Today might be like a mini version of trade deadline day. With the Olympics freezing rosters at 3 PM Eastern today, teams are going to try to get ahead of the curve and move some players before that deadline. We've seen one move this morning as Carolina sent Matt Cullen to Ottawa and we will no doubt see more.
We don't do this often, but on a day when so many trades are likely to go down, we might as well discuss some of the possible options out there. After the jump, some of the things that are bouncing around reputable spots on the web. That's not you, Eklund.
The most intersting news this morning is that the Flyers are reportedly interested in Islanders goaltender Dwayne Roloson. The rumor comes from a reputable source, a man who used to work in the Islanders media relations department who now covers the team independently and with AOL FanHouse.
Among the teams considering deals for Roloson…
Philadelphia, Ottawa, Washington, Chicago, Colorado
Would that be a smart move for the Flyers? Well, he's only being paid 2.5 million for one more year and while he's 40 years old, it's still a nice number and he's certainly proven that he can handle himself in the net. As Botta puts it in that same article, he's 'at this date the player most responsible for the Islanders being on the cusp of the playoff picture.'
I'm not sure what the Isles would command for Roloson, but there's also another player on their roster the Flyers are reportedly interested in. Here's Botta again, from that same article:
... several teams are preparing offers to the Islanders for Andy Sutton ... .
Sutton, a potential unrestricted free agent on July 1, is one of the best defensemen available in the trade market. If the Islanders do not re-sign him between now and the March 3 trade deadline, the 6-6 defenseman could net a strong haul for the rebuilding franchise.
Many teams are interested in Sutton, including…
New Jersey, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Ottawa, Washington, Chicago, Colorado, Calgary
I'm not sure the Flyers could compete with an offer from one of those other teams, and if that many teams really are interested in his services, they asking price will likely be way too high.
Still, it's good to see them showing interest for a guy who could be a very strong impact player, even though he'll likely just be a rental. He has an expiring contract with a $3 million cap hit this season. He's a big, shut down guy who's by all accounts playing the best hockey of his career.
Meanwhile, it appears the Panthers are in full out fire sale mode. Here's a letter from team ownership...
Thus, GM Randy Sexton has begun the process of reshaping this team in order to achieve our goals and objectives. This is a multi-step process, beginning now, ahead of the trading deadline, and continuing through the draft, free agency and training camp – so we ask that you assess our success only once this process has run its course.
Unfortunately, these changes will not always be easy for our fans and supporters to accept or understand. These changes also may not be easy for our coaches, players and staff. But they are necessary. No small changes or quick fixes will do. But please note that these changes are part of an overall plan to make the best use of our current assets and set this franchise up to achieve the success we want as quickly as possible, and to maintain it.
Clearly, we are not satisfied with some of the players on this team that do not possess the characteristics we need to be successful. We must be accountable for that. Our task moving forward is to acquire players with the attributes, skills and qualities we want in a Panthers player. We must admit the significant shortcomings we have as an organization, and we must move quickly and efficiently to overcome these shortcomings and reshape this franchise on a much more solid foundation.
Yada, yada, we're blowing up the team.
Tomas Vokoun, Bryan McCabe, and Stephen Weiss have no trade clauses. Rostislav Olesz is a guy who might be available, and this is just me speculating now, but he'd be a really nice fit up front and he'd actually crack the roster, unlike Ville Leino. He's just 24 years old, signed through 2014 and has a manageable cap hit of $3.125 million. Unfortunately, even that might be too expensive on this Flyers club.
The one other guy on the Panthers who might be a nice fit is defenseman Keith Ballard. He'll knock some sense into our goaltending if necessary and he's just a very nice defenseman. He plays in both ends, can breakout extremely effectively and he likes to throw the body around. Trouble is he has a limited no-trade clause in which he's designated seven teams to which he'd accept a trade. He also has a hefty cap hit of $4.2 million, which is not bad for him but might not work for the Flyers.
These are just a handful of possibilities; some speculation, others with more weight. The Olympic roster freeze is today at 3 PM and doesn't lift until midnight on February 28th. Do you think the Flyers should make a move today?