NEW YORK -- On the eve of Sunday’s NHL draft at Prudential Center in Newark, N.J., the Flyers appear to be leaving no stones unturned in their efforts to live up to their reputation as a club that makes a splash at the league’s largest annual gathering.
Numerous sources say Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren has discussions with more than a half-dozen teams about various draft scenarios and player trades.
Finding another goalie remains Holmgren’s primary focus with several side issues.
“He’s made it known he’d like a goalie with no years or one-year left where they can get a read on that player before committing,” a source said.
Several sources say a deal for St. Louis’ Jaroslav Halak, as reported by CSNPhilly.com on Friday, would make sense for both clubs, but the Flyers feel Halak’s salary cap hit of $3.75 million is a bit high. A Blues-Kings source said Halak would be "a great goalie for the Flyers right now."
The Flyers could feel differently after the draft, if they return home empty-handed.
One source said today the Flyers had also talked to the Islanders about Evgeni Nabokov and that the Buffalo Sabres had asked Holmgren if there were interest in Ryan Miller, who has a year left on his deal with a very pricey $6.25 million cap hit, even if it’s just one season.
For weeks now, the Flyers have floated Braydon Coburn’s name out there to various clubs as trade bait.
TSN reported earlier the Flyers would like to strike a deal with Edmonton. However, an Oilers source said on Saturday the Flyers’ target here is not Edmonton’s No. 7 overall pick but rather both of the Oilers' second round picks - No. 37 and No. 56 (from Anaheim). The Oilers want to retain their first-round pick.
The Flyers pick 41st that round. They could conceivably have three picks in that round if a deal went down. NHL Central Scouting says this draft is very deep through the second round which makes it more likely some club could strike it rich if it had multiple picks.
The Bruins realize he’s headed for free agency. Horton is going to generate a huge amount of interest and plays a physical brand of hockey which would be perfect for the Flyers.
Alas, Horton will command at least $6 million a year and he wants nothing less than a five-year deal.
Given the Flyers just bought out Danny Briere, who’s cap hit was $6.5 million, Horton would not be a prudent financial investment for the Flyers unless the club could lose more salary.
Sometime next season, Penguins general manager Ray Shero may have to trade his most mobile defenseman, who rejected an eight-year, $56 million contract extension earlier this week.
But not just yet. Shero said on Saturday he was still hoping to get something done and time is an ally here.
“Kris seems happy in Pittsburgh and says he wants to stay here, so we’ll work at it,” Shero said.
“He’s worth waiting on in terms of making the right decisions and have all the information. There’s a time to make a deal.
“To sign a player, there’s also time you realize that you can’t. That’s not apparent to me right now.”
It goes without saying, Shero would never trade a franchise defenseman within the division to a rival such as the Flyers.