When the Flyers take the ice in Boston tonight, it should be a pretty jarring sight. All of the team's major players will be present and accounted for, on the ice at the same time (figuratively) for the first time in recent memory. Simon Gagne and Danny Briere, who have spent barely any time on the active roster together in nearly two seasons, are both healthy and ready to go. Kimmo Timonen will be back from the flu after missing four games, and Claude Giroux has been recalled and will presumably be in the lineup in Boston. Nate Guenin and Jared Ross were returned to the Phantoms to make room.
This is your Flyers team... Will it be the same this time tomorrow?
We're about 26 hours from the NHL's trade deadline, and the Flyers have been rumored to be shipping current roster players, highly touted prospects, and assorted equipment all over North America for a top-2 defender, any number of goalies, and at least one age-d and expensive forward. We've refrained from reporting on the rumors so far, primarily because if any of the current crop are actually true, we'll be shocked (which isn't entirely unusual considering the Flyers' past history on trade deadline day).
That's not to say the Flyers won't make a deal or two—just that most of the rumors are probably made up just to stir interest and web traffic. Among the four major sports leagues, the NHL is by far the leader in phony trade information. The vast majority of "sources" seem to be imaginary (or else so utterly wrongly informed that you'd think they'd never be trusted by the writer again), and most "tips" are vapor within a few days. Of course, there are stories about potential deals that are real, but then the deals fall through. Can't blame the source for that, but I'd say those "valid" rumors are in the minority.
Half the deals we've heard about are just plain impossible within the Flyers' salary cap space, or our current favorite—involve trading players who signed no-movement clauses just last season. There are a few that might work if secondary and tertiary moves are also made, and we'll be sure to post anything we hear that sounds concrete. I'm not trying to say we're above posting rumors, just that we haven't heard any we think are actually true.
Like most other teams, the Flyers are actively evaluating a number of
trade possibilities. J-Bo? Sure. Guerin? Yes, they've probably spoken to
Garth Snow. But talking about available players doesn't put Paul
Holmgren in any exclusive class at this time of year. Every team is
doing it. However, it's been eerily quiet so far all over the league, with only a handful of minor deals to speak of. Two that are of interest are the Wild's extension of Niklas Backstrom (we'd love if the purpose were to make him more tradeable, but we're not holding our breath) and the Rangers' claiming of Sean Avery.
Sound like a boring summary of the trade deadline landscape? I agree. Absolutely boring so far, and it may stay that way. My bad for making you read all that.