After the veteran teams looking to make one last cup run, there is a group of teams who could be beginning their reign. A few of these teams are even in the same division as the Flyers. Trading him to a team you have to face often may not be the most idea, but these teams have something Philadelphia could be looking for.
This group is looked at as the upstarts, teams like Carolina, the Rangers, and Avalanche. These teams look to be in a situation where they will be very good for a very long time. These teams still have a nice assortment of young players that are close to NHL ready.
This could be a good thing, as the depth of the prospect pool would allow the Flyers to pick the player they think fits best. But this could also be a bad thing as it would force the Flyers to make a judgement call. This type of scenario has bitten them before.
The Avs are knocking on the door to Stanley Cup glory. Adding Giroux would give them even more forward depth and he immediately becomes their go to face off man. This deal makes sense for the Avs on paper, with Giroux coming on as a 3C or winger who takes faceoffs, but I do not get the impression that patient Joe Sakic is all that interested in Giroux.
The Avs are young enough and deep enough to make this kind of strong, stacking the team move, but it cuts against the grain of the methodical Sakic. On the other hand Sakic is also a master of controlling information, and could the relative silence be reason to be suspicious? Time will tell.
Flyers Target Prospect: RHD Justin Barron
Justin Barron will provide a right handed defenseman that the team lacks. He is not elite on offense or defense but is more than passable on both ends. He could certainly play on the bottom six and could be a viable partner for Provorov as he looks to regain his elite status.
Barron would be a solid, and inexpensive, presence on the right side that the team will need now and in the future.
New York Rangers
The thought of Giroux in a Rangers’ jersey does not sit well with me. I actually think I would rather Giroux win a cup with the hated Pens with Crosby, who has been a worthy adversary for the last 15 plus years. At least there is some poetry in that…but the Rangers? *BARF*. Sadly, the deal makes a lot of sense for the Rangers.
They are loaded on the backend and have good top six, but don’t really scream cup contender. Who scores if Kreider goes cold? Adding Giroux would take minutes from Strome, Rooney and Chytil, and that could make all the difference. Giroux to Panarin already sounds scary.
Flyers Target Prospect: Braden Schneider RHD
Schneider looks to be a solid pro prospect who is a rangy defender and wins the puck battles at both ends of the ice. While not overly creative offensively, he is able to move the puck adequately and make accurate passes when leaving the zone. He looks to be NHL ready and would give the Flyers an immediate bottom six RHD with upside. The Rangers have other attractive prospects, but the Flyers will go nowhere until they can get Provorov squared away with a decent partner and Schneider looks like he was made for the role.
I want to raid the Canes prospect cookie jar so badly I can taste it. The team has drafted so well over the years that it would be hard for the Flyers to mess up choosing a prospect. Unfortunately, I do not think that the Canes and Giroux are a good match. The Canes do not have much in the way of weaknesses, and are loaded down the middle.
The way the team is constructed, I am not sure Giroux would play on the top two lines. He is not a good fit, style wise, for the Canes’ bottom six. If Couturier was healthy, and had not been signed into the next decade, he would have been the perfect piece for this team. Big, strong and great defensively, Couts would have allowed the scorers to rest while he negated their opponent’s top threat.
Flyers Target Prospect: Scott Morrow RHD
The Canes have an embarrassment of riches, so much so I would consider changing the deal to a single draft pick and two of their prospects. The place to start is with Scott Morrow, who is a RHD and playing for UMass this season. He has a good offensive foundation, especially in transition, and tools that could translate into a career as a high-end offensive defensemen.
For this to happen, he would need better recognition and decision making to realize all that talent. Defensively, Morrow reads the game well and uses good lateral quickness to ambush the puck carrier in transition. He is willing to fight for the puck and in the corners, but there is mild concern he will not be as effective when playing against stronger players that he can’t over power. Even so he projects, at worst, as a second pair defender.