Here we are in December with little to do in this tough lockout time. What’s a blog to do? Well, it looks like a 12 Days of Christmas-themed series of posts is the way to go. But, we realize that all of you hockey fans aren’t into Christmas, so we’ve named it after the man nicknamed Orange Jesus and called it Claudemas.
On the fifth day of Claudemas, Flyers Faithful gave to me…five players that we’d love to see in Orange and Black.
Every year, due to the influence of Ed Snider and the hustling of Paul Holmgren, the Flyers are big players in the trade market. They’re involved in nearly every rumor. At this point we’ve probably envisioned half the league wearing that flying P on their chest. So that got us thinking, who are the top five players that we’d love to see plying their trade in our fair city?
Think of this as the official Flyers Faithful Christmas list. Please note that we’ve purposefully excluded players who used to be Flyers and are now elsewhere (because they have a greater chance of returning anyway).
Let’s get some new stuff, dang it!
5. Bobby Ryan
Did you know that Bobby Ryan is from Cherry Hill, NJ? Yes, we are all aware that Ryan is a local boy by this point, and it’s always cool to see a local play for the (relatively) hometown team. But even beyond that, Ryan is a pretty nifty goal scorer. He’s put up 30-plus scores in each of the past four seasons in Southern California. Wouldn’t he look pretty good on a line with Claude Giroux?
4. Duncan Keith
One of the best defensemen in the game today, Keith is a 29-year-old rearguard who doesn’t seem to have an off switch. He’s just the type of player that these current Flyers could use. Keith is a Norris Trophy winner (2010), and (grits teeth) Stanley Cup winner, and a tough son of a gun who once lost seven teeth in a game and came back to play.
3. Steven Stamkos
Stamkos is the most dynamic goal scorer in the game today, so it’s a no- brainer that we’d love to see him wearing out the red lights for the Flyers instead of against them. The guy — who was once pronounced as not ready for prime time by Barry Melrose — has posted 179 goals in just four seasons! He’s only 22! Stamkos is amazingly good. The only reason anybody even heeded the ridiculous rumors of the Flyers potentially giving him an offer sheet is because Stamkos is just that good. Frankly speaking, who wouldn’t want to cheer on this blonde Adonis on blades?
2. Henrik Lundqvist
I’m insanely jealous of our rivals in the Big Apple for one reason: Henrik Lundqvist. He seems to bring his A-plus game and shuts down the Flyers every time he plays them. He’s a durable, consistently awesome force in net. And look at that dashing smile! You can’t say no to that face, can you?
1. Shea Weber
Shea Weber might go down as the ultimate “one who got away” for the Flyers. We were on pins and needles when the Flyers signed him to a 14-year, $110 million offer sheet over the Summer…and severely disappointed when the Predators decided to potentially mortgage their future to match it.
Weber might be the best defenseman in the NHL. He crushes his opponents, has a missile for a slapshot, and is one of the most respected players in the game today. Shea Weber and the Flyers would go together like chocolate and peanut butter. That is, if a peanut butter cup could potentially win you a Stanley Cup.
There are a bunch of players we didn’t put on here. Ryan Callahan almost made the list, but there was no chance of us putting two Rangers on here. Teemu Selanne is a staff (well, let’s be honest, league-wide) favorite, but it would be too weird to see him in a uniform that wasn’t Anaheim or Winnipeg at this point. Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby? We’d sooner die than acknowledge how good they are!
Honestly, we could go on all day, but that would just be greedy. Maybe next year we’ll find a Weber in our oversized stocking?