• December 9, 2022

Flyers Stand Pat as NHL Trade Deadline Passes

The NHL trade deadline concluded at 3 PM this afternoon. Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, fielding calls and inquiring about players from other teams, decided to stand pat and not make any additional trades beyond those made nearly two weeks ago for defensemen Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina.

The general consensus is that he made the right decision.

Dan Dreger of TSN reported this morning that the San Jose Sharks had contacted the Flyers about James van Riemsdyk. He suggested that they were offering goaltender Antti Niemi, whose 0.911 save percentage isn’t much better than Ilya Bryzgalov’s. Tim Panaccio of CSNPhilly later reported that the Flyers refused to consider any offer unless forward Logan Couture was included, to which the Sharks balked.

Later on in the afternoon, rumors circulated that the Flyers were inquiring about defensive forward Paul Gaustad from the Buffalo Sabres. Gaustad isn’t much of a goal scorer, but can kill penalties and has a good face-off record. I wasn’t as big a fan of Gaustad like many fans I spoke with earlier were, but in the end, the asking price was a first round draft pick that Holmgren refused to part with (for a change).

Gaustad (along with the Sabres’ fourth round pick) was eventually acquired by the Nashville Predators for their first round draft pick.

Nashville arguably made the biggest moves for the postseason, adding forward Andrei Kostitsyn from the Montreal Canadiens for a second round draft pick in addition to Gaustad and defenseman Hal Gill.  Although defenseman Ryan Suter could still become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, it’s believed that Predators general manager Dave Poile as well as the organization in general are trying to show both him and Shea Weber that they are dedicated to winning a Stanley Cup, and not just balancing a budget.

A number of teams stood pat along with the Flyers, including the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals. Many pundits seemed surprised that the Capitals made no trades whatsoever, as they have been a bubble team for quite some team and barely reflect the juggernaut they were just two seasons ago.

Finally, forward Rick Nash, subject of rampant trade rumors for weeks, will remain with the Columbus Blue Jackets for at least the remainder of the season. General manager Scott Howson refused to drop his asking price and neither the Sharks, Flyers, Toronto Maple Leafs or New York Rangers were willing to budge.

Perhaps the biggest surprise about the Nash situation is that Howson went on record after the deadline passed that Nash had, in fact, requested a trade weeks ago.  Basically, Howson is telling Blue Jackets fans that Nash wants out.

While that shouldn’t come as a “shock,” Howson is now effectively making himself to look like the victim in this entire mess. How Nash can continue to be the face of the franchise is beyond me; imagine if Holmgren said last year that Mike Richards had requested a trade? He would have been run out of this town faster than you could say “dry island.”

In the end, Holmgren added better-than-average defensemen without losing roster players. He didn’t make any outrageous trades or mortgage the immediate future, sending only four mid-round draft picks and retaining the ever valuable first round draft pick.

Tomorrow night’s game against the San Jose Sharks marks the 62nd game of the season, meaning the final quarter of the season is about to begin.

It is now up to coach Peter Laviolette and the team assembled to resolve internally the few items that have been weak points of late:

  • Find consistency with their goaltending, be it Bryzgalov or Sergei Bobrovsky
  • Improve the effectiveness of the penalty kill (now ranked 23rd in the NHL)
  • Determine the forward line combinations that best produce consistent offense

None of these tasks will be easy, but they will be necessary if the Flyers hope to have a long post-season now that the final roster is complete.

For the latest Flyers news and updates, you can follow me on twitter (@JoshJanet).

Josh Janet

Josh Janet was raised in Northern New Jersey, but by an odd set of circumstances, is a Philadelphia sports fan. While recently converted to the Phillies, Josh is a diehard Flyers fan and can be expected to stay on top of the latest NHL news.

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February 27, 2012 9:54 pm

Flyers traded awat 2 2nd Round Picks, 1 3rd Round Pick and 1 4th Round
Are 2nd and 3rd Round Selections considered mid-rounds Josh…
How many rounds does NHL have in it’s Draft…

February 28, 2012 12:22 am

You also have to keep in mind that Grossman will most likely be resigned to a decent contract. Matt Carle will walk during FA, unless he takes a discount(which I doubt). Kubina is a good vet that may resign on the cheap. 2nd round picks have a small percentage of actually being a star to even regular in NHL(40% or so). I like the moves they made and especially the ones they did not make. We still have our first. Which I think will be used before the draft to get a certain dman or maybe power forward. However, if Bryzgalov plays anything close to his PHO days, that would be the best TDL acquisition we could have hoped for.

February 28, 2012 2:13 am

I’m glad they didn’t trade for any more band-aids. They are not going to win a Stanley cup anyways, with Ray Charles & Stevie Wonder in net, so I’d rather they stay put & sign Shane Weber in the off-season, when they can get a better gauge on the salary cap, new CBA & the Pronger situation. Let’s pray that the new CBA includes a amnesty clause, so we can ship Bryz back to Siberia!

February 28, 2012 7:26 am

Thnx Josh
I throught they had 7-8 Rounds and would consider 2 2nd Rounds as High Picks
Many good NHL players are not selected in the 1st Round alone as in most Sports.. Who heads up the Scouting Dept for the Flyers which could be part of their problem.. I see other team hit on players on 45th/5th Round around the NHL but it rarely seems like the Flyers are able to…