He must have really enjoyed that poem. Credit: Eric Hartline-US PRESSWIRE

BuzzBag Volume 3: French Grapefruits

Third time’s a charm, right? We’re back this week after taking last week off. My apologies for skipping, as most questions we’re about Shea Weber and Nashville cut those dreams short before I could even put my fingers to the keyboard. Besides, any questions involving Weber would have brought me to tears, and forced me to play George Michael’s “Do You Really Want To Hurt Me”.

Moving on…

@TrevSerenells: What the (expletive) happened to Shea Weber thought we were gonna get him?

Oh, c’mon! Woosah Jake, woosah.

But your question is valid for those who don’t understand what happens with Restricted Free Agents (which many don’t). When the Flyers agreed to a deal with Weber, the Nashville Predators had one week to match the offer because he was technically their property. If the Predators did not match the deal by the time the week was up, he would become a member of the Philadelphia Flyers. However, the Predators did match the deal before the week was up, and Weber signed the same deal (14 years, $110 million) with Nashville. According to NHL rules, Nashville cannot trade Weber this year, but don’t expect him to go anywhere. He is very contempt on retiring as a member of the Predators.

@JeffBaumann:Write a poem rhyming Giroux and pomplemousse (French for grapefruit).

If you guys haven’t noticed yet, Jeff is always the one supplying the questions that have the slightest relevance to Flyers hockey, but I happily oblige to answer. As there are no rules to this poem (other than rhyming Giroux and pompelmousse), I will be reciting whatever feels right. Groovy, dude.

What can one say about Claude Giroux?

His skillset is fantastic; there’s nothing he can’t do.

He’s got a knack for the net, his handles are steady,

Holy crap am I glad the Rangers drafted Bob Sanguinetti.

In Game 6 versus Pittsburgh, Claude took to the ice,

laid out Crosby, and we yelled “DAYUM that was nice.”

If I was starting a franchise and needed a top player,

I would take Claude Giroux, and the NHL wouldn’t have a prayer.

The future is bright for young Giroux,

and watching him will be as sweet as a fresh pomplemousse.

Thank you. *People in coffee shop snap fingers*

@MizzyMaaz: Do you think the Flyers get Bobby Ryan? and @ScottMulhern: Who do you think the Flyers will give up for Bobby Ryan?

Sorry, Mizzy, but the Magic 8 ball says “No chance”. Bobby Ryan is a fantastic young player with a very reasonable cap hit, making him enticing to any team in need of a top winger (which the Flyers are). Putting Bobby Ryan on the top line with Giroux and Scott Hartnell would be beneficial to all parties, and you could see 35 goals from both Ryan and G. However, to get him they would have to appease the Ducks GM Bob Murray’s asking price, which will probably turn the Flyers management off. It was reported in early July that the Ducks wanted both Brayden Schenn and Sean Couturier for Bobby Ryan. Ryan is a top notch player, but not even close to worth two budding stars ready to break out this season. Schenn only played in 54 games last year after suffering a broken foot and a concussion, but both him and second year player Sean Couturier are likely to score 20-25 goals this year. To give up 40-45 goals for one 30 point scorer would be silly, especially because Coots and Schenn won’t reach their full potential for quite a few years.

Many seem to feel that Ryan could be had for Matt Read, Andrej Meszaros and a 1st round pick, which would probably be their best offer, but that’s highly unlikely. There is no way Bob Murray would lower his asking price from two 20 year old studs to a player who’s most likely to go through a sophomore slump in Read, a decent D-man in Mesz, and a late first rounder. Furthermore, that create a massive hole at Defenseman, something the Flyers wouldn’t be able to conceivably fill until next summer. A team like the Buffalo Sabres would also have much more to part with than the Flyers would.

So sorry to disappoint, but we will not be seeing Ryan in orange and black anytime soon.

@ScottMulhern: Or Yandle?

Don’t mean to be blunt, but that’s more unlikely than Ryan. Phoenix is holding an unreasonably high asking price for Yandle, basically in an effort to tell teams “We’re not really listening to offers.” Plus, there’s not really anything special physically about Yandle; think of him as a bigger version of Matt Carle. Even at 6’2″ 200 lbs. the 26 year old only registered 51 hits last season, 17 less than in 2010. Yes, he Flyers are looking for big bodies, but not guys who cannot use them. He also happens to be a lefty, which the Flyers do not need. Yandle is a solid player, but is just not needed right now, especially because of what Phoenix is asking for him.

@DisplacedPhan: How much ass will the Flyers kick this upcoming season? a) 25% b) 50% c) 75% d) 100% e) all of the above

Well immediately we can rule out choice e, because there’s no way the Flyers are kicking 200% ass this year. That’d be an 82-0 record, a sweep through the Playoffs, and stealing everyone’s girlfriend, although Couturier could probably do that. Anyway, I’m gonna scribble in choice C on my Scantron. Philadelphia is a good team and they are sure as hell going to make a run for the Stanley Cup, but they are one or two pieces away from hoisting the Cup. Other than Giroux, the Flyers don’t really have any natural scorers. They were lucky to receive such great contributions from Scott Hartnell, Wayne Simmonds and more, but will they continue to put up big numbers again this year? My guess is no.

I think the 2014 season is where the Flyers Cup dreams are realized. With many top scorers becoming free agents in 2013 (Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, Jerome Iginla to name a few), the Flyers could definitely add some prowess to their offense.

Don’t get me wrong, this upcoming season is going to be exciting, but the Flyers aren’t there yet.

@GoingHard_inger: Who would you rather have the Flyers sign: Jason Arnott or Mike Knuble?

Neither. In the interest in saving whatever I can to make a big run next July, I invite both to training camp (a la Blair Betts) and let them duke it out. If I had to guess who would earn a roster spot, it would probably be Arnott. After playing only 11 games in 2010, he had a pretty good year in St. Louis, scoring 17 goals and 17 assists. He won’t be hitting 57 points like he did in 2008, but he’ll still contribute greatly on the Offensive end. As much as I’d love to see Knuble play with the Flyers again, I just don’t think he has enough left in the tank. To go from 24 goals to 6 goals in one year is a serious drop off. He has 3 years on Arnott, and I just don’t know if he can be productive for a full season and hopefully the playoffs. So give me Arnott or give me…nobody.

@AmeriKev: Do you think we will see Lavi get creative and put G at the point on the PP? See:Kovi

Interesting thought there, but I just don’t see that happening. If we’re putting Giroux on the point, that essentially means he’s running the Power Play. In that situation, he’ll be looking pass first, which isn’t something the Flyers would want him doing. The Flyers need him to go on a goal scoring tear this season, and by putting him at the point, Phialdelphia’s power play, as well as Giroux, will not be as effective. What we need to see from the Flyers power play is Giroux set up on the right wing waiting for feeds that he can one time in the back of the net. Versus Pittsburgh in the playoffs, Giroux set up shop there, and we know how that turned out. Creativity is always appreciated, and Philadelphia may need to get a little creative to make up some goals this year, but putting Giroux up top just doesn’t seem likely.

Thanks for reading. If you’d like to have your question featured in next week’s BuzzBag, make sure to follow me on Twitter @JakePavorsky.

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Tags: Bobby Ryan Brayden Schenn Claude Giroux Flyers Power Play Keith Yandle Sean Couturier

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