With word coming out Friday afternoon that the Philadelphia Flyers will be without Chris Pronger's services for some time, I begin to wonder what exactly the Flyers will do. Will they make a trade? Will they ride the season out with guys like Kevin Marshall or Marc Andre Bourdon?
If I were a betting man, I'd say that Philadelphia has just took a huge leap into the trade market.
The fact is, the Flyers are not sure when their captain will be back. He's experiencing "concussion-like symptoms," and I'm sure most Philly fans already know how that all works. Nothing is certain when dealing with a concussion, and guys can be out for a few weeks or a whole season. Take a look at Eric Lindros' career if you don't know what I'm talking about.
The Flyers know they need another defenseman. They've been in the market for one for a few weeks now, but there aren't many teams willing to part with one. As a matter of fact, there are several other teams in the market for a defenseman as well right now, which really makes things difficult. It also jacks the price up of any defenseman that may be available.
Chris Pronger is no longer reliable. Nobody knows when he will be back, and the Flyers certainly cannot go into the playoffs without replacing him. While it may not be possible to actually replace him, the Flyers can certainly do their best. That brings me to the point of this article.
For about the past year now, lots of Philly fans have been mentioning here and there that the Flyers should acquire Shea Weber from the Nashville Predators. While I'm not certain whether there were any actual talks, I wouldn't be surprised to hear that the Flyers have kicked the tires with Nashville at some point. After all, Nashville and Philly do have a bit of a trade history (see Hartnell and Timonen), so it isn't out of the realm of possibility.
Would you like to see Shea Weber in the Orange and Black?
Acquiring Weber would be tough for the Flyers to pull off, but they do have the pieces to do it. Assuming Weber is available, the Predators would likely ask for an arm and a leg, but it could really be worth it, especially in the long run. For those who haven't seen Weber play, he is a dominant stud defenseman who plays a gritty, hard-nosed game. He has a blistering shot from the point like Pronger, and could be just what the team needs.
Most people don't think that Weber would even be attainable, but actually it might be something the Predators would consider for the right price. After all, he is a restricted free agent at season's end. They could be looking to unload salary to add other pieces for their playoff run.
The tricky part would be figuring out how Philly would fit him under the salary cap. The Flyers are right against the cap, so they would have to unload a substantial amount of salary to fit Shea Weber's $7.5 million contract under the cap. The Flyers could, of course, renegotiate a new salary at season's end, but that's months from now.
It remains to be seen what the Flyers plans are, but don't be shocked if you hear about a trade in the coming weeks. Something tells me they'll make one before the Christmas deadline.
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