With news coming out during last night's Flyers game that captain Chris Pronger will be shut down for the season with post-concussion syndrome, Philadelphia's focus will now be to acquire a defenseman to replace him for the rest of the year.
It's going to be pretty tough to replace a guy like Pronger; he's one of the best. However, the Flyers don't have much of a choice at this point. They have been heavily relying on their better defensemen to log more minutes and their rookies to step up.
So far, they've been doing great, but it won't last forever.
The Flyers have won seven straight games now, and it looks like they haven't really felt the loss of Pronger just yet, but good things can only last so long. The bottom line is, they cannot afford to go into the playoffs with the team they have now. Especially with superstar Claude Giroux out as well.
It might be a little premature to expect the Flyers to pull the trigger before the December 19 Christmas trade deadline, but I fully expect them to make something happen before the deadline in February. It would be very foolish for Paul Holmgren and company to stand pat.
I've been writing about potential replacements for Pronger for about two weeks now. I've thrown a few names out there like Shea Weber and Niklas Grossman, or even Ryan Suter. So far I haven't been able to get any confirmation on specific guys, but I do know that Holmgren has been working the phones, that's for sure.
I fully expect Holmgren and Snider to do the right thing here and bring in another quality defenseman.
The price will surely be through the roof, but it's a necessity at this point for the Flyers. You don't exactly go out and trade guys like Jeff Carter and Mike Richards in the offseason just for fun. They want to win now, that's always been Philadelphia's M.O.
It's a real shame something like this has got to happen to the Flyers right now. Their season is just kicking into high gear, and this is when many teams start to make tweaks to their roster in hopes of a playoff push.
Unfortunately, the Flyers may have to tear up their roster a bit if they plan on bringing in another stud defenseman.
It remains to be seen whether Philadelphia will target a higher-end defenseman or a depth guy, but one thing is certain. The Philadelphia Flyers will be shoppers in the coming weeks, and I'd expect a trade sooner rather than later.
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