As the Flyers kick off the second half of the season tonight at the Wells Fargo Center, there are many questions surrounding this team. It is no secret that the Flyers are in the market for a defenseman with 27 days until the trade deadline. The names that have been thrown around a lot are Nashville defensemen (who just so happen to be playing the Flyers on Thursday) Ryan Suter and Shea Weber. Unfortunately, Suter is an unrestricted free agent this summer and will not sign a new contract before the end of the season. Without having the guaranteed contract beyond next year, a lot of teams decreased Suter’s value and yesterday Frank Seravalli of the Philadelphia Daily News tweeted that Suter was no longer on the market. Another name that has been mentioned is Carolina defenseman Tim Gleason. Gleason signed a four year extension yesterday so he appears to be out of the picture right now given the Flyers cap space. But what about the rest of them? Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer threw out a list of players that the Flyers could have interest in.
Shea Weber, Nashville (6’4’’, 230 lbs, 26 years old)- Weber would be the highest player on anyone’s wish list. He is a young, physical defenseman who can score. Weber fired a slapsot over All Star weekend at 106.0 mph. He has had scored 16 or more goals in four of his six seasons in the NHL. Through 46 games this year, Weber has 10 goals and 24 assists from the blue line. Weber can become a restricted free agent this summer and it would take a hefty package to land the young stud defenseman. Cap Hit: $7.5 million
Bryan Allen, Carolina (6’5’’, 226 lbs, 31 years old)- Allen is scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. He has a no-trade clause in his contract that would need to be waived before he could be traded. Allen is a former first round pick (4th overall in 1998) of the Vancouver Canucks and has registered 0 goals and seven assists in 51 games this season. Allen would provide decent size on the blue line for the Flyers. Cap Hit: $2.9 million
Hal Gill, Montreal (6’7’’, 244 lbs, 36 years old)- Gill would be the closest person to replace Chris Pronger’s size (Pronger is 6’6’’, 220 lbs). Gill has 1 goal and 6 points in 44 games this season but relies on his defensive and physical play as his major contributions to the team. Gill is the most physical option but he is aging quickly. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Cap Hit: $2.25 million
Mark Eaton, New York Islanders (6’1’’, 214 lbs, 31 years old)- Eaton first started his career with the Flyers during the 1999-00 season. The Wilmington, Delaware native has played with Nashville and Pittsburgh before ending up with the Islanders. In 33 games this year, Eaton has not scored but registered 2 assists. He would likely not cost the Flyers the caliber of player that they would need for someone like Weber. He will be an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Cap Hit: $2.5 million
Luke Schenn, Toronto (6’2’’, 229 lbs, 22 years old)- Schenn is by far the youngest player on this list and probably the most intriguing. Schenn was drafted 5th overall in 2008 and is the older brother of current Flyer, Brayden Schenn. In 48 games this year, Schenn has one goal and 12 assists. He is likely to command a package similar to Weber because he is still improving at 22 years old and he is under contract until 2015-16. He is big and young. Rumors swirled earlier this year about the Flyers talking about a James van Riemsdyk-for-Luke Schenn deal because both are promising 22 year old players. Cap Hit: $3.6 million
Quote of the Day:
"You don't get to the moon by climbing a tree."