It is no secret that the Philadelphia Flyers have not had an ideal off-season thus far. The orange and black watched first liner Jaromir Jagr head to Dallas, defenseman Matt Carle re-unite with the Lightning, and sent young winger James van Riemsdyk to Toronto in exchange for Luke Schenn. Jagr and JVR were two big bodies up front for the Flyers, and they must find someone to replace them.
So, who are some possible candidates?
The Flyers have been flirting with Rick Nash for months now. And he certainly doesn’t lack size. Nash stands at 6’4″, 219 pounds, and can certainly bang. Just imagine a first line of Giroux, Hartnell, and Nash. Now wake up. Columbus has a very high asking price for the right winger. Promising prospects Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier have been requested, but the Flyers have no interest in moving either. This makes landing Nash difficult.
How about Bobby Ryan? The Cherry Hill native stated that he would love to be traded to the Flyers. Ryan is a very skilled offensive player who would sure score a ton of goals along side Claude Giroux. Then again, who wouldn’t? However, Anaheim wants a second line center in return (Schenn or Couturier). The fact that both the Ducks and Jackets want one of the two make a blockbuster trade very unlikely. Only way I see it happening is if they lower the asking price.
Then there is Shane Doan, perhaps the most possible option. The veteran free agent originally set a July 9th deadline to get a new contract done with Phoenix. However, with no deal yet, Doan has given the Coyotes until July 16th . I would like Doan in the orange and black. We saw how Jagr produced at his age last season, Shane should have even more of an impact. Although it appears he would like to stay in the desert, Philadelphia should pursue him heavily. His physicality and gritty play are exactly what this team is about. The 35 year-old would replace Jagr as the veteran leader as well. After missing out on Zach Parise and Ryan Suter, the Flyers should keep their eye on Doan.
The Flyers did bring back Ruslan Fedotenko, but he certainly does not fill the holes offensively.
Clearly, the Flyers will score goals, having had one of the most high scoring offenses a season ago. But do not overlook the importance of losing JVR and Jagr. When on the ice, the two were offensive threats at any given time, as well as big guys that provided havoc for opposing goaltenders. While already having a relatively deep offense, I believe Paul Holmgren and company should still look to add some more scoring depth.
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