“Little ringin’ on the telephone
Oh no, hear a ringin’ in my head now”
Anthrax — Got the Time (originally by Joe Jackson)
A rather random quote to start with, but this is the time of the year when GM’s are surgically attached to their smart phones as they attempt to wheel and deal. So far Paul Holmgren has been quite successful with deals so far, other teams draft picks to pick up two seasoned defensemen in Niklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina. While addressing blue line depth had to be this team’s number one priority, there are still line up issues that can be addressed before the trade deadline comes up in just a few more days.
The lack of playoff experience can be a cause for concern. As the team heads down the stretch with more than its fair share of rookies, one has to wonder when their luck will run out. Players like Brayden Schenn, Matt Read and Sean Couturier have been asked to play in all situations this year and for the most part have excelled, but the playoffs are a completely different animal. The idea of having a 19 year old being our 4th line center with no prior playoff experience seems troublesome to me. The Flyers can address by bringing in a relatively inexpensive veteran who is no stranger to defensive draws and has been in the playoffs before. In a perfect world, the Flyers would be able to bring back a player like R.J. Umberger, who can win draws and play hard, but his cap hit is 3.75 million now, and balloons up to 4.6 next season.
If the Flyers decide that the rookies will be alright, some scoring depth would be a welcomed addition. This isn’t to say the Flyers can’t score goals (although their play in Edmonton would suggest otherwise), but scoring becomes much more difficult in the playoffs. Another former Flyer by the name of Mike Knuble could help in that department. It’s obvious that his time in Washington is reaching an unceremonious end, and the hard nosed winger is the kind of player who knows that the dirty areas lead to goals. During his first go round in Philadelphia, Knuble was one of the best power forwards in the league, and arguably the best for the orange and black since John LeClair. However, given the Flyers extremely limited cap relief, someone would have to go the other way to get Knuble’s 2 million to be cap compliant.
With the trade deadline just under 48 hours away, the rest of the weekend and Monday could prove interesting. However, with the Flyers limited cap room and the relatively good shape of their roster, it might remain quiet on Broad Street. There are still the buzzings of JvR being traded, and that could land the Flyers a nice return, but right now his upside will have the Flyers front office asking for quite a bit in return. Whether or not a team will be willing to pay such a price remains to the be seen. Either way it should be a rumor filled couple of days. Be sure to keep checking back here for any news.