It's no secret the Philadelphia Flyers have been hit with the injury bug pretty hard.
With guys like Jagr, Pronger and JvR out of the lineup, rookies have had to step up and keep the team competitive. Luckily for the Flyers, they have stayed atop the standings, for the most part.
That being said, there's no question that the Flyers are beginning to get a bit worried about their position. According to Hockey Guys, the front office is becoming worried about captain Chris Pronger's durability, as he has been in and out of the lineup numerous times in the past few years.
While it's still a little early to hit the panic button, the Flyers have indeed started to think about a Plan B. Philadelphia has been in the rumor mill lately, looking for a defenseman.
In this slideshow, I'll list five defenseman that could potentially be suiting up in the orange and black very soon.
Hope you enjoy! Feedback always appreciated.
Bruno Gervais came to the Tampa Bay Lightning from the New York Islanders. Since he's been with Tampa, he's only played six games and racked up one goal and one assist. He was averaging anywhere between 17 and 19 minutes on the ice, but hasn't played much as of late.
Bruno could be the odd man out in Tampa, making him expendable. His cap hit is only $525,000 and he's scheduled to become an unrestricted free agent after the season ends.
The Flyers are tight for cap space, and Gervais wouldn't take up much. With Andreas Nodl now off the books, the Flyers could squeeze him under the cap without making any major moves.
Still, it remains to be seen whether Tampa even wants to let Bruno go in the first place or if the Flyers are even interested in his services.
The Flyers may target a bigger name defenseman, but they may not have much of a choice.
Hannan is a tough, physical defenseman—something the Flyers could certainly use. Some may even agree that he was built to be a Flyer. He may not be the next Niklas Lidstrom, but he plays a tough game and can also put up points.
In 23 games this season with the Flames, Hannan has already matched the production he had in Washington (1G, 4A in 55 games). Add him to the Flyers potent offense, and you can see why this guy would be a valuable commodity.
Scott is currently on a one-year deal with Calgary at a very affordable $1,000,000.
The Flyers could fit him under the cap without having to make many roster changes—if any—and he might just be the best guy out there for the price.
It remains to be seen if Calgary wants to trade Hannan, but I think he would fit in great with Philadelphia.
Tim Gleason has been with Carolina since the 2005-06 season, so it's tough to say whether or not the 'Canes would be willing to part with him. That being said, they may need to if they plan on keeping Tomas Kaberle around after this year.
Gleason, like Bruno Gervais, isn't exactly the biggest point collector in the game, but he is consistent and is good for 15-20 points every season. I have a feeling if he played in Philly, those numbers could easily double.
Tim's cap hit is $2,750,000, and he's slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. The cap hit is a bit hefty, but it's nothing Philadelphia couldn't pull off with a few minor roster moves.
Tim's name has been mentioned in recent rumors, as well as a teammate of his. Gleason would be a good fit for Philadelphia, but there's another defenseman that the 'Canes might be more willing to part with at this point.
Read the next slide to find out who I'm talking about.
Enter Bryan Allen.
On paper, there really isn't a huge difference between Bryan Allen and Tim Gleason. They both have about the same cap hit, and they're both good for around 20-plus points.
Bryan came to Carolina from the Florida Panthers last year, and hasn't really missed a beat.
Allen's cap hit is $2,900,000 and he's slated to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. Bryan could be on the block, with Kaberle set to hit free agency after this year and Carolina sure to sign him.
Bryan, like Gleason, would be a great fit with Philadelphia and could potentially put up even bigger numbers playing with guys like Timonen, Coburn or Pronger. Bryan Allen's name has come up in recent rumors as well, but it remains to be seen whether Carolina is willing to part ways with their defenseman.
In my opinion, Mark Giordano would be an awesome fit with Philadelphia. He's a physical player capable of putting up big numbers with just about any team.
Last year, Mark put up 43 points with the struggling Flames, and he shows no signs of stopping. His numbers this year aren't all that staggering, but he's still putting up points and doing his job well. Most likely, the Flames will hold on to Mark, but there has been speculation they are ready to make a "big move."
Giordano has been the name that continues to come up in rumors.
Mark has a cap hit of $4,020,000 and isn't slated to become a free agent until the 2016-17 season. Philadelphia would have to unload a big contract in order to fit Mark under the cap, which could be difficult. It's going to take a big name player to pry Giordano from Calgary, anyway.
The Flyers could trade Scott Hartnell, but he has a no trade clause, and I doubt he'd be willing to waive it to go to Calgary. Giordano is a bit of a long shot, but if the Flyers are serious about long-term solutions on the blue line, they should start with this guy.