Will the Flyers Trade Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn for a Defenseman?

Will the Flyers Trade Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn for a Defenseman?

The NHL offseason sure is long when the Flyers don’t make the playoffs. It’s been more than seven weeks since the Orange & Black last skated, and we’ve still got roughly three to go until the draft or free agency arrives. Just imagine if there was no lockout and the regular season actually ended on time.

We’ll be taking closer looks at the Flyers’ options as those days approach, but according to at least one hockey insider, business might pick up sooner than that. TSN’s Bob McKenzie floated the idea on Sunday that general manager Paul Holmgren could be a busy man this summer as Pro Hockey Talk deftly summarized.

That the franchise will be looking to make some sort of splash during the offseason barely qualifies as news, as such is typically the case around here. Specifically McKenzie mentioned two potential moves to expect from Philly’s front office, one of which would be particularly bold – not like, say, buying out Ilya Bryzgalov’s contract as one of his suggestions entailed.

McKenzie is not alone in his thought process. The Bullies’ biggest problems for much of last season were on the back end, where the club was ravaged by injuries and hurt by suspect play by select veterans. Even with the emergence of a few quality young players – Luke Schenn, Erik Gustafsson, and Oliver Lauridsen – you would have a difficult time convincing another person this area is anything other than a glaring weakness. There really are only two questions left to ask.

First of all, is a true number one defenseman available? That is always the unknown as they can be among the most coveted players in the league, and not all of the names that have been tossed out there are definitively ones.

The big name at the moment is Phoenix’s Keith Yandle, who Holmgren reportedly tried to deal for last offseason up until the trade deadline. Broad Street Hockey takes a more in-depth look at the possibility of a Yandle deal, but a soon-to-be-27-year-old who’s been to two All-Star games and is signed through 2016 is going to be tough to pry away, even from (perhaps especially from) a franchise with ownership issues such as the Coyotes.

Which leads us right into question two: what would the Flyers have to package to land Yandle or another D-man of his caliber? Obviously the two biggest bargaining chips are Sean Couturier or Brayden Schenn, a pair of young talents who could develop into stars, and either is likely only going to start a conversation. What else will such a package entail?

It’s easier to judge the merits of any deal after it’s done, but hypothetically speaking would you be willing to give up Couturier or Schenn plus more for Keith Yandle or another top defenseman if you were the GM?

As I’ve written before, I am partial to riding out the current youth movement, thus giving guys like Lauridsen and Gustafsson opportunities to sink or swim, and L. Schenn a chance to be the workhorse, as long as it means holding on to talents like Couturier and B. Schenn. Then again, I can’t deny what a boost it would be for the Flyers to add a stabilizing piece to the defense, and Yandle's youth and contract situation make him an enticing add.

On the off chance Homer isn’t busy making moves this summer, he’ll be working plenty of hours merely weighing the seeming myriad of options in front of him.

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

Best of NBA: Nets end 11-game skid by routing Pelicans

NEW ORLEANS -- Brook Lopez and Bojan Bogdanovic scored 23 points apiece and the Brooklyn Nets ended an 11-game losing streak, routing the New Orleans Pelicans 143-114 on Friday night.

Caris Levert added 17 points on 6-of-6 shooting for the Nets, who had seven players in double figures while beating their season high for points by 16. Their 29-point victory was 11 more than their previous largest. They also set season highs for points in the second quarter (37) and points in any quarter with 43 in the third.

Anthony Davis led New Orleans with 22 points and nine rebounds despite leaving in the third quarter with a leg injury. The defeat was a huge comedown for him and the Pelicans a day after he was named a starter for the NBA All-Star Game in New Orleans (see full story).

Warriors top Rockets to win 6th straight
HOUSTON -- Kevin Durant scored 32 points and the Golden State Warriors used a big third quarter to build a huge lead and coast to their sixth straight victory, 125-108 over the Houston Rockets on Friday night.

In a matchup of two of the best teams in the Western Conference and All-Star starting guards Stephen Curry and James Harden, the Rockets fell short. Houston, which entered the game leading the NBA with 667 3-pointers, was just 7 of 35 behind the arc. Harden went 0 for 5 and Eric Gordon, who entered the game leading the NBA with 160 3s, missed all seven attempts.

Clint Capela had 22 points and Harden added 17 points with 11 assists for the Rockets, who are third in the West behind Golden State and San Antonio (see full story).

Kemba Walker scores 32 to lead Hornets past Raptors
CHARLOTTE, N.C. -- Kemba Walker scored 32 points on 11-of-16 shooting, and the Charlotte Hornets beat the Toronto Raptors 113-78 on Friday night.

Walker, who came in averaging 23 points and looking to earn his first All-Star selection, scored 16 points in the pivotal third quarter, including a four-point play as the Hornets outscored the Raptors 33-15 to build a 25-point lead.

Walker didn't play at all in the fourth quarter after the Hornets stretched their lead to 30. He finished with eight assists.

Frank Kaminsky had a solid night off the bench for the second straight game, scoring 16 points and grabbing eight rebounds.

Kyle Lowry had 24 points and DeMar DeRozan added 23 points for the Raptors, who have lost two straight (see full story). 

Magic pull away for convincing win over Milwaukee
ORLANDO, Fla. -- Elfrid Payton scored 20 points, Jeff Green added 18 points and seven rebounds off the bench, and the Orlando Magic snapped a three-game losing streak by beating the Milwaukee Bucks 112-96 on Friday night.

The Magic, returning home from a 1-5 road trip, played with a small lineup for much of the night and it provided the offense they needed with two of their top scorers out. Orlando had six players in double figures, including starters Aaron Gordon (17), Serge Ibaka (13) and Nikola Vucevic (13).

Orlando shot 46 percent from the field while limiting the Bucks to 41 percent.Jabari Parker led Milwaukee with 25 points and Giannis Antetokounmpo contributed 17 points and 14 rebounds as the Bucks dropped their fourth straight game (see full story). 

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

Social media reacts to Mo Williams' career as a Sixer

It has been a crazy week for former Sixer Mo Williams.
 
Williams retired after last season, but was kept on the Cleveland Cavilers' roster in case his salary would be needed as part of a trade, and he has now been moving all across the NBA.
 
Williams, and the $2.2 million in payroll, was involved in the trade with the Atlanta Hawks for Kyle Korver, then traded to Denver before being waived. The Sixers then joined in and picked up Williams and waived him after less than an hour as they re-signed Chasson Randle to a second 10-day contract (see story)
 
Throughout all of this, social media chimed in on the career Williams had as a Sixer.
 

In 2015, before ultimately choosing the Indianapolis Colts, Frank Gore appeared headed to Philadelphia, so, fans settled the debate over who had a better career in Philly with this poll.