The Philadelphia Flyers have been in the middle of blockbuster trade discussions since the NHL draft took place a few weeks ago. No big moves have been made, however, and GM Paul Holmgren should keep it that way.
The Flyers have been linked to Anaheim Ducks winger Bobby Ryan (ESPN) and also to Columbus Blue Jackets captain Rick Nash (The Faster Times). Both are extremely talented players, but neither should be playing for the orange and black this season.
Ryan is a native of Cherry Hill, New Jersey, so he would be a hometown kid that the fans would love. But the Ducks would most likely require either Brayden Schenn or Sean Couturier in a trade package, and that is where the disparity occurs.
Schenn and Couturier are 20 and 19 years old, respectively, and are arguably the teams' two biggest building blocks aside from Claude Giroux. Both are also centers like Giroux and could form the best 1-2-3 center combination in the NHL for years.
Nash is 28 years old, and his production has most likely peaked.
His point total has declined every season since 2008-2009, when he totaled 79 points. Columbus GM Scott Howson has also reportedly asked for Couturier or Schenn in return, which should absolutely not happen (CSN Philly).
Some have argued that the Flyers need to put an elite goal scorer next to Claude Giroux on the first line. While it would be a nice addition, it is not necessary to give away Schenn or Couturier.
Scott Hartnell scored 37 goals playing next to Giroux last season, which is six more than Ryan scored and seven more than Nash. There's no reason to think that Hartnell won't score that many goals again.
The Flyers have two good options to put on the other wing next to Giroux.
Jake Voracek is a skilled player who is only 22 years old and has not reached his potential yet. Voracek is a pass-first, creative winger who would allow Giroux to embrace a little more of a goal scoring role.
The second option is Matt Read. Last season, Read led all rookies with 24 goals. He is a right-handed shot and would benefit greatly from Giroux's playmaking ability. Read is exceptionally fast and would stretch the ice, allowing more space for Giroux to maneuver.
The Flyers have great pieces in place to compete for the Stanley Cup now and in the future. Schenn and Couturier are on their way to becoming stars in a couple years, and they need to be wearing orange and black when they reach their potential.