What do we do at the deadline?
What do I think? If it aint broke, don't fix it. Were the top dogs in the league with the most goals, and 9th in GA. There isn't much to improve. Not saying we cant improve, it will just be very hard for us. If someone says, take OV for Hartnell, Shelley and Zherdev, we'd be silly not to consider (just a random good player for 3 random guys with big cap hits). But I'm going to explain why there is only one move we could make, and why that is not a bad thing.
Goalies: Unless we can move lots of cap up front (which we cant without destroying the make-up of the squad) we can't get a goalie. Boosh is playing solid and Bob is getting hot again. Last year showed you don't need big name goalies to get you to the promise land. Niemi, Leighton, Halak and Nabakov were the final four goalies last year. Who are the first three? We'll be fine in net.
Defense: We might have the best total defense in both the NHL today and in Flyer history. Pronger is a 1 on any team in hockey. Kimmo is a 1 on any team except about 5-10 (you can make an argument for Kimmo on any team except us, Boston, Detroit, and Chicago. I might be forgetting a few, but you get the point). Barry Melrose said at the Classic that Braydon Coburn could be a #1 on most teams in the league. Do I believe it? Probably not. Is Barry Melrose more knowledgable than me, when it comes to that topic? Absolutley. Either way he's an amazing 3-4. So is Matt Carle. And then our third pair of Mez and OD is the best 3rd pair in hockey. Both guys have been exceptional. Oscars is a solid #7 and if we need an 8 we reach down to the minors and pull up good old Matty Walker. BUT WAIT, WE CANT BRING HIM UP WITH HIS ONE WAY DEAL, HE'LL GET CLAIMED! Relax, I know. (Pretty sure on this next sentance, but correct me if I'm wrong please) The playoffs do not use a salary cap or a waiver system. We'll call up Walker once we are in the playoffs for D-man ensurance. If that all goes down the tubes, no issue... we've got the offensive dynamo Danny Syvret waiting in the wings to be our 8th D-man. None of the top 6 get moved. No effin way. I'd bet my house on it.
Line 4: Shelley-Betts-Powe. Come playoff time this could change to Carcillo-Betts-Powe. Both lines are solid. There is no need to "upgrade" this line. What are we gonna swap grinder for grinder and just come out with a draw and hurt chemistry? The Flyers orginazation doesn't operate like that. Were a family and we'd never make a silly 4th line swap. Now, I'd trade Powe if the Lightning said Zherdev and Powe for Gagne (example, please don't yell at me!), but that wont happen.
Line 2: Harts-Briere-Leino. No one's going anywhere. Hartnell has to go for us to bring in someone making around 7 million, but that wont happen for three reason. 1. His NTC is hard to work with. 2. This line is the best in hockey. 3. No one with a sensible brian would put us in a position to aquire another all star. Moving any of these guys is just flat out stupid.
Lines 1/3. In NHL 11 I keep Richie as my first line center because he can take draws in the offensive zone or the defensive zone. Thats why he's my "first line" center. On to the trading. We've got six guys on these two lines. These guys are the only possibilites to be moved. I'll tell you the scenerios why they could be moved, if the situation presents itself:
Richie- Hell freezes over
Carter- Richie gets traded (both wont happen, just a little joke... ha... ha...)
Giroux- You trade us your whole team
JVR- We get a pretty amazing offer and then find out that everyone hates JVR and thats why we traded him. % he's gone: .1%
Andreas Nodl and Nikolay Zherdev- Heres the deal. We need 12 forwards for 4 lines of 3. Trading either of these guys we must get a productive RW back for each guy we trade. Meaning, we trade Nodl, we need a winger back. We trade both, we need two back. Now, why could we trade these guys. Nodl- he's young, he'll be tougher to sign next year, and there are plenty of better wingers out there. Zherdev- He's been a healthy scratch and he's an offense only asset. I'd move either of these guys iff-
1. We get an equal number of NHL ready capable RW's in return
2. We upgrade in overall talent in the trade
3. We don't decimate ourselves in the cap
How can we do this? Trading prospects and picks. Lets say we can make a move on a Mike Knuble type player. Veteren. Good forward. Scores goals. Plays D. 2.5-4 cap hit of less than 2 years. We swap Nodl or Zherdev (pick one), a third round pick, and a defensive prospect. That is the only major move we could pull off IMO.
Come trade deadline the Flyers will not make an NHL move involving starting players because we are too good to mess with, IMO. If we do, its Nodl or Zherdev. That is my take on the cap, but when it comes down to it (I'm gonna say it..) I TRUST HOMER! If he makes a move, I assume we get better. No matter what. 2 bad moves, lots of good moves as a GM of the Flyers. Giroux and Briere for co-MVP!