The Philadelphia Flyers have inched their way back into the playoff picture, and with that, the rumors have started. With 13 games left to play and the trade deadline less than 48 hours away the Flyers’ interest in players around the league has seemed to grow. Ryan Clowe, Jay Bouwmeester, Jaromir Jagr, and Jussi Jokinen have been linked to the Flyers in rumors today.
CONFIRMED: #Flyers are having exploratory talks for Jagr, Clowe and Bouwmeester.
— Sam Carchidi (@BroadStBull) April 1, 2013
The early major news today involved Ryan Clowe from the San Jose Sharks. Clowe was rumored to be very close to finding a new home, and Philadelphia was apparently the first option.
Although Clowe has yet to be traded, speculation is growing that the Flyers are pursuing him and other options in wake of the news that Max Talbot will miss the rest of the year with a broken leg. Losing Max Talbot creates a void in the Flyers top nine, and with them only two points out of the final playoff spot, it looks like they want to fill that spot with a veteran player.
Ryan Clowe’s price according to multiple twitter reports is steep. Sean Couturier’s name has been brought up, but it seems like that price would be too rich for the Flyers. Clowe, an impending unrestricted free agent (UFA), has a cap hit of 3.625 million dollars. He has struggled offensively this year and is still scoreless through 28 games and only registered nine points. Sean Couturier would be an extremely big price to pay for a rental who has struggled as much as Clowe has.
The Flyers recently had scouts attending games of the San Jose Sharks, and it has been rumored they were looking at multiple pieces. According to Tim Panaccio, San Jose would be willing to entertain a package of Brent Burns and Ryan Clowe to the Flyers.
source: though SJ would entertain a package deal of Clowe and Boyle, #Flyers dont think that is really feasible right now
— Tim Panaccio (@tpanotchCSN) April 1, 2013
According to the tweet though, the Flyers don’t seem to think this trade would be feasible. The idea of this trade makes sense, but the price for a struggling Flyers team doesn’t seem to fit into their plans. Brent Burns would provide an impact defenseman, but there are other options for that defenseman. Making a deal for Clowe would be a short-sighted move by the Flyers brass unless Clowe is being moved with a contract extension.
Ryan Clowe is also a redundant player for the Philadelphia Flyers. The Flyers already have two better players who play the same game that Clowe does. Scott Hartnell and Wayne Simmonds supply the same gritty, physical, game, but more offense. At the reported price, this just doesn’t seem like an intelligent move for the Flyers to make.
— Sarah Baicker (@sbaickerCSN) April 1, 2013
The Flyers have been linked to Jay Bouwmeester as well in today’s rumor mill. Bouwmeester would provide the Flyers with the top two defenseman they have been looking for since the Chris Pronger injury.
According to Sam Carchidi, the Flyers have had exploratory talks with the Calgary Flames about their towering 6’6 defender. Bouwmeester would presumably cost the Flyers a young top end talent along with draft picks. Bouwmeester is also signed next year at the rate of 6.68 million on the cap, and would supply the Flyers with more than one year of service.
The Flyers have long coveted Bouwmeester dating back to the 2009 NHL entry draft where Calgary acquired his rights from the Florida Panthers. He would provide the Flyers with a smooth skating offensive defenseman that plays top minutes which they sorely need.
I believe with the type of season the Flyers have had, they should explore this type of transaction in the summer. There is no guarantee the Flyers will make the playoffs despite their two game winning streak. Bringing in Jay Bouwmeester would prove the Flyers think they have a legitimate chance at the cup.
With all the injuries on the back end and some key injuries up front, the Flyers’ management should be patient. A team that is decimated with injuries the Flyers have rarely makes deep playoff runs. The trade for a top defenseman should wait until the offseason where the price to acquire one would be more palatable as well.
I won’t get into Jay Bouwmeester’s infamous playoff drought also. One player does not make a team, and Jay Bouwmeester throughout his career has been playing on struggling teams. If Bouwmeester is moved to a contender, he will have a positive impact, and will help that team if they make the playoffs.
Since Jamomir Jagr signed in Dallas, it has been rumored that if the Stars are out playoff position, the Flyers would be willing to reacquire him. With the current run the Flyer have made to get them back into playoff contention, it’s no coincidence Jagr’s name has come up in rumors. Jagr experienced a great year last year playing alongside of Claude Giroux and Scott Hartnell. He finished with 19 goals and a total of 54 points. Jagr is currently leading the Stars with 14 goals and 12 assists for 26 points. His offense would be a welcomed addition to the Flyers, although I don’t think they will acquire him.
With the play of Jakub Voracek besides Giroux, Jagr may play primarily on the second or third line. There were rumors last year Jagr wouldn’t be happy taking a lesser role with the team. Pair that with Voracek’s outstanding play this year, and acquiring Jagr doesn’t seem to fit in his or the Flyers plans.
Apparently Stars turned down 2 No. 2s from a team for Jagr & won’t deal unless blown away. Very unlikely he returns to #Flyers this year.
— Randy Miller (@RandyJMiller) April 1, 2013
According to Randy Miller, the Stars’ asking price is high. If the Stars turned down a pair of second round draft picks, it assures you they will not move Jagr without being blown away in a deal. The Stars have also been rumored to be trying to re-sign Jagr.
The Flyers shouldn’t move these assets for a UFA rental while being such a question mark to make the playoffs. It would hurt the team’s ability to restock the farm system that is starving for top-end talent. The Flyers should inquire about Jagr up until the deadline, but bringing him back at that price doesn’t fit well with what the Flyers should be attempting. If the asking price lowers for the veteran, I wouldn’t mind bringing him back into the mix, of course, only if we are still fighting for a playoff position.
— Josh Rimer (@JoshRimerHockey) April 1, 2013
The most logical option I believe the Flyers have is Jussi Jokinen from the Carolina Hurricanes. Although Jokinen has struggled in Carolina, he has been productive throughout his career. Jussi Jokinen wouldn’t be a rental of a player. He would provide the Flyers a third line winger for the remainder of this year and also next year at a reasonable price. Jokinen is signed at three million per year for the remainder of this and next. He would slot into the third line perfectly at that price.
Jokinen has struggled offensively with the Hurricanes this year, but has supplied good numbers in years prior. He had 52 points in 2011 and 46 last year. It seems like a change of scenery is needed for him to get his game back on track, and the Flyers run an offensive system that could provide that spark.
I believe Jokinen would be a cheap pick up as well, which is why I believe the Flyers should inquire about his availability. He was waived last week, but there were no takers due to his cap hit. If the Flyers’ can move some salary in order to fit Jokinen into their plans, or if Carolina was even willing to retain some salary in the trade, I believe he could be a good third liner for the injury-depleted Flyers a player who can be acquired for cheap and supply veteran experience to our top nine would be the ideal addition.
With the Flyers’ recent run of wins and horrible luck with injuries, it will be a fun two days leading up to the trade deadline. The recent leg injury to Max Talbot will provide Flyer fans with the rumors they are all looking for. I will not be surprised to hear the Flyers involved in all the big names leading up to the deadline. We just have to control our emotions because they are exactly what they are, rumors. I honestly believe the Flyers’ won’t make a desperation type move and will only make a hockey trade that helps now and in the future. This year’s team has been too inconsistent and injury riddled for the Flyers’ management to believe they can make a deep run.