With the trade deadline now just 24 hours away, the rumors are going to begin pouring in. Big market teams, like the Philadelphia Flyers, are always in the mix when star players are reportedly available. Today in the rumor mill, according to Dave Davis of Kuklas Korner, as originally reported by The Fourth Period, the Flyers have contacted the Buffalo Sabres and Phoenix Coyotes regarding Thomas Vanek and Keith Yandle.
The Fourth Period writes, “Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has kicked the tires on Anaheim Ducks sniper Bobby Ryan, Phoenix Coyotes defenseman Keith Yandle, Dallas Stars right wing Jaromir Jagr and Buffalo Sabres star Thomas Vanek.”
With Buffalo’s season going downhill, it comes as no surprise that Vanek’s name has popped up in the rumors. It also is not a surprise that the Flyers have kicked the tires regarding the super star Austrian. The Flyers are rumored to be looking for a top pairing defenseman and top line winger for now and in the future. Thomas Vanek fits that descriptionand would benefit Giroux in the long run.
Vanek has been the only bright spot in Buffalo this season. Through 29 games this year, he has attained 16 goals and 17 assists, for a total of 33 points. However, Vanek holds a pretty substantial cap hit, coming in at just over seven million per year for the next two years. The Flyers would be able to fit him into the Flyers cap situation by placing injured players, such as Braydon Coburn and Andrej Meszaros, on long term injury reserve this year.
The asking price for Vanek will undoubtedly be costly. Sean Couturier’s name has been mentioned in just about every trade rumor this year regarding the Flyers; there doesn’t seem to be a reason why that would change now. Due to Vanek’s age and production, he would most likely be the most expensive piece moved by any selling team at the deadline. With the Flyers having a slim chance of making the playoffs, does it make sense to pay that price? Vanek would improve the offense, but the cost of bringing him down would hurt the Flyers’ chances of replenishing the farm system now and in the future.
The price is probably too steep for the Flyers, who need to keep their high draft picks for the deep NHL draft coming in June. In my opinion, it would be smart for the Flyers to take into consideration all players, especially those who have term left on their contracts.
The next player in the rumor mill linked to the Flyers is Keith Yandle. From a personal standpoint, I believe Keith Yandle is a player whom the Flyers should have targeted from the beginning of the season. I feel he would be the perfect defenseman to quarterback the Flyers’ top power play unit and anchor the top pairing. This would also allow Kimmo Timonen to take on a lesser role as a top four defender, instead of being counted on night in and night out to be our number one defenseman.
Keith Yandle’s name has been linked to various trade rumors for over two years now. It has sprouted back up because of the recent signing of fellow defenseman Oliver Ekman-Larrson in Phoenix. Phoenix has been an internal budget team, and there has been speculation that they have spent up to or even exceeded that budget. Don Maloney, general manager of the Phoenix coyotes, stated he would be willing to listen to offers on any player not named Shane Doan.
— Sarah McLellan (@azc_mclellan) March 28, 2013
Yandle has played decently for the Coyotes this year. Offensively he is putting up the numbers we see just about every year from the top notch offensive defenseman. This year, Yandle has scored 5 goals along with 11 assists, totaling 16 points. Yandle’s most enticing attribute is his contract. At 26 years old, he is signed at an extremely reasonable 5.25 million per season, for the next three years. Just two years ago, Yandle put up 59 points while playing in a primarily defensive system run by Dave Tippett. He has the type of offensive production the Flyers’ blue line needs now, and for coming seasons.
Yet again, the first asking piece in any trade negotiations with the Coyotes would be Sean Couturier. According to Elliot Friedman, the Flyers are not willing to move Couturier unless they are getting a corner stone player in return. Keith Yandle would fit that description. Yandle might not be some fans’ first choice, but would be a substantial acquisition, who would quickly become the Flyers’ number one defender.
In spite of this, I believe that the Flyers should wait until offseason to make any significant trades for a top defender. With the league changing every day, there is no way of knowing what type of player will become available in offseason. There could potentially be young, top end talent available, and the Flyers might want to hold their cards until then. Making a move right now may be premature. It could possibly hurt the Flyers’ chances of landing another defenseman that theyvalue more.