Flyperbole: Rumor Ruminations on Andrej Meszaros, Dustin Byfuglien

Photo by Steve Jacot, Flyers Faithful

MEZ DISPENSER

CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty took a look at potential trade targets for the Bruins with Dennis Seidenberg out, and the Flyers’ own Andrej Meszaros came up. Per Haggerty:

Probability: this actually seems feasible if the price was a prospect and draft pick that weren’t top drawer from the Bruins.

This sounds like a perfect price for the Flyers, who have a bit of a logjam at defense and are most likely not going to bring Meszaros back next year. If this deal is possible, then the Flyers should highly consider it.

The main reason for hesitation on the Flyers’ part is a lack of confidence in filling that role in case of injuries/poor performance. A number of Flyers fans are pulling for Erik Gustafsson, who is the team’s best young option with some speed (something this defense sorely lacks). The 25-year-old defenseman has seven points in 20 games played (0.35 PPG), which is the third best PPG among Flyer defensemen behind Mark Streit (0.44) and Meszaros (0.43). However, Gustafsson has had his share of injuries, and I’m not sure that the Flyers want to have to call upon Hal Gill for more than the occasional fill-in.

As far as potential Phantoms fill-ins go, the top options would be Oliver Lauridsen, Brandon Manning, and Mark Alt. Lauridsen and Manning have looked good in previous stints with the big club, but I’m still not sure that the Flyers are ready to rely upon any of them for more than a few games.

Meszaros has been playing better as of late, and the Flyers are right in the middle of the playoff hunt. He’s confident with the puck and looks healthier than he has in years. The team has to decide if he’s solid and reliable enough for a playoff push, or whether they want to get whatever they can for him before he hits free agency.

Photo by Amy Irvin

BUFF OR BLUFF

Dustin Byfuglien seems to be in every other rumor column right now. The Winnipeg Jets’ (sometimes) defenseman is a constant point of discussion and controversy. He’s big, talented, and has a hell of a shot from the point. He also has a reputation for taking plays off, and it has rumored that he’s not always in the best of shape. Apparently, a lot of American GMs aren’t crazy about him either, after reading Scott Burnside and Kevin Allen’s tremendous pieces on the formation of the 2014 Sochi Olympics US Men’s Team.

The guy is a lightning rod, plain and simple. But, he’s still a talented hockey player. The Winnipeg Jets are a team in disarray. They recently fired coach Claude Noel. The team is in last place in the Central division. Articles like this have been written about him, with statements such as, “If GM Kevin Cheveldayoff isn’t trying to trade No. 33, he’s not trying to make the Jets better.” The writing is on the wall.

Eklund has been saying that the Flyers have interest in Byfuglien for a while now. He recently wrote the following on the matter:

A good source tells me the Flyers are looking hard to add a physical force to their blue line. someone who can help clear the porch for Mason. Currently that role is supposed to be played by Luke Schenn and Nicklas Grossmann, but the team is looking more for a “Luke Richardson” type. “A player other team’s forwards will fear.” I hear there has been some internal debate about Dustin Byfuglien, but I believe the Buff supporters are outweighing the naysayers.

Here is my usual disclaimer: I am fully aware of Eklund and his reputation. Considering the rumors around Byfuglien and what the Flyers need on defense, he seems right up their alley. The notion that they would be looking for another porch-clearing defenseman, or a Luke Richardson type, terrifies me. That is not what this team needs. This defense needs speed and puck movers (puck movers that can actually play defense).

Now Byfuglien isn’t the fleetest of foot, but he does have some good speed for a man of his size. As far as clearing the crease goes, that’s not exactly what he’s known for, despite his size. That’s not to say that he can’t or won’t do it, but it’s not his primary role. He’s more of an offensive defenseman. He’s currently second on the Jets in scoring, with 38 points in 49 games played.

He would be an interesting piece on the Flyers. Now, the important question: what would Big Buff cost? Our own Hal Greenblatt set the price at a top prospect, NHL ready player and high pick. Prospect-wise, I don’t think the Flyers have all that much to give, and might be very protective about what they have.

Everybody loves Scott Laughton. His name is whispered in awed silence at Canadian bars. Being named captain of a Canadian junior team is a pretty good sign of quality. He seems like the Flyeriest Flyer to ever Fly, so he’s most likely out of the question. The team is very high on Samuel Morin as well. Considering their organizational defensive depth, they probably want to hold onto what few chips they have. Still, one would have to think that Morin could be in play for a deal like this.

Pick-wise, the Flyers will most likely be picking mid-to-late range at this year’s draft (hopefully they’re dead last), so a first, while still valuable, isn’t going to lock a deal down. Still, a first- or a second-round pick might be necessary to get any deal done. As far as that NHL- ready player goes, it would be one of the younger guys. Couturier is close to untouchable. Brayden Schenn might be too much to ask for, seeing as he is 4th on the Flyers in scoring and a top-six forward on the team. Might this be the deal that finally sees Matt Read shipped out of town? He’s on a fairly team-friendly deal. He’s as versatile a player as there is in the NHL. GMs love him.

 

Would you trade Andrej Meszaros at this point? Is Byfuglien worth that cost? @FlyGoalScoredBy likes him, and that’s good enough for me. Let us know what you think in the comments below. Also, if there’s any rumors that you would like us to address in future editions of Flyperbole, hit us up on Twitter.

  • TonyZamboni

    Meszaros can go, no to Buff, Read should stay.

  • Brian Duffy

    Would rather keep mez. his value is rising (has to be) but hes worth more to you for playoff push. Especially if you believe this team needs another puck moving speedy dman (which i dont agree with). your trading away one if you give up on mez after he finally (!) appears healthy. no go on buff. if you wanna move assets like that might as well spend on a quality top pairing guy. not a question mark. but it would be a flyery thing to do.