Let’s say the Sabre’s GM Darcy Reiger calls up Holmgren on the phone and offers this trade:
First, we get rid of Briere’s cap hit without a buyout penalty or using an amnesty clause. Second, we enter a deep draft with two relatively high draft picks (currently 5th and 10th.) Third, and most importantly, we get a Pronger-like player. Offensive puck moving talent, Calder winner, great size, bit a snarl, locked up for years.
Myers is a huge risk. He’s been a disappointment since that Calder season (sounds like some other player the Flyers just got…). Obviously, his whole team has struggled, but he’s been particularly suspect in the defensive zone. And we lose Cooter. :(
The basic dilemma of the Flyers position stems from this this: the Flyers have too many forwards, especially centers (even more so after drafting Laughton) and a glaring weakness on the blue line. No, it’s not that bad – if you’re content with not being a Stanley Cup contender. Try comparing our blue line, based around some nice pieces, to the likes of the Rangers, Penguins, Canadiens, Blackhawks, Bruins, Canucks, Kings, Blues, Senators, Caps. The list of playoff teams with better defensive cores goes on, especially in the top pairing (We have no Doughty, Keith, Letang, Pietranglo, Subban, Karlson, etc.). Yet, Briere doesn’t have that much trade value (only three years left, bad contract cap wise, aging, inconsistent and injury prone). Cooter makes more sense to move of all the Flyers, as Schenn seems to have more offensive prowess and makes more sense as a second liner, while Laughton would make a nice third liner or more if he’s given time to develop (I don’t think it’s to bold to say that, considering the Flyers have developed players like Richie and Giroux as late first round draft picks.)
The value of this trade lies in Myers. I don’t see him as a top pairing defenseman for the next three years. I see him as a top pairing defenseman a starting few years from now and continuing for a decade. Once he learns how to play with his mammoth body consistently to full effect and use that skill, he’ll be quite the asset, ala Zdeno Chara or Pronger (Chara especially was a late bloomer, and still looks awkward to this day). The Chara example is really the key to accepting this. He didn’t have a break out until he year until he was 25, and on a deep Ottawa Senators team. And the thing about both Pronger and Chara was that their best years have been in their thirties – and that’s potentially where Myers will make his effect. Not now, but ten years from now, when he’s 33 and established.
From the Buffalo point of view it makes sense for two reasons. First, Myers has grown stale in Buffalo. The old change of scenery is probably the best angle for them right now. Second, and more importantly, they are weak, and I mean weak, in the forward department, especially down the middle. Vanek, Hodgson, and Ennis. That’s about all the talent they have upfront (and some guy named Ville Leino). So they are hurting for a blue chip guy like Couturier and from there the Flyers will be dealing from a position of strength. And Briere knows its more than likely he'll be gone, so why not go to some place familiar where he put himself on the map
But again, this is all just armchair GM stuff. So what do you guys think?