The Flyers are going to do something big, that’s an obvious fact. In an effort to revive this energy deficient team there will probably be someone leaving us in favor of new faces. Everyone assumed that the big change would be firing coach Peter Laviolette, but after reassurances that neither Laviolette nor Holmgren’s jobs were at stake it’s obvious that someone is going to be traded.
Laviolette’s way of punishing poor energy was demoting players to lower lines. Like we saw a week ago, forward and 1st liner Scott Hartnell was demoted from his usual starting position after a streak of one goal and zero assists in eight games . If the coach’s answer to an issue is demotion then the GM will obviously be looking to get rid of players who haven’t been living up to potential. We’ve all seen the effect of Holmgren’s trade decisions before so we can only speculate at what he’s planning for this struggling team, which is exactly what we’re going to do.
There are plenty of possibilities most of which surrounded by rumors, as to who could be getting traded. Based on Holmgren’s record and our recognized weak defense we would be justified in assuming that the Flyers will be going after more forward players and possibly be looking to give away the little defensive talent we have in order to get it. This is of course just an educated guess at best and I must admit that the recent rumors don’t seem to be saying anything about getting rid of our current defense, but they also don’t say anything about adding any defense. So here are the most prominent trade rumors in no particular order.
- Danny Briere: There were plenty of rumors surrounding Briere recently. It’s been whispered, or maybe frantically yelled, that multiple teams had their eyes on Briere. Any rumors of him being traded away were shot down almost immediately with reminders that Briere has a “No Trade Clause” in his contract. In order for Danny to be traded he would have to waive his NTC, which he has been vocal against insisting his desire to stay in Philadelphia. This led to speculation that the organization would pressure him into waiving the NTC possibly by restricting his play time. None of that panned out and Monday a new deterrent arose when it was announced that Briere will be out indefinitely with a concussion he suffered during practice. The most recent buzz is that the Flyers are looking to trade Briere to the Canadiens for a draft pick, if the conditions are met. A move that would surely outrage fans.
- Max Talbot: Most suspicion around Talbot has been because of his struggling season. Like Briere there were multiple teams rumored to be looking to acquire Talbot the most prominent being the Edmonton Oilers and with his current slump it doesn’t seem very unlikely that he’s in danger. Even more worrying is the fact that Talbot doesn’t have the protection of an NTC like Briere.
- Sean Couturier: The young forward has had a slow, almost non-existent season making him ripe for trade rumors. There are two very real speculations as to Couturier’s future. The first being an offseason trade to the Anaheim Ducks for winger Bobby Ryan. This is mainly speculation seeing as the Ducks aren’t sure they even want to move Ryan at this point. The second rumor comes from Flyers talks with Calgary Flames about Jay Bouwmeester. It’s been guessed at that the Flyers may use Couturier as a bargaining chip to get Bouwmeester. Bouwmeester would be a defensive gain and likely replacement for Chris Pronger, but would giving away a young player with as much potential as Coots be a smart move? The Philadelphia Inquirer’s Sam Carchidi tweeted about the Flyers lack of interest in Bouwmeester however saying “As of now, #Flyers do NOT plan to make a pitch for D-men Jay Bouwmeester or Dan Boyle, I’m told.”
- Matt Read: If the Flyers are still in the bid to acquire either Bouwmeester or forward Jerome Iginla they will likely use Read as a bargaining chip. Flames assistant GM John Weisbrod has been looking at Read for years so he would be obvious trade bait. If Read isn’t signed to an extension he will become an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season.