Columbus Blue Jackets and Philadelphia Flyers Possible Trade Partners?

Patrick DrottarCorrespondent IJune 6, 2011

PHILADELPHIA - JANUARY 19: Rick Nash #61 of the Columbus Blue Jackets skates against Mike Richards #18 of the Philadelphia Flyers at the Wachovia Center on January 19, 2010 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

With the NHL Draft a little over two weeks away, there have been a lot of speculation as to what the Columbus Blue Jackets will do with the 8th overall pick.

General manager Scott Howson has stated that he is willing to trade the pick in order to bring in a veteran player that will make an immediate impact for a team that has only made the playoffs once in franchise history.

Now the only question is who would be on the other end of this blockbuster deal?

One team that the Blue Jackets could consider talking to is the Philadelphia Flyers.

The Flyers are in the market for a talented goaltender (as they seem to be every offseason) to take over the starting role while youngster Sergei Bobrovsky continues to develop his skills.

In order to do such a thing, the Flyers are going to have to clear out some cap space and may need to send some of their talented players elsewhere.

One name that has been mentioned for quite some time is Jeff Carter.

Now this does not mean that the Blue Jackets are looking at dealing for Carter, it just reassures how committed the Flyers are to finding a goaltender that is going to take them over the hump and bring the city of Philadelphia their first Stanley Cup since the 1974-1975 season.

It is well known that the Blue Jackets are in the market for an offensive-minded defenseman, as well as a center to handle the first line responsibilities along side Rick Nash.

The list of centers currently on the Flyers roster are players that the team either has no plans of parting ways with (Mike Richards, Daniel Briere, Claude Giroux) and players that are not an upgrade from current Columbus first line center Derick Brassard (Blair Betts and Darroll Powe).

The only other veteran center available on the roster is Carter and chances are the Flyers are going to be hearing better offers for the 26-year-old from other teams this offseason, one being the Toronto Maple Leafs.

So if the Flyers and Blue Jackets were to play "Let's Make a Deal," the player the Jackets may ask for in return could most likely be a defenseman.

The Flyers have two talented defenseman that will be free agents at the end of next year in Matt Carle and Braydon Coburn.

Both players are still young at 26 and have a lot of potential.

Coburn is known for his size (6'5" and 220 pounds), but can move well in both the offensive and defensive zones.

Carle, the smaller of the two at six foot, moves the puck very well during the forecheck, as shown by his career high 39 assists this past season.

If the Flyers are unwilling to part with either of these two, then a third option that Columbus could pursue is a player(s) from neither position, and go for one of their skilled wingers, in Kris Versteeg and Villie Leino.

Versteeg was traded to the Flyers by the Maple Leafs before the trade deadline and didn't quite make the impact the Flyers will hoping for. Leino will be a free agent come July.

Regardless of who the Blue Jackets would ask for in return, these two seem to be a perfect match when it comes to being trade partners. The Flyers need to increase their cap space, while the Jackets need help now.

If a deal between these two teams were to happen, this would not be the first time that they have helped each other out at the draft.

Three seasons ago, the Blue Jackets sent the Flyers their 19th overall pick and received RJ Umberger in return. Umberger has since become a popular player in Columbus and has become a leader on and off the ice.

The Flyers and Blue Jackets also talked somewhat during this season as Howson was looking to deal young goalie Steve Mason before the trade deadline. The Flyers were one of the teams interested in Mason, so it could be interesting whether or not he would play a part in a possible deal.

The Entry Draft can not come soon enough as Blue Jackets fans wait to see what the Jackets do to put a contender back on the ice.