Philadelphia Flyers: Rumors, Scares, and More

Chris DiFrancescoAnalyst IDecember 8, 2008

The one thing you can always count on in Philadelphia are the rumor mills.

Most of the time they are incorrect, but also fun to keep track of.

The Flyers obviously have some issues to tend to once defensemen Randy Jones returns to the lineup, possibly tomorrow against the Islanders.

Flyers GM Paul Holmgren has given nothing to us, not even a hint of what he is thinking. He knows he has some work ahead of him to try and rectify the cap issue with this team. Who is the person that is on their way out of town? Nobody knows yet, it might not be anybody.

Well I'm here to tell you a new "juicy" rumor floating around Flyers land. When word got out that Randy Jones could play tomorrow night, rumors swirled that Columbus head coach Ken Hitchcock wanted Jones to be a Blue Jacket.

The Flyers are right up against the salary cap, and obviously losing $2.75 million with another defenseman in Ryan Parent also ready to come back apparently gives this rumor opportunity to surface.

Even without Matt Carle, who has missed the last three games with back spasms, the Flyers are about to have a major jam at the defense position.

Now remember, the Flyers had to Matt Carle and Andrew Alberts due to the injuries to Parent and Jones, and kept Luca Sbisa on the team. Okay, I don't care what anybody tells me—I know that if Parent and Jones were 100-percent healthy from the start, Sbisa would be in juniors right now.

Now of course Paul Holmgren responded with a "no" referring to Hitchcock's interest in Randy Jones. We will see though, the season is still young with plenty more rumors to float around. Especially with the talks of Mats Sundin beginning to heat up, the Flyers will inquire about him but don't expect him to ink a contract in South Philly.

Now, on to a scare that happened last last week with Simon Gagne and his "dehydration" issue. I am the least bit convinced that the organization is not worried about this problem, which popped out of nowhere during the game against New Jersey.

Gagne missed most of last season with persistent concussion symptoms, any time Gagne decides to leave a game, alarms are going to go off. Concussions are not something anyone can say anything definitive about—especially when we are dealing with Simon Gagne.

Keith Primeau is living proof of what can go wrong with concussions. He still to this day experiences days when he wakes up and knows he has had multiple concussions. Concussions have a nasty way of sometimes never going away and the symptoms can come back without a player being hit. Gagne and the team emphatically told us that it had nothing to do with a concussion. Let's believe them, for now.

Other Notables

The Flyers are 9-1-3 in their last 13 games, and scored their league-leading 11th shorthanded goal in the 2-1 overtime win Saturday in Carolina. They have moved to within two points of Pittsburgh for second place in the Atlantic Division and six behind the first-place Rangers.

Still, they are having problems with turnovers and scoring even-strength. They have not scored a regulation, even-strength goal since Mike Richards' first-period goal in Toronto on Nov. 29, that's one in their last 10 goals.

Parts/Stats Credit: Ed Moran(daily news)