Here the Flyers sit going into game number Forty-Two of the season on the road tonight against the Phoenix Coyotes. That will put them one game over the halfway point. They currently are 20-17-4 which is good for eighth in the conference. The fact that they are even in the playoff discussion right now should be an achievement on its own considering how they started off the first month of the season (3-8). To put that in a bit more perspective my math says that they have gone 17-9-4 since then. That is pretty good but not NHL elite numbers. So as we are here at the halfway point where do the Flyers really stand? Are they halfway to a second half surge? Are they on the brink of a late season collapses? Are they “buyers” near the trade deadline? Is it time to be “sellers” and go in a different direction? There is still a lot of hockey to be played, but with the way this season has gone for the Flyers we still have know idea which direction they will head and when they will do it.
*** What we do know is that Claude Giroux is on fire and that he and Steve Mason have been carrying the team for the most part. Jake Voracek and Wayne Simmonds have been chipping in on a regular basis as well lately. *** Vincent Lecavalier has come to Philadelphia as every bit as the player he was expected to be. If his health holds up; he will have been quite the steal for GM Paul Holmgren in the offseason. *** There have been a few rumors lately about the Flyers trying to move Scott Hartnell. I can sort of get where something like comes from, but Hartnell has a “No Movement Clause” in his current contract so a trade would have to go past him first. It would surprise me to see him dealt anywhere this year. Although, I wouldn’t be surprised to see the front office try. He is a trade chip that could bring back quite a return. *** If, and I mean IF, the Flyers were to pull off a trade involving Scott Hartnell it will be hard to see him go. He is one of my favorite players; not so much for what he is to this team but more as who he is as a person. I must qualify this as to say that I have never met the man but all indications from all over the NHL say he is one of the most humorous, outgoing, charitable, hard working, well liked and respected players in all of the NHL. The NHL would be a lot better off with whole bunch of more players just like him. While his skating leaves something to the imagination, which is not lost on him, his heart is not matched by many not only throughout the NHL but even on the Flyers. *** Looking into free agency next year there are almost no names that jump out as a major upgrade as far as defensemen goes. That is where I think some of these trade rumors come from. If the Flyers are to vastly improve their defense this year and into the next couple of years it is going to have to be via a trade, or pray that some of their prospects mature very fast. So unless there is a team out there that is going on a total salary dump; it is going to take talent to get talent. That’s why the names of players like Scott Hartnell, and Brayden Schenn pop up. *** As the days pass it seems more likely that if the Flyers were to make any move it will be closer to the March 5th trade deadline. This year could be one of the better deadlines because of the big increase in the salary cap next year and it will be one week after the Olympic break ends. Although like any Flyers fan knows that deals with this team can happen at pretty much any time though. *** Who do you see the Flyers moving and for whom??? You can leave your answer in the comment section or you can answer me directly( E-Mail: [email protected] or Twitter: @revphillyd )