At deadline, Flyers looking more toward future

At deadline, Flyers looking more toward future

April 2, 2013, 9:00 pm
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Ryane Clowe wasn’t going to solve the Flyers' short-term issues of goal scoring.

He would have been more of a long-term solution to adding size and grit to the top line in hopes of creating space for Claude Giroux.

But that doesn’t matter now.

Clowe waived his no-trade clause to go the New York Rangers on Tuesday night (see story).

According to CSNBayArea.com, the Rangers forked over second- and third-round picks in this summer’s draft, as well as a conditional second-round pick in 2014, depending upon how many playoff rounds the Rangers advance.

“There will be opportunities [Wednesday] or in the offseason,” Flyers president Peter Luukko said on Tuesday night.

“You don’t want to mortgage your future. It’s an abbreviated season.”

Part of the reason the Flyers were part of the Clowe negotiations was to protect themselves against the Rangers. The 30-year-old winger will be unrestricted this summer.

Even though he didn’t have a goal in 28 games this season (11 assists), league sources say Clowe wants a minimum of four years and upwards of $4.5 million to re-sign.

The Flyers were in the mix long-term while the Rangers, Montreal, Boston and Minnesota were seeking him as a rental player.

Once Boston traded for Jaromir Jagr on Tuesday, the Bruins dropped out of the Clowe sweepstakes.

The Flyers go into Wednesday’s trade deadline looking more toward the future -- not the here and now -- though they would prefer a player to help them in both ways.

Luukko reiterated on Tuesday night what club chairman Ed Snider said over the weekend: The team needs to address its most pressing need now through the summer on the defensive front.

Andrej Meszaros’ future is somewhat in doubt after a third serious left shoulder injury. Braydon Coburn has a separated left shoulder. Nick Grossmann has an undisclosed upper body injury.

As such, the Flyers defense is decimated through the end of this season.

The pieces the Flyers got to replace Matt Carle last summer have not panned out.

Luke Schenn, acquired in the James van Riemsdyk trade last June, has shown himself capable of hitting and blocking shots but has failed to have any impact in defending against the rush, which has been a persistent problem for the Flyers all season.

Bruno Gervais was a seventh defenseman forced to play up. Kurtis Foster was a power play specialist who couldn’t defend well and was waived on Tuesday.

These are issues that almost never can be solved with one trade at the deadline. They often require an entire offseason to resolve.