After years of hanging onto every word from NHL trade rumor carnies like Eklund and Bruce Garrioch, I have become a bit of a trade rumor atheist.
Whether the rumors are coming from Eklund, Garrioch or more "reliable" sources, if one were to keep score of how many of these trade scenarios have actually come to pass over the last few years, the scoreboard would read something like:
Rumor Mongers: 2
Take the Philadelphia Flyers for instance.
With the exception of a Dan Hamuhuis offseason layover in Philadelphia (before eventually departing for Pittsburgh, then Vancouver), how many other rumored deals have come to fruition where the Flyers are concerned?
I mean really. Where were the purveyors of NHL trade rumor divination when Ville Leino arrived in Philadelphia for Ole-Kristian Tollefsen and a fifth-round pick?
Or how about Matt Walker for Simon Gagne?
Or Andrej Meszaros for a second-round pick?
It was Chris Pronger who arrived in Philadelphia for Joffrey Lupul, Luca Sbisa and two first-round selections, and not Jay Bouwmeester as feverish speculation would've had you believe two summers ago.
Many Flyers fans still have not recovered from a Paul Holmgren blindside that shipped Scottie Upshall and a second-round draft pick to the desert of Arizona for Dan Carcillo.
Matt Carle and a third-round draft pick to the Tampa Bay Lightning for Steve Eminger, Steve Downie and a fourth-round selection? Who saw that one coming?
Steve Eminger from Washington for a first-round pick (WTF)?
Vaclav Prospal for his tenth tour of duty in Philadelphia?
Andrew Alberts? Jaroslav Modry? Jason Smith and Joffrey Lupul?
Yes. The carnies got the Dan Hamhuis trade right. Hooray.
With the Predators desperately seeking to unload a pending unrestricted free agent like Hamhuis in the days leading up to the 2010 NHL Free Agency signing period, the Flyers managed to snag an impending UFA they had their sights on.
Considering the Flyers trading partner history with Nashville, as well as an established precedent for this sort of deal with the Predators (see the acquisitions of Kimmo Timonen and Scott Hartnell), of the rumors that have swirled around the Flyers in the past, this one was perhaps the easiest to sniff out. Congratulations.
So what's the point of this, um...lecture?
Simply this: the NHL silly season is fast approaching. Don't believe everything you read.
Especially from a couple of NHL "insiders."
When Bruce Garrioch's rumor about Montreal's interest in Nikolay Zherdev floats to the surface like a sad little solitary butt nugget, flush it down.
Because fact of the matter is, the trade acquisitions the Flyers usually make are the trade acquisitions you almost never expect.
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