Philadelphia Flyers Should Consider Trading for Brent Burns

Patrick PowellContributor IIJune 18, 2012

SAN JOSE, CA - APRIL 16: Brent Burns #88 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates after scoring a goal in the first period against the St Louis Blues in Game Three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2012 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at HP Pavilion on April 16, 2012 in San Jose, California.  (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)
Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images

Ok, you read the title, and you want to scream at me for idiocy for suggesting that the Flyers should acquire an "overrated" defenseman. I'm ready for it. Just hear me out though, folks.

Clearly, the Flyers' paramount need this offseason is a defenseman. Specifically, they need a righthanded defender who can log significant minutes and provide offense. Before you stone me because of Burns' $5.76 million cap hit, consider these factors:

1. Although the Nashville Predators have yet to make Shea Weber available, is there any doubt that the Flyers will make a pitch? Weber's current cap hit is $6 million. Is there any reason to believe he will accept less?

2. reports the Flyers have also been linked to have interest in Columbus Blue Jackets forward Rick Nash, whose cap hit is a gargantuan $7.8 million

3. After his Devils defeated the Flyers in the 2012 Eastern Conference Semifinals, Zach Parise explained that the Devils' task of eliminating the Flyers was ameliorated because the Flyers dressed all lefthanded defensemen.

Burns scored 11 times last season and 17 times in the 2010-2011 campaign. In addition to scoring, Burns does something consistently that Flyers' defensemen have struggled to do—get shots on goal. How many times as Flyers' announcer Jim Jackson said, " Back to the point, (player) shoots... blocked!?"

It is a broken record and an epidemic for the Flyers.

Burns put vulcanized rubber between the posts and under the crossbar a whopping 201 times last season while averaging just over 22 minutes of ice time per game. He has put at least 100 shots on goal over the last four seasons. At 6'5" 224 pounds, Burns can see over smaller defenders, and he can use his brawn to fend off defenders in order to get shots on net.

Furthermore, Rangers head coach John Tortorella would be proud of Burns' shot blocking abilities—117 last season and 106 the prior season. Burns has averaged over 22 minutes of ice time since the 2007-2008, so he is durable.

There are no rumors that the Flyers are interested in making a play for Burns, who has a modified no-trade clause. I am simply suggesting that given their deficiencies and needs, Brent Burns is a player who would fill them.

His cap hit is high, but if the Flyers are already making contingency plans for Rick Nash or for Shea Weber, then can certainly fit in Burn's contract... and have cap room for other parts.