With Chris Pronger's status seeming to get worse by the day, the Philadelphia Flyers are left with a huge hole on their blue line and in the locker room.
Pronger has been out since Nov. 19 with a discrete illness, but now has been labeled as "out indefinitely" with concussion-like symptoms. It seems as though Pronger is still feeling the effects of the vicious stick to the face he took in late October that sidelined him for a few weeks.
The Flyers are currently playing with four solid defensemen, Kimmon Timonen, Braydon Coburn, Matt Carle and Andres Meszaros. Coburn has been banged up recently but looks like he won't be missing any more games.
The question mark comes when the Flyers have to throw out their third defensive pairing, who now consist of Marc-Andre Bourdon and Kevin Marshall. Now these two call-ups have done a decent job filling in, but if the Flyers want to stay atop the Eastern Conference, they may want to look into acquiring another veteran blue-liner.
Here are some names that are being tossed around in rumors and some others that the Flyers should consider trading for.
Now this may be a long-shot, but knowing that Shea Weber is a Nashville Predator, anything is possible.
Weber was tossed around in trade rumors the past few seasons, and here he is again as Nashville sits fourth in the tough Central Division.
Weber is only 26 years old and is someone you can build a team around. With Chris Pronger's health and status going forward up in the air, the Flyers may have to get another top level defenseman to anchor their team.
Getting Weber won't come cheap though. The Flyers would have to give up some picks and some pretty good NHL level players to get his services.
Can't have Weber? Why not try Ryan Suter, one of the best up-and-coming defensemen in the league.
Again, Suter is only 26 years old so if Nasville even considers trading him, it will come at a big cost for Paul Holmgren.
With Pronger out, the Flyers need another big defenseman who can control the boards and in front of the net. In Weber and Suter, the Flyers could get that.
Not to mention another point player on the power play.
Hockeybuzz.com is reporting that the Flyers have an interest in Dallas defenseman Nicklas Grossman.
Now this is a bit of a downgrade from Suter or Weber, but I do believe a guy like Grossman is just what the Flyers need.
Grossman, who only has two points this season, is a big physical presence that the Flyers are missing when Pronger is not on the ice.
Offense is not the concern here, as the Flyers have one of the best scoring offenses in the league. My concern is the back end by Bryzgalov.
An addition like Grossman would certainly help and make the Flyers' goalie a little bit more comfortable in the pipes.
Maybe this is just me going wanting to go back to the old days, but I've always like Joni Pitkanen.
The former Flyer was traded away years ago and has flourished as the Hurricane's top defenseman.
He may not be actively available, but who knows? Carolina is currently dead last in the Eastern Conference, and it may want to shake up its roster to get younger. The Canes have already dealt Tomas Kaberle, who signed a three-year deal just this summer.
More moves could be on the way if Carolina stays on its current course.
Whenever you're talking about trades with the Flyers, another team you have to keep in mind are the Columbus Blue Jackets.
The Blue Jackets' top blue liner, James Wisnewski, may be a potential candidate, as long as Columbus stays in the cellar of the Western Conference. Columbus has yet to recover from an 0-7-1 start, and a massive couple of moves might be in the works.
Again, Wisnewski is another young player who could be around for a long time.
It will all come down to how much the Flyers are willing to spend, because as they currently stand, they have four solid defensemen.