Monday, February 28, 2011
Posted: 12 a.m.
By Tim Panaccio
Perhaps the most difficult aspect of being a general manager going into the trade deadline is realizing that a short memory works best.
Dont look at what happened in the last two weeks without weighing what has happened the past five months.
The Flyers have lost three times in the last five games. Even in victory, they havent played very well.
Yet that is precisely why GM Paul Holmgren shouldnt overreact Monday when the NHL trade deadline passes at 3 p.m.
The Flyers have about 1.9 million cap space.
Assessing everything up to now and filling in the blanks probably works best, which is why the Flyers will likely be looking for a depth forward with a cap hit of around 1.5 million or less.
Youve got to weigh everything into the equation, Holmgren said Sunday night. Weve had a tough schedule, eight games in 14 days. Some guys are battling bumps and bruises, some are battling illness.
Its hard to maintain the pace we had. You put everything into the hopper. I am not passing judgment on anything that happened here, lately. I know we can play better. The players know that and they are ultimately the ones who have to answer to each other.
So, forget Saturdays disturbing 4-1 loss in Ottawa in which the Flyers packed it in after one period. Take the overview of the entire season where the No. 1 team in the Eastern Conference needs to fine tune some things and find a power play solution before the playoffs begin.
Holmgren admits he wants one more forward.
Sources say, the Florida Panthers have floated 34-year-old Marty Reasoners name out to the Flyers. Hes unrestricted with a cap hit of 1.15 million. Though GM Dale Tallon says he wants to re-sign Reasoner, anything is possible here.
The Flyers are looking for a soft deal, nothing major, said one league source.
Holmgren wont comment on names, but admits, a soft deal is dead-on.
Were trying to add depth but not looking to do anything else, he said. We like the team. I dont like the way were playing, but I believe well come around.
Theres been a lot of speculation that the Flyers wanted to upgrade in goal. Although rookie Sergei Bobrovsky is showing some stress fractures with his puck-handling, overall, thats not why this team is struggling, lately.
Bottom line: the Flyers goaltending and the defense in front of it are strong enough to contend for the Stanley Cup as is.
The one name that keeps popping up is Floridas Tomas Vokoun. Remember, the Flyers could have had Vokoun last season at the deadline and didnt act.
Absolutely zero talks, Holmgren said of adding a goalie. Other teams have asked me if I had interest in one guy, but we have not gone further on that.
Flyers president Peter Luukko backed that up.
Im not concerned with the goaltending, Luukko said. Both of our goalies have had fantastic years. Rumors start and take a life of their own.
I know Paul is happy with the roster and Peter Laviolette is happy with players he is coaching. Sure, you look what presents itself, but there is no need to chase anything.
I have said all along, if we didnt do anything at the deadline, I felt wed be fine. Paul did a great job to pick up Kris Versteeg which is another nice piece for our team. Weve had a great year with our roster.
Paul is smart enough not to make a trade for the sake of making a trade. Hes a patient man. Im sure he will see what presents itself. But there is no pressure to see us do anything more.
Interestingly, when asked whether fans could expect a roster move sending someone to the Phantoms on Monday morning Holmgren drew a deep breath and paused.
Ahh, if I laid odds on it, Id say, slim, he answered.
Because Ian Laperriere remains on long-term injury, any player the Flyers acquire will result in a full cap hit an obvious detriment and a huge reason why Vokoun is simply out of the question with a cap hit of 5.7 million.
The biggest name on the market is Brad Richards. What will Dallas GM Joe Nieuwendyk do with center Brad Richards, who will be unrestricted this summer, and is sideline with a concussion?
Sources close to Richards say he wants to play for John Tortorella again. Richards won a Cup in Tampa under Tortorella. If any team has its sights set on him and vice-versa its the Rangers.
That said, the Toronto Maple Leafs would likely open the vault for him, as well.
E-mail Tim Panaccio at firstname.lastname@example.org
Related: Panaccio's Flyers Week in Review: Feb. 21-27 Buy Flyers gear