Much has been made of the recent struggles of this ’13 Flyers team. As of this writing, they currently sit in 12th place, with a modest 27 points, in a tough Eastern conference. To me, the most telling statistic is their abysmal road record, which stands at 4-12. What’s wrong with this team? Predicted by many to at least compete for a top 5 seed in the East this year, the Flyers stumbled out of the gate and have failed to right the ship. There have been many factors which have led to this disappointing season. No Chris Pronger, mediocre defense in his absence, and a seeming inability to start playing until the 2nd period of games. Is it time to fire Peter Laviolette? Lavy is a terrific coach who has a Stanley Cup winning pedigree, but it seems to many that his system may have run its course.
To me, firing Lavy is not the solution. While I agree his system and constant need to take a timeout to fire his team up to play midway through the first period has gotten old, it’s time for Homer to sell, sell, sell! The obvious choice is Danny Briere. With a $6.5 million cap hit and no movement clause (NMC), it will be very difficult to move Danny. Numerous teams have been linked to Briere. The Blues and Bruins have expressed the most interest, yet it is unknown whether Briere would actually waive the NMC to go to either of these destinations. On the flip side, the Flyers wouldn’t expect much back for the 35-year old, declining 1-way player. Numerous other players on the current roster could be traded. Ruslan Fedotenko is another name that we could see move prior to the deadline. Again, the Flyers would receive at BEST a late-round pick or diminishing prospect.
That being said, it’s critical to deal Briere and get something, anything, back for him. It’s clear that Danny B has no interest in even attempting to play defense anymore (Editor’s note: Did he ever?), and it’s painful to watch. C’mon Homer, time to go with the youth movement and ride it out with the kids. It’s going to be a fun couple of weeks leading up to the trade deadline as players come and go. Who do you think gets traded? Who stays?
Follow me on Twitter @zackculbertson