So this is pretty out of left field. Or right field. Yeah, the kids who can't play in Little League are always put in right field, and the Edmonton Oilers are absolutely, positively that kid. So this comes out of right field.
Bob Stauffer of that Oilers Panel (proper noun, obviously) says he "fully expects the Flyers to use the full-court press to make some noise at home to acquire this pick" and Jack Michaels of that same Panel says "the Flyers have a history of draft-day fireworks,"
I mean, I guess the logic is there. And by that I mean we can see how somebody would possibly come to this conclusion.
- The Flyers are WACKY. They do all kinds of crazy stuff! Can't count 'em out of anything, ever.
- The draft is in Philadelphia this year. Surely, the WACKY, CRAZY Flyers are going to do something exciting in front of the home crowd!
- The Flyers need a defenseman. A franchise-changing defenseman. They're not getting Shea Weber, and they're up against the salary cap, and the top prospect in the 2014 draft has the potential to be a franchise-changing defenseman. Hmmm.
- Florida wants to trade the No. 1 pick, or are at least listening to offers.
- The Flyers are going to acquire the top pick on the draft floor next Friday and they're going to select Aaron Ekblad with it.
It makes too much sense!
It's been reported that the Panthers are looking to move the top pick, and Toronto has been rumored to be in the mix. But Sportsnet reports that a package of the No. 8 overall pick, forward Nazem Kadri and defenseman Jake Gardiner will not be good enough to nail down the trade. Sportsnet says that they may need to throw in somebody like old friend James van Riemsdyk instead of Kadri to get the deal done. van Riemsdyk, Gardiner and the eighth pick are a very high price. Maybe too high to be real. But it's what's been reported.
If true, what would it take for the Flyers to get this deal done, then? The comparable player to van Riemsdyk on their roster would probably be Jake Voracek, and frankly they don't really have a comparable player to Jake Gardiner. Maybe Braydon Coburn, since while Coburn is better than Gardiner, he's older and the Flyers would have to make up for the difference between the No. 17 pick they hold and the No. 8 pick Toronto holds anyway.
That'd be a high price to pay for Ekblad, even though most seem to agree he can step in right away and be a strong defenseman -- and eventually a "cornerstone" on the Flyers blueline for years to come.
Would you consider it if you were Ron Hextall?