San Jose Sharks could cash in on Flyers’ injury woes
A surplus of defenseman is the San Jose Sharks’ biggest asset right now. Numerous teams are looking to add on their blueline this offseason, but the injury problems suffered by the Philadelphia Flyers’ defense could be a perfect opportunity for the Sharks to snag a forward they need.If they want to make a trade to address areas of weakness–such as their bottom six forwards–then it’s a good probability that a defenseman will be headed out of town. Having said that, are there any potential matches that the Flyers might be willing to part ways with in a trade?
Philadelphia arguably got more out of their rookies last season than other team in the league. Those players appear to be untouchable, but the Flyers might be willing to part with other players because they’re confident in their own internal growth and the ability of their younger players to fill the voids. It would be a similar situation to last summer, when the club decided to let Jeff Carter and Mike Richards go in order to allow younger stars like Claude Giroux flourish.
If the Flyers do indeed want a defenseman from the Sharks, there are a few different players that could add experience and skill to a depleted Philadelphia blue line.
Douglas Murray provides a veteran presence and a physical edge. Here’s a defenseman who could be had for less than market price since he’s coming off a bad year and his contract is up at the end of the season.
Jason Demers is a solid puck-moving defenseman whose shown flashes of solid offensive contributions from the blueline. Under the tutelage of players like Kimmo Timmonen, Demers could thrive in a similar fashion to the way Matt Carle did in his tenure in Philly.
Lastly, Justin Braun appears to be a movable asset for the right price, though it seems unlikely considered he was just recently signed.
Of the three, however, Murray makes the most sense for multiple reasons.
The Flyers only need a stopgap to fill in while the injured blue liners recover and perhaps move down the depth chart once guys like Meszaros and Pronger (fingers crossed) are fully healthy. Murray would be a stop-gap rental and has the experience to play in most situations outside of the power play. He also brings a gritty, physical game that seemed to suit the Flyers style of play last season.
As far as what could be headed back to San Jose? The options on the roster are few and far between. Perhaps a mid-round draft pick or prospect to help fill out the minor league system. That, in turn, would allow the Sharks to gain enough cap room and acquire the forwards they need either through free agency (guys like Huselius, Rolston, or Brunnette).
Obviously the lockout situation has provided an impact on all the teams around the league and it seems as though trades of any sort regarding roster players will not occur until a new collective bargaining agreement is in place. Once it is, it’d be beneficial for the Sharks should throw a few proposals the Flyers way just to see who would be available.
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