to return from his achilles without any real pre season or ANY hockey played since he was injured 62 games into the season prior and was asked to start the season playing like he did before he was injured(which was one of our better all around defenseman).
    I think if Mez is healthy, and I truly think he will be(and maybe his shoulder was a blessing in disguise for further healing of his achilles), he may be our BEST defender this year.

    I think he’s got more offense to provide and can play a physical style of hockey in our own end. If things line up like I think they will to start…. having Timonen-Schenn stay together, put Streit with Grossmann or Coburn and start Mez on the 3rd pairing with probably coburn.
    No Stud… but 6 solid quality defensmen, all of whom are definite top 4 guys in the league, and most of whom have played top pairing minutes in the league before(Timonen, Streit, Coburn, Mez)
    I think Mez and coburn have much better “statistical” seasons playing less minutes and againts lesser competition to start the season…. but on the flip side guys like Timonen and Streit won’t have to log as many minutes because you can trust a healthy mez and coburn to take on more minutes in all kinds of situations because you have seen them do it before.
    Mez might be a bargain at 4 mil given this teams balance… plus other than throwing Gus or Lauridsen there, you don’t ahve a quality top 4 guy to play.
    Also… according to cap geek the flyers are jus over 2 mil on the cap as it is with 25 players on the roster… first of all guys like Jay Rosehill, maybe Laughton considering our depth at Center and at least one of our defensmen with not dress and count against the cap… basically bringing you even with the cap when you cut down.
    That doesn’t even count Prongers dismissal of 4.9ish once the 1st day of the season starts… if they wanted gagne and gagne wants to be here, I think a 1 year deal at 2ish mil would work out without having to really make any trades. If thats the case… call me biased but I think you really have a stanley cup capable team. 2 Great scoring lines and one of the best shut down 3rd lines in the league.
    Loving it… espcialy with gagneon that 3rd line