Flyers Trade Rumors Tracker: Reports & Speculation Ahead of NHL Trade Deadline

Jason SapunkaCorrespondent IIFebruary 21, 2012

Flyers Trade Rumors Tracker: Reports & Speculation Ahead of NHL Trade Deadline

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    A number of NHL players have been linked to the Philadelphia Flyers recently—Rick Nash, Dustin Brown, Paul Gaustad and Luke Schenn to name a few.

    Earlier in the season, it was thought the team might get Tim Gleason or Hal Gill.

    Before Nashville solidified themselves as a playoff team, Shea Weber and Ryan Suter were expected to be on the market and potentially going to the Flyers.

    Keeping up to date with potential moves can otherwise be a hassle, but here are the latest trade rumors regarding Broad Street's favorite team.

    Be sure to click through all the rumors and check back here for updates.

Will Flyers Get Luke Schenn?

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    WHY?

    A very popular trade rumor connected the Flyers to the brother of rookie Brayden Schenn.

    Without Chris Pronger in the lineup, Philadelphia showed the need for a quality shut-down defenseman. Toronto extended the contract of John-Michael Liles, making it appear that Luke Schenn could be available.

    THE TRADE

    James van Riemsdyk was the imagined exchange piece for Schenn.

    With the trades for defensemen Niklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina, the Flyers are overloaded on the back end.

    With Grossman, Kubina, Kimmo Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Andrej Meszaros, Matt Carle and Andreas Lilja the Flyers don't need another defenseman, especially with Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson ready in the AHL.

    It is unlikely the Flyers will add another defenseman at this point.

Will Flyers Add a Goalie?

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    WHY?

    Ilya Bryzgalov was meant to be the savoir of Flyers' goaltending after more than a decade of frivolity in net for Philadelphia.

    Unfortunately, the humongous big pressure of playing in a real hockey market has gotten to the 31-year-old. Either that, or Bryzgalov is just having the most disappointing season of his career at the worst possible time.

    The Flyers do not have stability in net at this point. Neither Bryzgalov or backup Sergei Bobrovsky are consistently reliable.

    Also, in case of injury, the Flyers do not have a go-to third string goalie. If AHL starter Michael Leighton is to be called up, he must clear waivers first. There is a good chance someone could take the experienced netminder as a backup.

    Leighton has performed under a variety of circumstances for many different teams, and has faced the pressure of a Stanley Cup Finals series. That alone is enough of a reason for a team to pick him up on waivers.

     

    THE TRADE

    The New York Islanders currently have three goalies at the NHL level: Rick DiPietro, Al Montoya and Evgeni Nabokov.

    The team is sure to miss the playoffs, it is unlikely they will re-sign Nabokov, an upcoming free agent. The team would do well to trade him for appropriate draft picks.

    However, according to Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer, Paul Holmgren "has no plans of going after a veteran goalie or recalling Leighton."

     

    UPDATES

    Monday 2/21

    Bob McKenzie of TSN is reporting that the Islanders are in ongoing contract talks with Nabokov, but "resolution is not imminent." 

    If New York re-signs Nabokov, it is unlikely he'll be traded. 

     

    Wednesday 2/22 1:00 PM ET

    From Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com: "It sounds more and more like Toronto and Philly are looking at getting a third goalie while maybe moving 1."

    Nothing too specific from Eklund (essentially, the king of NHL speculation), but the idea is still being discussed that Philadelphia wants another goalie.

     

    Wednesday 2/22 4:00 PM ET

    Sam Carchidi of Philadelphia Inquirer replies "No" when asked if there is any truth to the Flyers being close to getting Nabokov. 

    The question was, however, if the Flyers were close. 

     

    Thursday 2/23 2:30 PM ET

    Darren Dreger of TSN says Islanders will continue to work on contract with Nabokov today. 

    Bob McKenzie of TSN reports that Chicago's top AHL goalie Carter Hutton is on waivers.

    Hutton is Rockford's top goalie, with .902 save percentage and 2.93 goals-against average this year. Comparably, Michael Leighton has .908 save percentage and 2.84 goals-against average with Flyers' AHL Phantoms.

    Hutton made NHL debut with Philadelphia as emergency call-up in 2009-10 season, and played four games with Phantoms that season on tryout contract.

    With a $600k cap hit, the 27-year-old Hutton could be low-risk option as third string goalie if Flyers wish to have that option instead of attempting to call up Leighton, who would have to clear waivers and carries a $1.55 million cap hit. Flyers only have $1.07 million in cap space according to CapGeek.com.

     

    Friday 2/24 2:30 PM ET

    Bob McKenzie of TSN reports than Chicago goalie Carter Hutton cleared waivers.

Will Flyers Get Rick Nash?

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    WHY?

    Rick Nash is the biggest name available this trade deadline. According to a report from NHL.com, the Flyers are discussing a trade for Rick Nash with the Columbus Blue Jackets.

    Goalies are involved in the potential deal, which both teams need.

     

    THE TRADE

    Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com claims that the deal could also involve Steve Mason and Ilya Bryzgalov, saying "both goalies Mason and Bryzgalov are looking utterly lost."

    As wild as it may seem, Flyers radio color commentator Chris Therien says, "I have to believe the Nash talk is for real. GM was in the house today."

    Eklund says it could be Bryzgalov plus James van Riemsdyk and Braydon Coburn, or Bryzgalov plus van Riemsdyk and a first round pick.

    Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia thinks the asking price could be Sean Couturier and Brayden Schenn, two former top-10 overall draft picks. Or the deal could be based around van Riemsdyk and Sergei Bobrovsky.

    Sam Carchidi of the Philadelphia Inquirer said "A league source with knowledge of the Flyers trade talks says there is little chance they acquire Nash. They are comfortable with their club."

    It's hard to believe there has not been discussions though, especially if the Columbus GM was in Philadelphia.

     

    To recap potential trades:

    CBJ gets: Ilya Bryzgalov, James van Riemsdyk, Braydon Coburn (or first round pick instead of Coburn)

    PHI gets: Rick Nash, Steve Mason


    CBJ gets: Sean Couturier, Brayden Schenn

    PHI gets: Rick Nash

     

    CBJ gets: James van Riemsdyk, Sergei Bobrovsky, (plus first round pick and probably more)

    PHI gets: Rick Nash, Steve Mason 

     

    UPDATES

    Monday 2/21

    TSN's Darren Dreger is reporting that the Flyers are "out on Nash at the current asking price." 

     

    Thursday 2/23 5:50 PM ET

    TSN's Bob McKenzie is reporting that Columbus and Los Angeles are working on a trade including Jeff Carter and possibly Jack Johnson.

    If Carter is gone, maybe Columbus keeps Nash?

     

    Thursday 2/23 9:00 PM ET

    Carter to L.A. for Johnson is done. Dreger reports Flyers are still interested in Nash though.

Will Flyers Get Paul Gaustad?

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    WHY?

    Impending free agent Paul Gaustad is a lower-line defensive forward for the Buffalo Sabres, who are sure to miss the playoffs.

    Gaustad leads all Sabres forwards with 2:53 of shorthanded ice time per game. Additionally, he can be a physical force at 6'5", 223 pounds.

    He isn't the greatest fighter for his size, but is definitely willing, averaging six fights per NHL season so far. He can provide toughness without sacrificing talent, something a player like Jody Shelley is incapable of.

    As of right now, he would likely replace rookie Eric Wellwood in the lineup.

    The Flyers' penalty-killing forwards are Max Talbot, Claude Giroux, Sean Couturier and Matt Read. If Couturier was moved in a Rick Nash deal, the likelihood of Gaustad coming in would probably increase.

    (For an in-depth look, check out B/R Featured Columnist Joe Russomanno's article on the possibility of Gaustad coming to Philadelphia).

     

    THE TRADE

    The asking price for Gaustad shouldn't be too high, but there are definitely other teams who could be interested in his service.

    This will, of course, drive the price up. Expect a trade similar to what the Flyers did for Pavel Kubina: draft picks plus AHL throw-in player (Flyers are at contract limit of 50).

Will Flyers Get Dustin Brown?

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    WHY?

    TSN's Bob McKenzie reports that Dustin Brown is available and the Flyers are interested. 

     

    THE TRADE

    TSN's Darren Dreger says the asking price could be a young defenseman and a secondary scorer.

    The Flyers do not have any particularly excellent young defensemen, but rookies Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson can play for the third line at the NHL level.

    As far as the scorer goes, it could be James van Riemsdyk, who the Flyers considered dealing to the Kings for Jack Johnson before picking up Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina.

Are Any Flyers on the Trade Market?

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    MATT CARLE

    With the Flyers' acquisitions of Nicklas Grossman and Pavel Kubina, the team has a surplus of defensemen.

    Rookies Marc-Andre Bourdon and Erik Gustafsson were sent down to the AHL to make room for the players, even though both are probably better players than Andreas Lilja.

    Both Grossman and Kubina are free agents this summer, as is Matt Carle.

    The Flyers need the size of Grossman and Kubina, and both will probably be easy to re-sign; Grossman makes just $1.75 million this season. Though Kubina makes $3.5 million, he is 34 years old and should not cost that much.

    Carle, however, is a top-four defenseman making $3.8 million at age 27. He will surely be able to draw a lot of interest this summer as a free agent. He could be on the move if the Flyers feel they will be unable to keep him in the long-term.

    He would likely only go as part of a major deal.

     

    JAMES VAN RIEMSDYK

    The player rumored to be in connection with the Luke Schenn trade may still be a coveted trade asset.

    Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com claims the Nashville Predators are interested, saying "the Preds and Poile are trying. They love JVR."

    Colorado is also interested in van Riemsdyk, according to Tim Panaccio of CSN Philadelphia. He says,"Two sources say flyers are NOT entertaining advances from COL on JVR ... but advances have been made."

     

    UPDATES

    Wednesday 2/22 11:30 PM ET

    Panaccio reiterates, "These latest JVR rumors to Colo are just that. Rumors."

    Doesn't look like van Riemsdyk will be going anywhere, especially with strong play since returning from his concussion. He's showing Flyers when he should stay.

     

    Thursday 2/23 2:30 PM ET

    Eklund of HockeyBuzz.com claims that Los Angeles has interest in JVR.

    Defenseman Jack Johnson could draw interest from Flyers, who have three defensemen set to be free agents this summer. The young Johnson is signed through 2018.

     

    Thursday 2/23 8:30 PM ET

    Pierre LeBrun says the Dallas Stars have interest in JVR, and that the Flyers are interested in Steve Ott.

     

    Friday 2/24 2:30 PM ET

    Pierre Lebrun confirms that the Flyers and Kings had talks regarding a JVR for Jack Johnson deal, but now Johnson is traded to Columbus for Jeff Carter.

     

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    B/R Featured Columnist Jason Sapunka is available on Twitter.