As the league goes crazy with major trades, the Philadelphia Flyers are not players in the game. This feels weird
I find it near impossible to imagine Bobby Clarke or Paul Holmgren presiding as general manager of the Philadelphia Flyers and not getting in on this action. The league about lost it’s mind today, making blockbuster trades.
First, Taylor Hall was traded to New Jersey. I say traded to New Jersey, because it’s not clear the Edmonton Oilers paid enough attention to the trade return for one of the best left wings in the league. (They got Adam Larsson in return, for those keeping score at home.)
As many fans reacted to what appears to be the most lopsided trade in memory, less than a hour passed before another shocker went down. The Canadiens traded PK Subban to Nashville for Shea Weber. This also feels awfully lopsided, as Weber has a pretty bad contract (offered by some crazy team, obviously), and many would say has started to noticeably decline in his play
I bet there are a lot of fans in Nashville and Jersey feeling like they just won the lottery. For fans of the 26 teams not involve in these trades, they just shake their head and wonder why their GM couldn’t have grabbed these premium talents for such questionable returns.
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This was the type of opportunity Clarke and Holmgren ALWAYS got in on. They might not always have been good ideas, but if a star player on the market, they were calling.
Hextall has a much more deliberate approach. This change in tack is probably necessary, partially because he’s still digging out from Holmgren’s mistakes. I am on board with this new world, but it does take some of the fun out of being a Philadelphia Flyers fan.
The Flyers may not have won a Stanley Cup in 40 years, but they were always a fun team to cheer for. They were always competitive, and always in the thick of juicy rumors. If you really consider sports to be “entertainment” in any normal sense of the word, it was hard to beat.
Truthfully, Hextall was not well positioned to make a trade for Subban or Hall today. The Oilers apparently were willing to vastly overpay for a good, promising, even if unspectacular right-handed defenseman, but the Flyers don’t have anyone who meets that description.
Regarding Subban, Weber represents the old-school versus new-school dichotomy. Old school guys see a physically fearsome cornerstone defender. New school guys see declining mobility and possession numbers. Even presuming the Canadiens traded Subban by being stuck in the past, the Flyers again couldn’t offer anyone that type of old school cache.
So no, Clarke or Holmgren couldn’t have brought Subban or Hall to Philadelphia today. They probably would’ve found some way to enter the conversation, however, and the Philadelphia Flyers would probably be rumored to be players in free agency for someone far more exciting than Matt Martin.
It’s a new era for the Flyers, and while I think it’s for the better, it might be a little less fun.