NHL Trade Deadline: 5 Deals the Philadelphia Flyers Must Consider
Trades to Consider For the Philadelphia Flyers
With the Philadelphia Flyers' win Saturday, their fourth straight, they now hold the all-important third position in the Metropolitan Division. Consistent play has hurt the team so far this season and it is likely that general manager Paul Holmgren’s job is dependent on how well the Flyers finish this season. There is no denying that the team has some blemishes and could use a facelift in some areas.
No surprise that no major trades went down prior to the Olympic roster freeze. Teams in search of a big name would have no reason to go after available players such as Ryan Miller or Thomas Vanek because there is no guarantee they won’t get hurt playing in the Olympics. Why pay for something you may never get to use? This could help the Flyers as Holmgren will have a few weeks to reassess his team and make a few inquiries with opposing general managers.
The Metropolitan Division battle for the second and third position will be the most intense playoff race in the NHL as the season comes to a close. The New York Rangers (67 points), Flyers (66 points), Columbus Blue Jackets (63 points), Washington Capitals (63 points), Carolina Hurricanes (61 points) and New Jersey Devils (61 points) are all within six points of each other.
The Flyers will need to be at their best during each of the 23 remaining regular season games as they will play 15 games against teams who currently hold a playoff position and 10 games against Metropolitan Division foes. Lucky for them, 14 of their 23 games are at home and they are 14-3-1 over their last 18 home games.
Owner Ed Snyder brought in ex-Flyer goaltender Ron Hextall as assistant general manager last offseason and many people feel he is next in line to become the general manager. After the Flyers fired their head coach three games into the season, it looked like Holmgren would be next to go. The Flyers played better and his job is safe for now, but you have to wonder how much longer they will keep him.
Hextall played an intricate part of creating the Los Angeles Kings 2011 Stanley Cup winning team as he served in their front office for seven years. If Holmgren is on the hot seat and Hextall is next in line, how much will Holmgren be allowed to do? Does he need Snyder and Hextall’s permission?
The bottom line: Whoever is making the decisions will need to make a few moves in order for this team to be a serious championship contender this season.
5. Trade Andrej Meszaros
The Flyers could use a strong performance from Andrej Meszaros at the Olympic Games. Meszaros has played well of late but still struggles to find consistent time in the lineup because of his defensive zone problems. He has played great offensively; over his last 16 games he has scored three goals and 10 assists.
Other than his defensive issues, his large contract is also a problem. Although the Flyers cannot expect much in return they need to move him so they can free up $4 million of cap space. This will allow them to make other moves and rentals they will otherwise not be able to make.
4. Trade for Trevor Daley
Two Dallas Stars’ scouts attended the Flyers game yesterday and it has been rumored that the Flyers have interest in Stars defenseman Trevor Daley.
Daley is a solid defensive defenseman who has a $3.3 million cap hit through the 2016-17 season. Although this may not be the sexiest name out there, he is still a solid player and could help the Flyers on the blue line.
The Flyers absolutely need to sure things up defensively and Daley would be a solid player to help fill the void. With this likely being Kimmo Timonen’s last season, adding a veteran defender isn’t the worst thing in the world. He shouldn’t be too expensive so Holmgren should consider making a move for Daley, especially if they can move Meszaros.
3. Trade Brayden Schenn
Brayden Schenn has played well this year but has been very streaky. He scores in bunches and then disappears, before catching fire again. The Flyers need consistent play right now and they can’t afford to see him go through one of his slumps. He is a restricted free agent at the end of this season and his potential may raise the interest of a few teams.
The Flyers also have their fair share of centers and it would be wise for them to move one now. Schenn seems to be the odd man out. They signed Vincent Lecavalier this past offseason and he has really struggled as of late. If they move Schenn they would be able to put Lecavalier back at his natural center position where he could settle back in and take off.
Sean Couturier is one of the best defensive and penalty killing centers in the NHL and his offensive ability is slowly starting to come around. Flyers prospect Scott Laughton has 29 goals and 38 assists in 41 games in the OHL this season and it looks like he will be one of the Flyers next season. Then there is Claude Giroux, no need to explain why he’s not going anywhere.
Schenn may be young and still have the potential to break out, but the Flyers are pretty well set at the center position without him. They need to consider moving him, possibly as a part of a package, to get a wing or a solid defenseman, two areas the team needs to improve in order to have a chance to make a run for the Cup.
2. Trade for Jaromir Jagr
That’s right, the ageless Jaromir Jagr. The Flyers could use some help stabilizing their offensive attack and their highly unpredictable power play. Jagr continues to produce and is one of top players who could become available. He is inexpensive and a rental to make a playoff run.
It may be difficult for the Flyers to trade for him because he is on division rival Devils, but if they stumble out of the Olympic break, you may see the Devils shop Jagr to insure they get something in return.
1. Trade for Thomas Vanek
Since Thomas Vanek turned down the Islanders' large deal last week, he has been the buzz of NHL trade rumors. It sounds like he would like to go to the Minnesota Wild in free agency but that does not mean he won’t get traded somewhere else in the meantime.
The Flyers would love to put a sniper alongside Giroux and Vanek is just that. Vanek is putting up some very impressive numbers playing with superstar Jonathan Tavares; he’s scored 15 goals and 25 assists in 45 games with the Islanders this season. Adding Vanek to the top line with Giroux and Jake Voracek or Scott Hartnell would make it one of the most dangerous in the NHL.
Vanek is the hottest offensive free agent available; the Islanders will be looking for good value in return. He will likely just be a loan but it might be worth a shot and could make the Flyers' offense very dangerous. If, and only if, the Flyers can find the right deal without giving up too much, they should peruse Vanek. Who knows? Maybe he’d like playing with Giroux and the Flyers so much he would stick around?