Jeff Carter would be gone. That’s one of the only scenario that I could see happening. He is the only top forward on our team that holds interest from other NHL clubs that does not have a no-trade clause. Would you be willing to part with his goal scoring ability and defensive play? I’m not, and I don’t see Holmgren willing to either. However, since the Flyers are one of the teams heavily invested in talks with the Thrashers, this debate becomes a news story.
Even if we could get someone to waive their no-trade clause (Gagne or Briere) they would not be interested in moving to Atlanta, that’s for sure. Leave a Cup contending team with a loyal fan base to a building franchise like Atlanta? Gagne has been here his whole career, and shows no sign or want to leave Philly. Briere is getting paid out the ass right now and has yet to have as good of a season as his first one with the Flyers during their ECF run in the 07-08 season. Of course, he has been plagued with injuries but that doesn’t change the fact that he has not been producing as much as he did in Buffalo or when he first came here. Obviously, Richards will not be traded and would not be needed to waive his NTC as he is the face and captain of our franchise for the next decade. What are our other options?
A package deal might also be possible. Our draft picks and prospects pool are low at the moment, and the young talent that would be shipped off might be too costly and not worth it for a half-season rental without the ability to sign Kovie long-term. I do not want to part with Giroux or JVR. They’ve shown too much skill and potential in their young careers thus far, and they have much more to show us in the coming seasons. I am also not so sure that Kovalchuk would be comfortable playing for a team that has historically not brought in many Russian players and kept them. Maybe packaging Pyorala and Hartnell with some big incentive player/pick? Hartnell’s salary might be a hard thing to trade as he is set to make over $4 million a year until the end of the ’12-’13 season. I do not think they’d be willing to trade Boucher either, and I’m not sure Atlanta would be interested in him anyways.
The Flyers are obviously in the running for such a player, but the price tag and cap limitations make this deal more unlikely as the days pass. The Devils are also high in the running according to Eklund at HockeyBuzz. I’ve basically re-iterated much of what the Flyers Phaithful has been saying for the past few weeks. We are strapped cap-wise for the next couple seasons and need to make due with what he have. Richards was interviewed about it last week and mentioned that losing someone on your team to a big trade can have a negative effect on team chemistry, which I saw as a hint that he does not want to see Jeff Carter go anytime soon. The players aren’t stupid, and Carts and Richie have been teammates since their road to the NHL. I will be very surprised if we land this Russian sniper, and until he makes a move I do not know how I feel about him being in Flyers orange.
What do you think about the Kovalchuk debate? Does he bring enough to the table to risk prospects or some of our top players?