As a die-hard Flyers fan, I can say with no sense of restraint that this team will win the next (several) Stanley Cup Championships. However, it is my duty to nitpick. Here are my trade deadline demands.*
1. Trade Andrew Alberts for a time machine. Go back 18 months. Do not acquire Danny Briere. He was amazing in the playoffs last year, but he's missed more time than Eric Lindros this year, and is tying up valuable cap space.
2. Go into the future. Draft this kid. Gravy.
3. If #1 fails, then just trade Andrew Alberts to anywhere. At all. On February 25, Alberts was injured by a slap shot. He returned minutes later, skated for 12 seconds, then immediately iced the puck. The man is a holding penalty on skates. No mas.
4. Get Antero Niittymaki some meds. When he is focused, he is nearly unbeatable. Issue: he is only focused, you know, on occasion. When playing well, he reminds me of Ron Hextall. When not, he reminds me of Roman Cechmanek. DO NOT WANT.
5. Do not trade for Jay Bouwmeeter. Ryan Parent, Braydon Coburn, Randy Jones, et al. are playing well. In case of injury, Luca Sbisa can be called up from juniors, and he might be the most naturally talented defenseman on the team. At age 19.
6. Sign Claude Giroux to a 20-year deal. Some long-term deals go well (Mike Richards), and some do not (Rick DiPietro). Take a gamble—this kid looks amazing.
7. If necessary, trade James vanRiemsdyk for goalie help. I like JVR, but the Flyers have hit the jackpot in recent drafts. The law of averages says they'll whiff eventually, and my money is on vanRiemsdyk being that miss. I could be wrong.
8. Sign John Stevens and Paul Holmgren to lifetime contracts. I'll take Paul Holmgren with Alzheimer's over a sentient Bobby Clarke any day.
Let it be done.